Game Boy

In 1992 my brother and I got Game Boys for Christmas. This would be the first time that my brother and I both got a copy of a console, and it wouldn't be the last. This time, it made sense for both of us to get one, because you had to have two of them to play together anyway. Tetris came with it, and we played it a ton, but the real stars of that Christmas were the other games I got.Super Mario Land, Ultima: Runes of Virtue 2, Zen: Intergalactic Ninja, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Kirby's Dream Land would all become my favorite ways to pass the time on long car rides.

Favorite Games

  1. Metroid 2: Return of Samus

    Cover ArtThis was my first real introduction to the Metroid franchise when I was a kid. I didn't get to play the original Metroid until I was well into my teens, and I always found it to be more challenging than I would have liked, mostly because of the lack of any kind of direction. Metroid made you wander around until you found something important, and I never cared for that. By comparison, Metroid 2 gave you subtle hints as to where you were supposed to go next, and it never let you go further than you should. In that way, Metroid 2 is a lot more of a linear game than most Metroid games, and that balance wouldn't be found until Super Metroid on the Super NES, but this is still a solid entry into the series.
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

    Cover ArtAnother game that I didn't get to play until my late teens, Link's Awakening came right on the heels of Link to the Past, and it shows. The art style is very similar, although it is simplified a little to deal with the Game Boy's limited color palette. The gameplay, however, is every bit as good is its 16-bit big brother and is every bit as good now as it was back then. It's even recieved several remakes over the years, so there's really no excuse not to give this one a try.
  3. Kirby's Dream Land

    Cover ArtWhen I was a kid, I had to go on frequent long car rides about once every three months. When I did, this was one of my favorite games to pass the time. I have no idea how many AA batteries this game chewed through on those car rides, but I know that it was a lot. Kirby's Dream Land is a fairly straightforward game, since the only actions that Kirby could do in this game were sucking up enemies, spitting them out, or swallowing them. Kirby couldn't copy enemy abilities yet, and wasn't even pink like he would eventually become. It's also a fairly short game, since there's only five levels. I remember this being one of the easier games I had in my collection, beating it over and over again, but I don't think I've beat it since I've been an adult. I wonder what happened.
  4. Zen: Intergalactic Ninja

    Cover ArtZen: Intergalactic Ninja was another game that occupied my time on those long car rides, and I long since lost count of how many times I beat the game. The game was a very simple side scrolling beat-em-up, with a ham-fisted plot about environmentalism, but I didn't care back then. There were only four levels, and could be easily managed by a ten year old with a little practice. I still own my physical copy of this one, but I don't think I've played it in years. That probably means that it's long overdue to come back to my list of games to play.
  5. Gargoyle's Quest

    Cover ArtI never got to play Gargoyle's Quest when I was a kid; my parent's refused to buy this one for me. They didn't like the "creepy themes" in the game (which, ironically was the main draw for me). But thanks to my subscription to Nintendo Power, I got to read all about it, and even got complete maps for it in the Game Boy Player's Guide. Like its sequel, Demon's Crest, there was plenty of side scrolling platforming mixed with RPG elements for me to be happy about, as well as a decent story to follow.
  6. Pokemon Red/Blue

    Cover ArtIf this list was in order of how much time I spent playing each game, Pokemon Red would definately be at the top. When this game came out, "Pokemania" wasn't really a thing yet. It was just one more RPG on a Nintendo system. I got mine on release day, and my brother got his about two weeks later. We made sure to get the opposite versions of each other, so we could trade with each other. I think I got about a month or two of playing this game in peace before the popularity exploded. Pretty soon, every school aged kid was playing Pokemon, and I was on the upper edge of the demographic. It wasn't long before Pokemon was seen as a "little kid" game, Especially once the anime was released. I didn't care. I logged countless hours training my team. I traded with everyone I could find. I hunted down the legendary birds, and Mewtwo. But I never caught them all. One day, I will.
  7. Super Mario Land

    Cover ArtThis was one of the first games I got for the Game Boy (right after the included Tetris), and man did I play the Hell out of this one. It's a Mario game, and all that you would expect from it, but then you had the vehicle levels that were basically side scrolling shooters mixed in. I remember Super Mario Land being much shorter than its counterparts on the NES, and that made it a lot easier for me. It was, and still is, a perfect pick-up-and-play title that requires only a little practice and time investment to play all the way through.
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons

    Cover ArtI used to own Oracle of Seasons a when I was a teenager, but I'm pretty sure I lost it a long time ago. I remember playing it a lot when my mother would take me along for her job at the courthouse. I wouldn't want to go in with her, so I would stay in the car and play on my Game Boy, and this was one of my favorite games to take along. I also remember that the story was not as easy to follow as some of the other games. It used the same controls as Link's Awakening, and that was a big plus in my book.
  9. Mega Man 5

    Cover ArtI never owned this one, but my brother did, and of all the pre-Mega Man X games, this was my favorite because this one was just enough of a challenge. I found most of the Mega Man games challenging to the point of being punishing for even the slightest error, but not this one. Also, all the previous Mega Man titles on the Game Boy were watered-down rehashes of the NES games, and that always seemed lazy to me. These were whole new bosses, and I loved the designs (they were based on the planets). My absolute favorite thing to do in this game was to buy the upgrade that let you grab enemies and deal continual damage to them. I was so good at it that it was almost game-breaking, not to mention being a lot of fun.
  10. Castlevania: The Adventure

    Cover ArtThis game occupies a special place on my top ten list: The bottom. I agonized about putting this on the list at all, since I actively hate this game. But the truth of the matter is, I love to hate this game. It's a creepy game, that was around at a time that creepy games weren't widely available, and that counts for a lot. But this game is painful to play. Your character is slow to the point of plodding across the screen, and the jumps are incredibly difficult to judge. Enemies are always faster than you, and you have to lead them with your whip to have a chance. I think I played this one time on a bus trip at school, and I was immediately hooked. It became a personal crusade. I had to get good at this game. I've tried on and off over the years to get good at this game, and even though I like the atmosphere of the game, I'm still no better at it than I was the first time I played it.