The Nintendo Switch remains one of Nintendo’s biggest successes, as the handheld console hybrid system is doing very well despite being in its fifth year. Last year saw new installments in franchises like Pokémon, Kirby, and Wario. It’s quite fitting, since all of these series began on Nintendo’s original handheld, the Game Boy.
The Game Boy is often considered a bit of an underdog despite being a revolution in handheld gaming. Its successor, the Game Boy Color, is often considered to have better games, but don’t underestimate the original. It has games with great graphics and gameplay that are still impressive to watch even now.
Faceball 2000 (1991)
This Game Boy title started out as a completely different game called midi maze. It was developed by Xanth Software for the obscure Atari ST personal computer. It appeared in 1987 as one of the earliest examples of first-person shooters and was still technically impressive even when ported to the Game Boy as soccer ball 2000.
The player navigates a simple 3D maze made of untextured walls. Enemies and bullets are represented in a similar way, being smiley faces and balls respectively. The port was praised for having more complex enemy AI than the original and a two-player mode. While it’s nothing compared to modern shooters, it’s incredibly impressive that the Game Boy runs it.
Mega Man V (1994)
the mega momGame Boy games are fun, but most of them can be confusing to fans. Despite having the same names as the NES titles, 1-4 on Game Boy are actually new games with older games mega Man bosses. Players may get frustrated with these remixes and yearn for a completely original experience. mega man v it’s just that, with a unique plot and mechanics.
The plot sees Mega Man traveling to the stars to battle a new breed of space-themed robots. There are also new mechanics, such as the new Super Arm Weapon and introduced the robotic cat Tango, which would become a prop. The game is arguably as good as the NES classics, if not more unique than most of them.
Gradius: The Interstellar Assault (1991)
the degree The series is the king among the shoot-em-up game genre. It is known for its accessible yet difficult side-scrolling shooter action, with complex power-ups and boss fights. It was one of the first games to incorporate weaknesses and options into the game. Given how technically demanding the series is, it’s surprising to learn that it has two Game Boy installments.
The second of these, interstellar assault (also know as Nemesis II), is definitely the most technically impressive. The game replicates arcade shooters with very little slowdown. In fact, the game features power-ups that speed up gameplay. Aside from the color palette, the game is basically identical to the other offerings in the franchise.
Kirby’s Dreamland 2 (1995)
the kirby series actually started on the Game Boy with the original Kirby’s Dreamland. While it’s the best-selling game in the series, the sequel is perhaps more impressive than the original. Bring Kirby copy ability from NES game. It also features a larger selection of levels than the original game.
It looks much better graphically than its predecessor as the backgrounds have a lot of shadows and details that weren’t present before. The final battle even incorporates some scrolling elements. The biggest draw, though, is that Kirby has three new animal friends in this game that come with Kirby’s own abilities.
Dracula Child (1993)
the iconic Castlevania is known for the legacy of the Belmont family, which features an ensemble of different protagonists. dracula kid is quite unique among Castlevania games, however, as the player controls Dracula’s son. Whether this character is the famous Alucard is vague, but that’s irrelevant. the game is a great classic Castlevania experience while maintaining a unique cartoon charm.
This has a much cuter art style and sensibility than others castlevanias. there are more traditional Castlevania games on the Game Boy, such as The adventure. However, these games are quite slow. dracula kid it’s much faster, with tough bosses and no gimmicks or lost ideas from the main titles, albeit a bit silly.
V-Rally Championship Edition (1998)
V-Rally was first released as a racing game on the original Playstation. It spawned a pretty popular series on console, but it also had a Game Boy port, of all things. championship edition it even featured the Arcade and Championship modes from the console launch.
However, what really makes it stand out is its pseudo-3D graphics. It feels similar to games like SEGA. Outrun but it has a more convincing depth of field. There are four cars and 10 tracks to choose from. An updated version was released on the Game Boy Color, but it is not compatible with the original Game Boy version for multiplayer.
Wario’s Land 2 (1998)
Wario debuted on the Game Boy in super mario land 2. That game is fantastic, but the character came into his own in the Wario’s Land Serie. There were two Wario’s Land games on the original Game Boy, but the sequel is more impressive as it completely reinvented the gameplay of the series.
Wario cannot be hurt and die from damage in this title, he is simply hampered by enemy attacks. This turns the game into a dynamic puzzle game. Wario transforms and reacts to enemy attacks in many fun and complex ways. The game also features charming visuals that made it one of the most engaging games on the original Game Boy.
The Land of Donkey Kong (1995)
the donkey kong country The series was one of the best on the Super Nintendo as it featured revolutionary graphics and sound for the time. Somehow, the developers at Rare managed to take those qualities and put them on the Game Boy. the donkey kong land The series was a series of adaptations/sequels to the SNES games that reused many similar ideas.
This is not a bad thing, as those games were iconic for a reason. However, some technical compromises had to be made, such as removing the ability to control two Kongs at once. The levels are also usually different, which makes it a unique game. I dont know experience that fans should try if they haven’t.
Samurai Showdown III (1996)
This game was only released in Japan, due to publisher SNK’s financial problems at the time. It’s a shame it didn’t, though, as it’s one of the most impressive games on the handheld. samurai duel is a fighting game franchise known for its tight control and precise gameplay. Despite being on a handheld, it mimicked these things well.
Ironically, while the console versions of III are known for their high slowdown, it’s not that bad on the Game Boy. This is impressive given that the game includes violent blood effects that are absent from most handheld versions. The game has a smaller roster than other versions, but also adds the additional character Jubei. It’s a curiosity, to be sure, but definitely impressive.
Released in 1992, X was a space shooter developed in part by Argonaut Games, the creators of star fox. It was one of the first attempts to bring 3D graphics to the handheld computer. The player looks out from a cockpit into a series of vector-based 3D levels. The stages had a variety of objectives, such as defeating enemies or securing specific checkpoints.
While these missions can be difficult for the player (in the role of a trainee pilot for the VIXIV spaceship), the radar makes it much easier. There are 10 missions and the player can receive star ratings in each of them. The game received mixed reviews at the time for its intense difficulty. However, the graphics, sound, and especially the music were highly praised, making this Japan-exclusive title one of the most unsung heroes on the platform.
NEXT: 10 Game Boy Titles That Need To Come To The Switch