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Game Boy: Finally time to Play It Loud!®

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I mostly missed the boat on the Game Boy line. I've never really liked playing games on portable game systems, and the non-lit screens didn't help. When given the choice in 1994, I chose Game Gear. Woof... Then, in 1998, I finally convinced my mommy to buy me a Game Boy Pocket because I just had to have the limited edition Ice Blue color. Unfortunately, that was like four months before Game Boy Color was announced at E3 that year. For nearly three years, I had no access to Game Boy Color games until I bought a Game Boy Advance. Even then, I only had Oracle of Ages/Seasons.

Regardless, when I started looking into modding last year, I picked up a few games I missed out on. Recently, I really dug my heels in and started rounding out my library. I missed a ton of games. I've gained a new appreciation for this simpler, pre-patch era of gaming. Issues such as this one discussed in the General Gaming forum only serve to reinforce that appreciation.

Anyway, here's what I have so far, separated by system. I managed to snag a Game Boy Advance Link Cable and a Game Boy Game Link with DMG adapter (Fun fact: DMG models have a larger link port). I'm primarily using this thread for cataloging and recommendation purposes. I doubt I'll beat all of these games, but I'll definitely play them.

Also, despite what Nintendo says; I'm separating Game Boy Color because it had a lot of exclusive games, and I think I've done a decent job of building that library so it's easier for me to keep track of as a separate list.

OG Game Boy

* Donkey Kong
* Final Fantasy Adventure
* Game Boy Camera
* The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
* Metroid II: The Return of Samus
* Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition
* Super Mario Land
* Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
* Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land
* Tetris (I have two copies because my sister's ex just gave me his DMG Game Boy hella years ago, and everyone had this)Game Boy Color

* Bionic Commando: Elite Forces
* Bomberman Quest
* Crystalis
* Donkey Kong Country
* Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
* The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (black cartridge, playable on OG Game Boy)
* The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
* The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
* Mario Tennis
* Metal Gear Solid (Metal Gear: Ghost Babel)
* Perfect Dark
* Pokémon Crystal
* R-Type DX (black cartridge, playable on OG Game Boy)
* Sabrina: The Animated Series - Zapped!
* Shadowgate Classic
* V-Rally: Edition 99
* Wario Land II (black cartridge, playable on OG Game Boy)
* Wario Land 3
* Wendy: Every Witch WayGame Boy Advance

* Astro Boy: Omega Factor
* Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
* Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand
* Bomberman Tournament
* Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
* Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
* Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
* DK: King of Swing
* Donkey Kong Country (yes, for GBA too)
* Drill Dozer
* Driv3r (Driver 3)
* Final Fantasy IV: Advance
* Final Fantasy V: Advance
* Final Fantasy VI: Advance
* Golden Sun
* Golden Sun: The Lost Age
* Gunstar Super Heroes
* Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
* Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament
* The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Four Swords
* The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
* Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
* Mario Kart: Super Circuit
* Mario vs. Donkey Kong
* Metal Slug Advance
* Metroid Fusion
* Metroid: Zero Mission
* Mother 3 (this is a reproduction cartridge with the English fan translation because Nintendo gonna Nintendo)
* Sigma Star Saga (This is still shrinkwrapped)
* The Simpsons: Road Rage
* Stuntman
* Sword of Mana
* Tales of Phantasia
* Top Gear Rally
* V-Rally 3
* Wario Land 4
* WarioWare: Twisted!I'm sure a few of these games might seem like odd choices. Feel free to ask. I only wanted The Simpson's Road Rage because it's a 3D GBA game. It was bundled with Donkey Kong Country for GBA and almost as much as just one of them individually. Might as well, right? Driv3r and V-Rally were both developed by VD-Dev (AKA Velez & Dubail Dev. Team), two dudes from France who made some of the most impressive 3D GBA games ever made. Stop Skeletons From Fighting on The YouTube has a great video on these guys (RIP Fernando Velez).

Here's a list of items I'm interested in:

* Final Fantasy Adventure (GB): It's the prequel to Secret of Mana, and according to some, the better version between it and Sword of Mana. I know this is included in Collection of Mana, but the point of this entire endeavor is to play Game Boy games on original albeit modded hardware. Update 04/21/2021: Got it.
* Bomberman Quest (GBC): The Adventure mode is like Link's Awakening with Bomberman. So is Bomberman Tournament's Adventure mode except Quest is supposedly better. Unfortuntely, Quest is hella expensive.Update 10/02/2021: Got it.
* Daikatana (GBC): It's kind of a Link's Awakening clone and apparently pretty good. The problem is it was never released in North America so it hasn't been easy to snag. It's currently going for like $80 loose with shipping, and I don't think I can justify that for what is supposedly a two to three hour campaign. This will probably drop, but prices for retro games have seen an uptick semi-recently.
* Dragon Warrior III (GBC): It's apparently a pretty great port of the NES original. I've whiffed on buying this a few times so I probably won't unless someone here is like super passionate about Dragon Quest and wants to make a pitch.
* Pokémon Crystal (GBC): I recently bought Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition to try to get back into the series. I heard there are some quality of life updates in the later games, but they also seem daunting with the Shiny Pokémon (whatever that means) and the absurd amount of Pokémon now. I figure if I like Yellow, I'll move on to Crystal. Unfortunately, prices for Pokémon games have become insane in the membrane over the past six months or so.Update 05/04/2021: Got it.
* Star Ocean: Blue Sphere (GBC): It was never released outside of Japan so like Mother 3, I would have to buy a reproduction cartridge which I only do in unique circumstances.
* Wendy: Every Witch Way (GBC): It's a late GBC WayForward title that isn't Shantae, meant as a tie-in to a cartoon that was ultimately not picked up. The publisher, TDK Mediactive, Inc. (now known as Take-Two Licensing, Inc.), wanted to cancel the game but WayForward Technologies convinced them not to and included three GBA exclusive levels. This is pretty rare so I don't think snagging an actual cartridge is going to happen.Update 10/02/2021: Got it.
* DK: King of Swing (GBA): Looks unique; literally that's it. I'm modding one of the GBAs to have clicky shoulder buttons so this would be a good game to show that off.Update 10/02/2021: Got it.
* Metal Slug Advance (GBA): I could have picked this up on several occasions. However, I've never played a Metal Slug game, and this was going for over $75.Update 10/02/2021: Got it.
* Warioware Twisted (GBA): I never got into the Warioware series. Twisted is a special cartridge with an accelerometer and rumble.Update 10/02/2021: Got it.
* Shrek 1 and 2 (GBA Video): 🤷‍♀️I intentionally left Shantae (GBC) and Ninja Five-O (GBA) off that list. Those cartridges go for hundreds of dollars so nope, not going to happen. I missed the Limited Run Games re-print of Shantae last year. My preference for all these retro games is to have the physical cartridge. Failing that, my plan is to buy an Everdrive eventually for games that are mostly inaccessible for me due to price or availability as well as for rare instances of multiplayer. Unfortunately, the Everdrive sometimes does not to play nice with the IPS LCD kits in modded Game Boys. It's something to do with the power draw. I think you can get around it by installing a voltage regulator. I need to do more research on it.

Also, people are still making new games and not merely fan-made ROM hacks. A nearly finished Game Boy Color RPG from 2001, Infinity, is being completed and released on a physical cartridge (!). The Kickstarter will launch in June. I haven't pledged to a Kickstarter in a while. I will be contributing to whichever tier nets me the game.

I'm taking any and all recommendations. Please post your favorites/hidden gems and why you like them.

Super Mario Land 2 is missing from your list.  1 is.... I'd say it didn't age well, but man, it wasn't that good at the time.

I also got Super Mario Land from my sister’s ex so it’s just in my life now.

As for Super Mario Land 2, I had it back in the 90s and I completed it, but I must have traded it at some point. If I can snag it in a game lot, great. I probably won’t go out of my way. I saw a fan-made colorized reproduction cartridge on eBay which I considered. I don’t think I care enough though.

You've got a lot of cool ones already! Perfect Dark looked really cool in magazines back in the day. I agree with Uncle Bob on recommending Mario Land 2. The progress they made between 1 and 2 is very impressive. Supposedly Tony Hawk on GBA is fantastic too.

As for Pokémon, I never liked Yellow as much back in the day. The early game is a bit more difficult than Red/Blue because you're saddled with Pikachu. He isn't useful in the forest, against Brock, or in Mt. Moon. So you'll probably want to grind up a Pidgey/Spearow to make it through the forest, and then a Mankey or Nidoran for Brock and the cave, and then you need to train a few others for Lt. Surge/Digglett cave. Although it's probably easier than I remember lol, so maybe you'll like it still. The FireRed/LeafGreen remakes on GBA were really cool.

If you're into technologically impressive ones like V-Rally 3, I suppose SSX 3, James Bond Nightfire and Lego Drone Racing could be worth a look. Although they're mostly just impressive for the system, maybe not so much as actual games.

Another curiosity I don't really recommend, but wanna note: there are some turn-based Harry Potter RPGs on GB Color, with Chamber of Secrets being the last game ever released on that system.
Meanwhile the GBA games were overhead action games, but weirdly the third movie got just a single portable game, and that was an RPG again. None of these rpgs are particularly strong, but they always made more sense for the franchise imo (roam around the castle, study spells to level up, talking to students) than the action games.

So I grew up with handhelds as a kid and I had lots of fun with them.

For the OG Gameboy I would add Dr. Mario, Mario Land 2, Jurassic Park, Balloon Kid. 

There are probably better versions of Dr. Mario on more recent systems but I do enjoy the original game still. 

Mario Land 2 as others have mentioned is still good and the levels are a bit more varied than the original.

Jurassic Park was a port of the NES game.  It can be challenging at some points but it gives nice exploration and danger on the tiny screen. 

Balloon Kid was one I played often growing up in the year I was at Newport Harbor and I was being tested for some things.   Anyway it is a sequel to Balloon Fight but it is a platformer.  You take Alice through the stages and you can fly in the air till you get to the end or you can also deflate you balloons and land on the ground if you need to get past an area that you can't do by floating with your balloons.  You can inflate your balloons when you are on the ground if you wish to. 

Other ones I am thinking of right now are The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2. It was a game where you had to make it through these series of rooms with different kinds of puzzles. Lots of timing in the game because there  can be lots of enemies in the stages. 

I haven't played these games but I hear good things about the Final Fantasy Legend series which is a more traditional JRPG but it has some elements where it can make replays near endless and that has to do with the different items you feed the Monsters who is one of 3 classes. Human and Mutants are the other two.   This evolving mechanic returns in the followups but more noticable in the 3rd game.

I have played this one and it is Game and Watch Gallery 2. It is a nice set of games where you can relive Nintendo's past and also play some of the games that were in Game and Watch Gallery. 

For GameBoy Color I mainly played Pokemon on there but there was a few that stand out.

The Dragon Warrior Monsters series is fun and fulfilling. This is mainly a pokemon game with a Dragon Quest skin but of you want to try something like this it is worth a go.

The Tony Hawk games on GBC are pretty good.

Resident Evil Gaiden is really solid for what it brings to the table and how well the game gets the most out of the system.

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge is a really good puzzle game and is one of the best puzzle games on the handheld.

Super Mario Deluxe is probably the best version of Super Mario Bros out there and there is so much unlockable content and ways to play.

Gameboy Advance is probably my most played handheld next to the DS.

The Super Mario Advanced games are all really good but if you had to play one I would say Advanced 4:Super Mario Bros 3 is the one.  It is a classic but it also has e-reader features to enhance the game.

The Sonic Advance games were really good but I would have to say I liked the 2nd one the most.

Wario Ware INC: Mega  Microgames is full of content and a blast to play.

The game which I highly recommend for the GBA is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.  The story is really good and involving.  It can be very deep with the class system and You have to plan things out with your strategy.   The only gripe most people have which I do not is the judge system but if you take your time and plan things out before the battle it is not really an issue. 

If you want to try and find Final Fantasy I+II to complete the collection they are of their time but can be somewhat enjoyable. I personally prefer the DS Childs of Life game for FF1 and 2.  III is on the DS.

You covered most of the others and have a great collection so far.


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