Ten Game Boy Games You Should Be Playing
Posted by Corbie Dillard
Here are ten Game Boy games that you should be playing.
With anticipation already building as to whether or not Nintendo is going to actually bring classic Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance titles to the DSi system via some type of Virtual Console service, we thought it would be fun to sit down and come up with a list of ten classic Game Boy games we think should be on everyone's wish list.
Now for this list we've decided to stick with the original Game Boy titles rather than Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance releases. Rest assured, we'll certainly get to those Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance titles in a future article.
SUPER MARIO LAND 2: 6 GOLDEN COINS
What more can you honestly say about Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins other than it's probably the single greatest Game Boy title ever created. The original Super Mario Land game was groundbreaking when it was released alongside the Game Boy system, but by the time Super Mario Land 2 was developed, Nintendo's developers had a much stronger grasp of the system's hardware capabilities and were able to do things in this sequel that just weren't thought possible when the original title was created. This game contains everything a great Super Mario Bros. title should contain and proves that the Game Boy system is fully capable of a full-blown Super Mario adventure, even on the system's small screen.
Kid Dracula was originally intended as a spoof of Konami's popular Castlevania series, but it turned out to be a pretty amazing game itself. The game brings many of the classic platforming elements made famous by the Castlevania titles and adds in a few new game play twists to make it stand out from the crowd. Kid Dracula can not only shoot out his energy bullet, but he can also turn into a bat and fly through the air for a short amount of time. This adds a unique play control variable to an already solid platforming experience. Couple all of these elements with some of the zany bosses the game features and you have what is easily one of the most overlooked platforming experiences of the era. Given the rarity of this title, it would make a perfect addition to a DSi Virtual Console service should one ever exist.
METROID II: RETURN OF SAMUS
Many game fans dismissed this Game Boy sequel to the NES hit action title as being nothing more than a cheap way to cash in on the success of the NES release. But what they didn't know was that not only was Metroid II every bit as good as the original NES release, in some ways it was even better. The game takes everything that was great about the original Metroid and packages it into a more compact design. All of the trademark Metroid game play remains intact and the overall scope of the game is just as big as the original title. For those who just can't get enough of the original Metroid, this sequel offers up plenty of additional action and you can even take it with you on the go. Anyone that thinks that this is nothing more than a dumbed-down portable Metroid experience needs to take a closer look at this amazing Game Boy release.
DRAGON WARRIOR MONSTERS
The Dragon Quest/Warrior releases were already well established franchises by the time Enix released their spin-off of the series Dragon Warrior Monsters. Combining Pokemon-like monster capturing abilities with many of the RPG ideas from their Dragon Warrior titles, Enix was able to create a very unique and wildly playable gaming experience. Not only does the title offer up countless hours of monster-raising action, but it offers an almost endless amount of replay value as well. There are hundreds of monsters to capture, breed, and train and the game even offers up a unique story line to go along with it. Whether you're a Dragon Quest fan or not, you owe it to yourself to at least give this unique and charming game a try.
KID ICARUS: OF MYTHS & LEGENDS
It's not very often that a Game Boy release actually eclipses an NES release when it comes to visuals, but Kid Icarus: Of Myths & Legends does just that. Not only does it feature some impressive Game Boy graphics, but it's also got the game play to back it up. The Game Boy release didn't exactly light up sales charts, so it's little wonder that many gamers missed out on this Game Boy release the first time around. That being said, it's a real shame as this is one of the better releases for the system and a testament to just how visually capable the system truly is when in the right hands. All the mythological-themed platforming returns and the game is every bit as tough as its NES counterpart. If you're a fan of the original release, you absolutely must track this game down. It's as good now as it ever was.
WARIO LAND: SUPER MARIO LAND 3
Wario Land is where the Super Mario Land series officially launched a spin-off that would turn into one of Nintendo's most popular Game Boy series. This time, Mario's arch-nemesis Wario takes the lead roll and he brings an all-new play control system with him. While the game has a very different feel when compared to the previous Super Mario Land releases, it does inject a fresh style into the game and gives the game an identity all its own. There's still plenty of platforming action to enjoy, and the quest is also fairly lengthy, so don't expect to blow right through this one. Couple these new game play ideas with some extremely creative boss fights and you have not only a worthy sequel to the outstanding Super Mario Land 2 , but one heck of a debut for the Wario Land series as well.
LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK'S AWAKENING
When it was announced that Nintendo was bringing their Zelda series to the Game Boy system, many gamers worried that the game might be a bit too bold for the limited capabilities of the system. Of course all these concerns were quickly put to rest once gamers got a chance to play the finished product. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was not only an extremely capable release, but it set new standards for what was thought possible on the portable game system. No corners were cut in the development of the game and it was every bit as epic a quest and just as challenging as any of the previous Zelda releases. While there were many outstanding game titles released for the Game Boy system, Zelda: Link's Awakening remains, by far, one of the most impressive.
ADVENTURE ISLAND II: ALIENS IN PARADISE
The Adventure Island titles were released on quite a few different systems during the 8-bit era, so it's not too surprising that the Game Boy would see a couple of releases as well. The original Adventure Island game was certainly a solid release, but Hudson really outdid themselves with Adventure Island 2: Aliens in Paradise. The game features all the trademark Adventure Island game play from previous titles, but this release also offers up a new power-up system that adds even more playability to the mix. Combine this new power-up element with tons of challenging platforming action and you have what is still one of the best Adventure Island releases on any console, portable or otherwise. Who would have thought that the Game Boy system would prove to be such a perfect outlet for the Adventure Island series?
FINAL FANTASY LEGEND III
The Final Fantasy series was finally beginning to take off outside of Japan when Square announced that they'd be developing an original title in the series for Nintendo's Game Boy system. Final Fantasy Legend III might be a portable game system release, but it features a quest that's every bit as epic and challenging as those found in the console releases. Square was able to squeeze quite a bit of length into this Game Boy release and it still features one of the most unique Final Fantasy story lines in history. The game is fairly basic as far as the combat system goes, but if you can appreciate the early era of console RPGs, you'll likely find a lot to like with this wonderful Game Boy release.
The Mystical Ninja games were not terribly popular outside of Japan during the time when this Game Boy title was released, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. The game is very heavy in Japanese influences and has a very quirky sense of humor, but the play control is solid and there's plenty of variety within the various game play elements to keep things interesting. For anyone that's played any of the 8 or 16-bit Goemon titles, you'll know exactly what to expect from this portable release. The game sports some great visuals and one of the more catchy Game Boy soundtracks of the time period. If you're not afraid to try something a bit different, Mystical Ninja should be right up your alley. It's got plenty of charm and personality to keep you into the action.
Well there you have it. Ten Game Boy titles that should not be missed. Now that you've seen our list, we'd like to hear what classic Game Boy titles you think belong in every gamer's collection.