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reviews >> gameboy / gameboy color
Gameboy / Gameboy Color Review Archive

written by Shaun McCracken

For those who want to know how games of the past fare, look no further to the Gameboy / Gameboy Color archive section right here on Storm Videogames. Sure, the reviews may be shorter, but you still get the same scoring as the big reviews do, and that's really what you want to know in the end, huh? Oh, and take into consideration that the scores given here are comparable to other games on the system, not exactally what's on more powerful consoles (unless we're talking about games that score 9 or higher).

A little note on this section: I combined both GB and GBC games together because they're really the same platform. GBC games will be noted with a "[C]". There were also some Gameboy titles that were Super Gameboy Enhanced, so those will be marked with "[S]".

Alleyway 7.25
Nintendo's version of "Breakout". If you've played that game, you pretty much know what to expect here.
Animaniacs [S] 7.5
Though this is a typical licensed platformer, the one thing that really made this game stand out was it's incredible use of SGB support. If you put this in your SGB, you actually get an improved soundtrack that you'll only hear on the system. BUT, it doesn't help the game much.
Arcade Classic Vol.1: Asteroids / Missile Command [S] 8
In 1995, Nintendo had this idea to release a series of arcade classics for the Gameboy that basically had two games on one cart. Asteriods / Missile Command was the first game in the series. What you got was two fairly faithful arcade games that also had an option for updated graphics. The problem with all four of these games is, though, is that there are ONLY two games in each volume, rather than all 8 games in one pack.
Arcade Classic Vol.2 : Centipede / Millipede [S] 8.25
You're basically forced to have updated graphics and sound with this one, although that's only if you care about how pure the arcade game should be. Would be nice if the games weren't so similar.
Arcade Classic Vol.3 : Galaga / Galaxian [S] 8.25
Like Vol.2, the games really aren't that different from each other, except in this pack you're given the classic versions rather than an updated ones.
Arcade Classic Vol.4 : Defender / Joust [S] 8
Probably the most varied of the four collections, and offers the updated modes like Vol.1.
Battle Arena Toshinden 7.75
It's a decent fighting game that doesn't resemble much of the PS1 version that came out. It's a basic 2-D fighter.
Donkey Kong [S] 8.5
Donkey Kong was the first SGB enhanced title to be released back in 1994, and it makes decent use of the device. Rather than just being a port of the old DK game on the NES or in arcades, this version of Donkey Kong takes the platforming elements of the old game and creates many new stages and puzzles that actually makes it seem like something new. Sadly, the controls aren't as tight as they should be, and some stages are needlessly difficult. Still, it's a fairly good game.
Donkey Kong Land [S] 7.75
I really didn't like the first Donkey Kong Land all that much, because it felt too different from the SNES game. The difficulty and controls were also a little off balance.
Donkey Kong Land 2 [S] 8.75
At least things improved in DKL 2. The game is more relevant to DKC 2 (actually, much of the stages and music is from DKC 2), the controls are a little better, and the challenge isn't as out of whack as the first DKL.
Dr. Mario 8.5
The game is actually better suited for the handheld than the console, since it's an easy pick-up and play puzzle game that can occupy you for hours on end.
F-1 Race 7
An average racing game that included a four-player adapter. Of course, could you find four people who had this game?
Faceball 2000 8.5
A year before Faceball 2000 hit the SNES, it hit the Gameboy first, and it's pretty similar. It's suprising to see a first-person shooter so early in a handheld's life, not to mention on consoles period. While there really weren't "environments", there were many mazes to play through. It also included multiplayer support, which is a big plus. Too bad the same song loops throughout the game.
Fortified Zone 6
A drab top-down action game that seems similar to Metal Gear, except it isn't fun.
Jurassic Park 7.5
It's very similar to the NES version of the game. It's an "okay" adventure title, but the game's tedious collection objectives get old fast.
Killer Instinct [S] 8
A decent re-creation of the arcade and SNES game, but it's a bit slower and a lot less attractive, even with SGB enhancements.
Kirby's Block Ball [S] 8.75
Kirby spinoffs usually result in some strange games: Kirby's Dream Course comes to mind. Kirby's Block Ball is like Breakout on crack, where the gameplay goes beyond just breaking blocks, you actually have to defeat enemies, too. It's a fun and interesting game that is worth a look.
Kirby's Dream Land 7.75
Kirby's Dream Land is a decent platformer that is pretty short, and really didn't offer as much in terms of levels or weapon variety as Kirby's Adventure on the NES did.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 [S] 9
It's better than the original Kirby game on the GB, and is longer and tougher as well. This time around, you can ride three different characters each with their own attributes.
Kirby's Pinball Land 8.25
It's nice to have a pinball game that saves your scores for a change, but Kirby's Pinball Land echoes too much of Sonic Spinball, except here it's more pinball than action.
Kirby's Star Stacker [S] 7.75
Take an average puzzle game, slap a licensed character on the box, and there you go, you have Kirby's Star Stacker.
Klax [C] 7.75
Klax for the GBC is an ADEQUATE port of Klax at best. It does an okay job of bringing the puzzle game to the GBC in it's entireity, but you really are getting Klax and nothing else. 99 stages of puzzle fun sounds great, except there is no battery save for scores. Also, why would you make tiles have very similar colors that may be tough to negotiate in lower light?
The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening 9.25
It took some time for Nintendo to release a Zelda game for the Gameboy platform, but they finally did in 1993. The GB version is kind of strange to me, as it seemed like Link To The Past, but it also felt different. I think it's also attributed to the fact that you're basically playing in a dream, so when you finish the game, you can't help but feel let down. Not my favorite Zelda game, but it's a good game for the platform.
Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge 8.75
It took a couple of years for Mega Man to show up on the old GB system, but it finally appeared on the system in 1991. This is not an exact port of the original Mega Man game, as they took four bosses from the original game and added four from Mega Man 2 on the NES. It's a familiar, yet slightly different Mega Man experience. It's also really hard, too.
Mega Man II 6.5
This was one of the most disappointing Mega Man games to be released on any platform. The sound was nowhere close to the first GB Mega Man game (which took a lot of the music from the NES games), the game looked bland, and the controls were not that great. Sequels are supposed to be an improvement, not a step back.
Mega Man III 8.5
Fixed quite a bit of what was wrong with Mega Man II, but not a whole lot has changed in terms of design.
Mega Man IV 9.5
This is (in my opinion) the best Mega Man game for the older Gameboy systems. Sure, it still does the split of stages of the NES Mega Man 4 and 5 bosses, but it introduces a new point system that can allow you to buy items. It's also hard as hell. There are a couple of problems, though. For one, the overall design still plays it safe to other MM games, and the password system is rather confusing. But it's still a great game, and you can see a few of it's influences in Mega Man 7 on the SNES.
Mega Man V [S] 8.75
Similar to Mega Man IV, but the bosses are original as are the stages. It's the only Mega Man GB game to be SGB enhanced.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers : The Movie 7
Don't ask why I played this one a long time ago, probably because it was cheap. This is a very basic action game that makes decent use of the SGB accessory, but it's pretty short and easy.
Mortal Kombat 3 6.25
Unlike Killer Instinct (which came out around the same time as this), this isn't a very good re-creation of the SNES game, and it's hard to tell what's going on in some stages with the limited color pallate.
Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow 5
I hate these games. Say what you will, but I can not find any fun or enjoyment in any of the RPG Pokemon games. I hate random battles (as with all RPG's that do the same), I hate that you only have four moves to choose from, I hate the overall tedium of the game, and I hate how ridiculously popular the franchise became. Sure, the kids may enjoy it, but I sure as hell don't. Let the hate mail flow.
Pokemon Pinball [C] 8.5
I may have an ill-will towards the Pokemon RPG games, but Pokemon Pinball is actually not so bad, since it's just pinball. The built-in "rumble" feature is a nice gimmick, but it doesn't detract from the fact that there are only two tables, and that you need a battery for the rumble to opperate. Still, not a bad game to have around.
Quarth 7.5
One of the early games to be released on the GB by Konami. It's a decent puzzle game, but really the goal is just filling up squares.
Revenge Of The Gator 8
HAL brings pinball to the GB, which is basically Rollerball with alligators. It's a fun game, but there's only one table to play on.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe [C] 9.75
Even though this is the original NES SMB game, so much has been added that it feels like a different, more in-depth game. This game was packed full of value, which included multiple objectives and even the "lost levels" that we saw in Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES. If you thought about getting the NES classic version of SMB for the Gameboy Advance, I'd pass on that and hunt this version down since it offers more.
Super Mario Land 6.5
The first Mario game on the Gameboy was one I didn't enjoy. The character design was too small, and they opted for the original Mario look rather than the Mario design from Super Mario Bros. 3 (which came out around the same time as this game). There's also a blurring problem when Mario runs. Also, the game is short. This might be a classic for some, but not for me.
Super Mario Land 2: The 6 Golden Coins 8.75
This is much more improved from the first SML, in so many ways. For one, the character design is better, and the game looks better. The game is longer, and also has a battery save. But the game is a bit on the easy side, and some stages aren't as long as others.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan 8
For a game that came out only a year after the GB's original release, it does have some great visuals and sound. BUT, the game is painfully short, and it's also pretty damn easy.
Tetris 9.25
It's what made the Gameboy platform so popular to begin with. Perhaps the best "killer app" to be packaged with a game system, Tetris is the one game that seems to cross the whole age spectrum. Today, the game looks pretty plain, but it wasn't meant to be a graphical showpiece. Kudos to Nintendo for also thinking of multiplayer off the bat.
Tetris 2 8.75
Some people liked this one, others not so much. I was one that actually liked what the game had to offer. Sure, it was pretty similar to Dr. Mario, but it was still a pretty fun puzzler.
Tetris Attack 8.5
Very similar to the SNES version in terms of gameplay, but the visuals and sound are a lot more stripped down. It's also a little harder than the SNES version in terms of creating chains and combos, and I really don't know why.
Tetris Blast [S] 8.5
Tetris Blast is kind of an odd version of Tetris. It plays like the classic game, but it adds bombs to the lines that should help you clear more pieces. For Tetris "spinoffs", this isn't a bad game (since it sticks close with the original formula), but it's no Tetrisphere.
Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil [C] 7.75
A decent platform action game that's pretty short, but it doesn't make full use of the GBC color pallatte (since it's playable on the old GB systems as well). Not exactally the best substitute for the N64 version.
Wave Race 8
It's hard to beleive that one of the best N64 games began as a Gameboy title, and a somewhat obscure one at that. Yeah, somehow it became a Player's Choice (probably had to do with the N64 version), but I really never remember this game being released. The game itself is a pretty basic top/down racer that offers eight different courses. It's not bad, but nowhere near as memorable as the N64 game.
WarioLand: Super Mario Land 3 9
More or less a spinoff of SML2, WarioLand is a great platformer for the old GB system. It does things similar and different than the other Mario games, such as the whole treasure collecting element. It's also a little tougher, too.
Wild Snake 7.75
Similar to what we saw on the SNES, but now monochrome! Wild Snake was an odd puzzle game that relied less on skill and more on luck, so the appeal is pretty limited.
Yoshi's Cookie 8
Like Dr. Mario, this puzzler works better on a handheld than on a console, since it's one you can sit around and kill time with. This puzzler, however, is a little more obscure than other games, so casual gamers probably wouldn't like this one so much.
Zoop 7.5
I can't think of one system this game hasn't been on when it was released in 1995. The GB version of this game is similar to the console version, but it's very simplisitc and blocky. It's okay, but I preffered the SNES version.