The game may have a fairly basic appearance as a result of being released in the early years of the handheld's life, but Sunsoft managed to add some variety to the locations and the gun-toting Batman sprite is amusing in its own way. The game gets tougher later on but it doesn't feel overwhelming, and the Batwing levels are a great addition to the excellent platforming action found in the rest of the game. Overall, Batman: The Video Game on Game Boy is a decent facsimile of its bigger brother on NES and still a lot of fun to play through.
29. Mega Man V (GB)
Mega Man V was the Blue Bomber’s first wholly original entry in the Game Boy, with the preceding games being mashups inspired by his NES adventures. Against all odds and exceeding any reasonable expectations, it turns out to be one of the best Mega Man games, period. The difficulty might be a tad low, and the soundtrack only intermittently hits the peaks we've come to expect from the series, but all of that is made up for by an endlessly creative experience, ten new special weapons, and a whopping fifteen main bosses. This might be one of the most overlooked games in the Blue Bomber's catalogue, but that just means it's primed for rediscovery. If you have any interest at all, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice by passing on Mega Man V.
Because of its complete break away from genre convention by emphasising swinging over jumping, Bionic Commando is one of those games that you either love or hate. Nothing else plays quite like it, and this portable adaptation is a surprisingly robust and polished entry in the series. It might take some time getting used to the mechanics, but once your brain has rewired to Bionic Commando's method of madness, you'll find a real Game Boy gem.
Rare stuck a lot of content into this little cartridge, providing great value for money. Like the rest of the series it features a varied collection of enemies and locations for you to work your way through. It may not do anything new, but it does it very well. Donkey Kong Land III is a good looking, great sounding Game Boy title, but more importantly it's a lot of fun to play. Arguably the best of the DKL trilogy and one of the best options for platform fans on the portable.
26. Picross 2 (GB)
Nintendo's main objective with Picross 2 seemed to be to up the challenge and include new, helpful features. It succeeded in both of these - aside from the Easy and Quick Picross puzzles, all of the puzzles are bigger and tougher than those found in Mario's Picross, with some having multiple parts to solve. The music might be a bit of a miss, but that problem is easily solved these days. Compared to the touchscreen variants available today, it’s a little bit cumbersome, but the base puzzles are as great as ever and with nearly 800 puzzles compared to the original game’s 250, you're certain to get months - if not years - of enjoyment out of this sequel.
25. Operation C (GB)
This is without a doubt a Contra game (or Probotector if you’re a robot-loving European) more worthy of its title than, say, certain PlayStation entries. It hits on most of the aspects that make a good entry: challenging gameplay, tight controls, varied enemies, killer arsenal, macho tunes, big bosses. For a title two years into the mighty portable’s lifespan, it accomplishes an impressive amount in shrinking the essentials of the beloved console/arcade series. Sadly, players are forced to go gung-ho solo, which is disheartening for multiplayer fans and kills some of its longevity, but it’s remarkable just how well the game holds up on the humble Game Boy and fans of the NES games would foolish to pass this up.
Bless you all for appreciating this wonderful, strange piece of kit! Development on the Game Boy Camera project was led by Hirokazu ‘Hip’ Tanaka and the software within is full of odd audio-visual ticks, as if the spirit of the WarioWare games somehow infected the hardware. Eccentric Game & Watch-esque minigames accompany the base photo mode which enabled you to snap 128x112 pixel shots and stamp them with tiny pictures. Owners of its sister peripheral, the Game Boy Printer, could print out their masterpieces on thermal paper and distribute them accordingly.
Japanese 64DD owners could link the camera to Mario Artist: Talent Studio to create avatars of themselves a long time before Miis existed, and we still wish Rare’s plans to enable players to import photos into Perfect Dark multiplayer had made it past Nintendo. Still, we’re very glad that something as silly as this managed to see the light of day at all. If David Lynch ever made a lo-fi digital camera, it would look something like this.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 is great, simple fun and one of the better traditionally-styled Kirby titles. The technical mastery of Game Boy really shines through even now, with great presentation and a fairly large world to conquer. Even though its low level of challenge makes it seem smaller than it actually is, its length and numerous power-ups to experiment with make it ideal for repeat playthroughs. After all these years, this still plays like a dream.
22. Tetris 2 (GB)
This time it’s personal. A sequel to the system-selling puzzler was an absolute given, of course, and looking back on Tetris 2 all these years later, it’s admirable just how much of a departure it was from the original classic. Named Tetris Flash in Japan, it takes the basic falling-blocks gameplay but adds in a match-three element with irregularly-shaped tetrominos. It’s jarring at first if disappearing horizonal lines are burnt into your brain, but give it time and you’ll find a surprisingly addictive little puzzle game in its own right.
Having secured the rights to Tetris, Nintendo wasn’t shy about expanding/exploiting the concept in various other puzzle games. Known as Bombliss in Japan, Tetris Blast has each of the falling blocks (this time mixing two and three-block shapes in with the standard tetrominos) contain at least one bomb. Completing a line causes any bombs contained in that line to explode with a set radius. If you manage to obliterate the entire board, you move on to the next stage. It’s a fun variation on the original game with a password system and a Fight mode where you battle against comical bosses which move around the well. It’s a unique and fun take on the original – check it out.