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GB and GBC hidden gems?

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I'm sure this has been asked before but I couldn't find a previous forum thread about it.

I just got myself TPA5's awesome GameBoy Advance SP …. was previously rocking a Micro that couldn’t play original GameBoy or GB Color cartridges. I’m now digging through the back catalog of those previous original GB and GB Color games looking for hidden gems. Other than the obvious Mario, Zelda, Castlevania stuff, does anyone have any recommendations?

I’ll tell you what titles so far appeal to me from my searches: Quarth, Power Racer, Solar Striker, Fire Fighter, Race Drivin’, Revenge of the 'Gator Pinball

Also, I know nothing of the GB Color library so are there any titles on there that are great / better than their GB or GBA equivalent? I hear Shantae and Pokemon Pinball are good. I know Dragon's Lair came out for the GameBoy Color and that looks cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgvgbWsXEpU

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Shantae is extremely rare. Warlocked GBC is an impressive real time strategy game, like the original Warcraft for the PC. Dragon Warrior III is downport from the SNES remake version. Harvest Moon 3 if you like farming simulation. Metal Gear Solid is pretty solid. What else, Donkey Kong Country port is ok, but the ending of that game is stripped out completely with something worthless. Bionic Commando, the dark graphics may be hard to see on screen, but viewable on the original GBC. The Game and Watch series.

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My perennial answer to this for the GBC is Montezuma's Return. Cheap (in terms of $$$), challenging old-school fun.

 

As for the monochrome GB, people's tastes in games differ and one person's hidden gem is another's mediocre diversion. That said, I've enjoyed the following, all of which should be inexpensive:

 

Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2

Catrap

Pipe Dream (great port)

Radar Mission (can get frustrating)

Qbillion

Skate or Die: Bad 'N' Rad

True Lies

 

My wife is also fond of Pac-in-Time, but I haven't really played it myself.

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I often play my GBA while watching movies or old shows that I like, but don't need my full attention. Some of my favorites:

 

Tetris: simple, smooth, and challenging - this game was the magic bullet for the Game Boy. You can pretty much play it as fast as you can think.

Toki Tori (GBC): lots of satisfying puzzles here

Kirby's Dream Land

Kirby's Tilt 'n' Tumble (GBC): takes a little getting used to on the SP due to the inverted gameplay, but quite fun

Frogger 2 Swampys Revenge

Q bert: surprisingly, varying from the arcade layout makes it more interesting

Yoshi's Cookie

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Solomon's Club is basically Solomon's Key except for the gameboy, which means its a good game :P

 

Also another game that may not be that much of a hidden gem but I don't see too many people talk about it, Pokemon Trading Card Game. The only problem with those is that you'll probably have to replace the battery.

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I can recommend a few black-&-white titles:

 

- Batman (the very first one)

- Bionic Commando

- Boxxle

- Boxxle II

- Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

- Donkey Kong GB

- Ducktales

- Ducktales II

- Felix the Cat

- Final Fantasy Legend

- Final Fantasy Legend II

- Final Fantasy Legend III

- Gargoyle's Quest

- Gradius: The Interstellar Assault

- Gremlins 2

- Mega Man series (except Mega Man II, it sucks)

- Metroid II - Return of Samus

- Nemesis

- Ninja Gaiden Shadow

- Operation C

- Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator

- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan

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Came here to post Bionic Commando, glad to see others have recommended it already. You may be familiar with the NES version, well the GB version has sharper graphics and RPG elements. It is a stellar game that I sunk hours into as a kid.

 

Mega Man V is my pick for the Mega Man GB games. It is an original game rather than a remix. Very fun, not to difficult for an original Mega Man entry.

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I'll toss in a few Game Boy Color recommendations tonight, and add some original Game Boy gems tomorrow. :)

 

 

Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare - If you like horror games then you can't go wrong with this one. The graphics are absolutely astounding for the GBC too, making it possibly the best looking game on the system.

 

Monopoly - As odd as it might sound, I've gotten more play time and enjoyment out of this game than any other for the Game Boy or Game Boy Color. The presentation of the game is great, the 8 different computer AI opponents provide a wide variety of difficulty options, and the replay value is nearly endless. It's definitely my favorite game for whenever I need to pass an hour or so of time.

 

Project S-11 - A vertical scrolling shoot 'em up that really pushes the GBC to it's limits. Tons of sprites on screen at once wirh zero slowdown, awesome music, and a neat power-up selection. If you like Solar Striker then I think you'll really enjoy this one too.

 

Resident Evil: Gaiden - Another horror game recommendation, and this one is definitely my favorite of the two. The graphics aren't nearly as impressive as those of Alone in the Dark, but the gameplay is really solid and challenging and it definitely feels like a Resident Evil game. This is a pricey one, but worth every penny in my opinion.

 

Tomb Raider & Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword - Two really enjoyable 2D action adventure platformer games that capture the feel and gameplay of their home console counterparts very nicely. I like the first one the best, but you can't go wrong with either.

 

Towers: Lord Baniff's Deceit - Imagine an Elder Scrolls game on the GBC and that's pretty much what you'll find here. First person real time combat, dungeon crawling, and a bit of reading to fill in the story await. Be sure to download and read a PDF copy of the manual before playing and keep a pencil and paper handy to write down spell chants.

 

Warlocked - This one was already recommended, but I'll second the recommendation. It's basically Warcraft on the GBC, and that in itself is kind of amazing. This is another one that you'll definitely need to read the manual for before playing.

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Q bert: surprisingly, varying from the arcade layout makes it more interesting

Looks interesting, how are the controls? Given I'll be using a GBA d-pad I'm sure I'll manage compared to an original GB d-pad but is it playable?

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Looks interesting, how are the controls? Given I'll be using a GBA d-pad I'm sure I'll manage compared to an original GB d-pad but is it playable?

 

I have no problem with the controls.

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I've been curious about this one -- I bought it a while back, but haven't played it yet. What do you like about it?

 

It's flat-out RBI Baseball in all it's glory for the GB. There's an option to play a 6 inning game as well. Perfect for the crapper.

 

Blades of Steel is another extremely faithful port on the GB, or NHL Blades of Steel for GBC.

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Now this is why I love the Gameboy Original/Color so many, many gems. Seriously most of my collection are either the ultra popular, "gotta have it somewhere in the collection" or the most obscure stuff you've (n)ever heard about. let me list a few worth your time:

 

  • Bubble Ghost: A very simple, 2D puzzle game. It is so charming, with just the right level of difficulty to make it worth your while. Easily in my Top 25 favorite Original Gameboy games, I can't sing it enough praises!
  • Catrap: Also available on the eShop for the 3DS. A lot like Bubble Ghost, many levels of single screen, 2D puzzle goodness. Really, really enjoyable as well (also I suppose now is a good time to mention...there are a lot of Puzzle games on the GB. Be prepared!)
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters: The forgotten Kid Icarus game. Really charming, plays really well for being on the Gameboy and it isn't a shrunk down version of the NES version, always a plus! (great soundtrack as well from what I remember) Also on the eShop
  • Battle Arena Toshinden, King of Fighters '95/'96: All hold really well as mini versions of their console/arcade versions. Very fun, but if you aren't really a fan of 2 button fighting games, approach with caution
  • Solar Striker: The bastard child of 1989/90 1st Party Gameboy releases. It is simple, fairly light on challenge, but it is a very, very well put together Shmup. Love the soundtrack too, also price is very cheap compared to some GB Shmups.
  • Project S-11: Another Shmup mentioned above, this one is for the GBC, excellent well put together and fairly cheap.
  • Toki Tori: I know, it is available on every console imaginable this is the original. It is an excellent and challenging game no matter what
  • Lock 'N Chase: Best Pac-Man clone, with Gameboy exclusive features!
  • Gargoyle’s Quest: This one....I don't know, I suppose it is a hidden gem, but no matter! An excellent, excellent action adventure game! On the eShop as well
  • Revenge of the ‘Gator: HAL Labs, they can make a damn good pinball game. Fun, easy to pickup and play with a rather unique theme.
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Faceball 2000 - A legitimate FPS for the original Gameboy.

 

X - Japan only. The predecessor to Star Fox. Mostly tank-based, but there's a little bit of flying.

 

Dragon Warrior Monsters - Great RPG. The breeding system is insanely deep. You'll have to breed many generations to get the boss monsters in your crew.

 

Ghostbusters 2 - Not a port of the crummy Activision NES game. This is based on New Ghostbusters 2 for NES/Famicom, which never got a US release.

 

Turrican - Excellent platformer/shooter with some impressive parallax scrolling in a few places.

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Kirby's Pinball Land (GB - if you like Revenge of the 'Gator, you'll love this)

Gremlins Unleashed (GBC -based on the first film and you can play as either Gizmo or Stripe)

Castlevania Legends (GB - no Simon Belmont but awesome soundtrack)

Colin McRae Rally (GBC - great top down version of the PS1 classic)

Tetris DX (GBC but also compatible with GB - takes the original Tetris game and expands the concept with different game modes and faster play)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (GB - neat little adventure game and a faithful interactive re-creation of the film, even a few nice cut scenes)

Double Dragon (GB- my favourite version of DD, even beats the arcade IMO)

Qix (GB - my #1 desert island game for the original GB)

Ghostbusters II (GB - glad to see someone else mentioned this, different level design to New Ghostbusters II and you can also change ghostbusters on the fly, some neat power-ups as well that you don't get in New Ghostbusters II)

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As promised, here's a few recommendations for the original Game Boy to go along with my Game Boy Color recommendations. Before I get started though, I just wanted to say that was a great video in the original post! And kudos for showcasing Need for Speed: Underground 2 for the Game Boy Advance! That's definitely my second favorite racing game on the GBA (with Mario Kart: Super Circuit taking the #1 spot) and really shows off what the GBA can do graphically speaking. :)

 

Anyhoo...

 

 

Alleyway - This may be the only Breakout style game I've ever played that actually plays really well with a D-Pad, and there's a great deal of diversity to the gameplay in this one. Just beware that once you get the feel for Alleyway it does become a fairly easy game that you can play for literally hours on end without losing all your lives.

 

Boggle Plus - Possibly the best $3 I ever spent on a video game. I've gotten hundreds of hours of gameplay out of this one and the regular tournament mode always seems like the perfect thing to play whenever I've got 10 minutes or so to spare and want to exercise my brain a bit. I had never played Boggle in any form before I picked this game up, but it's definitely become a bit of an addiction for me thanks to this game. :lol:

 

Gauntlet II - The voice acting in this game is really impressive for the original Game Boy hardware, and the gameplay isn't too shabby either! There's a little bit of slowdown here and there, but the game still does a remarkable job of handling a dozen or more sprites on screen at once in classic Gauntlet fashion. "Wizard shot the food!" may be the most disheartening thing that you will ever hear come out of your Game Boy's speakers.

 

Gremlins 2: The New Batch - Someone already recommended this one, but I'll second it! If you like action platformers then this one is certainly worth looking into. It plays well and the graphics look great for the system, just beware that it is mercilessly difficult. I've beaten it a few times, but it's no easy task.

 

Mortal Kombat II - I'm a huge fan of the Mortal Kombat series and have owned every Mortal Kombat game published on a Nintendo handheld to date, and I gotta say this one is by far my favorite. It plays just like Mortal Kombat II should, with fluid controls, no slowdown whatsoever, and a nice variety of difficulty options. The character roster is reduced slightly from the home console versions, but all the fan favorites are here with with special moves and fatalities-a-plenty. I'd also recommend Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance for the Game Boy Advance and Ultimate Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS, but MK II is still my favorite of the handheld Mortal Kombat games.

 

Street Fighter II - If you're more of a Street Fighter fan than a Mortal Kombat fan, this is the Game Boy game for you! There's a little bit of slowdown here and there, but man did they ever nail the music and graphics. The music is almost flawlessly ported from the arcade and home console versions of Street Fighter II, and the characters and stages all look fantastic. There's none of that chibi-fication going on here that you so often find in other Game Boy fighting games. Speaking of characters, all the fan favorites are here with their full array of special moves intact. If you like Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival and Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the GBA then you might want to give this one a go to explore the series' handheld roots.

 

The Sword of Hope - A first-person dungeon crawling RPG on the Game Boy? Oh yeah! Unlike Towers for the Game Boy Color, the combat in this one is turn based and there is a fair bit more puzzle solving to be done, but if you're a fan of first-person dungeon crawlers then this is definitely one worth picking up and giving a go. The dialog can be a bit Engrish'y at times, but I think that little bit of (likely unintended) comic relief just adds to the game's charm.

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Thanks for the compliments Jin! I'm looking for V-Rally 3 for the GBA as a lot of people say it is an even more impressive racing game showing what the hardware can do. I'll definitely look in to some of your recommendations.

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All of my recs are Game Boy mono.

 

I strongly agree with some games already mentioned:

 

Operation C

Catrap

Qix

Kid Icarus

Bionic Commando

Gradius

nemesis

 

.. I wouldn't call any of these obscure or hidden, except maybe Catrap. But Catrap was revived in the Nintendo eShop. .. Operation C is a Contra game and one of my favorites. Not as difficult as the NES original.

 

A few more:

 

Marble Madness

R-type

R-type II

R-type DX (both games on one cart)

Sagaia

ZAS

Mole Mania

 

These ones are really interesting but kind of unfair and frustrating to play:

 

Altered Space

Monster Max

Castelian

 

Marble Madness is really great and a pretty cheap game to pick up. It's scaled down a bit but this is a fun way to play the classic game. The two player game has an advantage over other platforms because each player has their own screen in simultaneous play, so you won't get lost if you are way faster or slower than your opponent. .. Qix is another good two player game.

 

Came here to post Bionic Commando, glad to see others have recommended it already. You may be familiar with the NES version, well the GB version has sharper graphics and RPG elements. It is a stellar game that I sunk hours into as a kid.

 

Eh? The GB version is almost the exact same game. The map and levels are basically identical and there are no gameplay elements unique to the GB version. Are you referring to the GB Color game maybe?

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