With all the talk about the DS lately, and with Nintendo announcing a baffling spin-off called the 2DS, I thought it was time we took a look back at where Nintendo’s handheld dominance actually began — with the Game Boy.
Nintendo released tons of games on the system, the most popular of which are certainly the Pokemon games. However, the portable console has a massive library, and far too many games were overlooked by players. Today, we are going to take a look at some of those hidden gems. Whether you are a collector, or just a fan of good video games, you need to have at least experienced these games once in your life.
Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
Kid Icarus on the NES could be called a pretty obscure game in its own right, but it’s no where near the level of the sequel, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. While it did not do much to break the formula of the original, that’s okay, because both this and the first game are grand.
The only big change here, besides the game being portable, is that it was made a little easier. This is a smart move, because while the often rage-inducing difficulty of the first game was fun, when you are playing on the go, you really don’t want to get too frustrated. If you like some old-school platformer action, this is a must-play game for the Game Boy. It looks, sounds, and plays amazingly well, especially for a portable game.
This game was originally released for the PC Engine in Japan, an underappreciated console on its own. When it finally made its way to Game Boy Color, also in Japan only, a few more gamers got their hands on it, but still not enough. Of course, this game is incredibly rare, so finding a copy is not going to be an easy task. However, it’s worth the effort, because it’s absolutely fantastic.
The game is a sidescrolling shoot-em-up, but instead of warships and guns, it features a much friendlier and cuter art style, which is a welcomed change in the genre. It also features a health bar, so one-shot kills are not going to happen here. This makes for a fun and beautiful game that you will not have to smash your head against for too long. If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend giving Magical Chase a run.
This is another game featuring Firebrand, the lovable ghoul from Ghosts N’ Goblins. We’ve actually talked about him before from his appearance in an underplayed SNES game called Demon’s Crest. The gameplay in this is actually quite similar to the SNES game, just scaled down a bit for the portable console. It’s actually from the same series, and this where it got started.
The gameplay and Gargoyle’s Quest is mix of sidescrolling action and RPG. Unlike many other games on the Game Boy, the difficulty is not dialed down, so be prepared for a challenge when you jump in and play. While hard, the game is not so brutal as tobe impossible, and making it through it is very rewarding. All in all, this game, which spawned an entire obscure series, is just fun, and what more can you ask for from a game?
Hammerin’ Harry: Ghost Building Company
Who doesn’t love a classic beat-em-up? Game like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, and Double Dragon are the gold standard for the genre, and Hammerin’ Harry: Ghost Building Company is right there with them in terms of quality. It’s just too bad no one seems to have played, or even heard of, this gem. The first thing that makes this game worth a second look is the personality it brings to the table. The other interesting thing about it is the fact that the gameplay is very much about defending attacks, whereas most in the genre are all about being the aggressor.
Another reason I love this game is for the level of challenge. It’s really, really hard. However, it toes the line between challenging and unfair perfectly. That being said, if you want a relaxing gaming experience, you might want to stay away from Harry and his hammer, but if you want to play something that will require some practice and skill, this is the Game Boy game for you.
If you consider yourself a fan of portable gaming, you need to try these out. Each one offers a great deal of charm, and most importantly, each is incredibly fun and built with an incredible amount of care. Play them, and I promise, you will not be disappointed.
What Game Boy games do you think were overlooked? Hit the comments section below and let us know!