My list of Top 10 Gameboy Color Games

This list is, as with my previous one, based on games that make me go back to play them over and over again. I’ll add criteria such as music, graphics, controls etc. to make my choices as obvious as I can (because anything I think and say still should be obvious by default, since I’m still that great).

#10:  R-Type Dx

R-Type Dx is a great port of the arcade game that was named simply “R-type DX”. Since it’s relentlessly difficult upon the point of crying but yet so much addictingly fun I chose to add it to this list.

Graphics: 8/10

This game looks good. Well, you can choose to play the main game (the DX version) which will give you nice Gameboy Color graphics to look at. If you choose R-type 1 or 2 you’ll be treated to a blast to the past with monochrome Gameboy graphics. They look nice for being monochrome, but after seeing a vividly colored title screen it feels as one step back.

Sounds & Music: 7/10

Good sound effects and classic music. The quality doesn’t deteriorate with the monochrome versions.

Gameplay:  7/10

It’s really fun and balanced and you basically get 3 games in 1 (with the DX one being a mash-up of the other 2, if I recall correctly). But it’s so frikkin’ hard that I want to throw the game into the wall. I have never made it past level 2.

Replay value: 7/10

While the game is very fun and makes you go back to play it over and over again in the hope of beating it finally, it tends to be unforgiving which is why I won’t give this game a full 10 points for replay value. Somewhere in the back of your head you’re reminded about the traumatic experience you had yelling followed by burying your face in your hands weeping and that’s sometimes enough to refuse playing it.

Trivia:

It contains 3 games in one. Thrice the fun! Thrice the frustration!

 

#09:  Déjà Vu 1 & 2

While the NES only had the honor of having the excellent point-and-click adventure Déjà Vu ported to their system a second quest was made for the PC and Mac systems. The Gameboy Color owners did however get the chance to play both games for the price of one through this game. The plot is simple: you are Ace Harding, a drunken detective, who wakes up with a heavy headache and a nasty amnesia. You don’t know who you are or what the hell has happened. Oh, and you’re a former Pro boxer. That’s awesome.

Graphics: 9/10

The game looks very good, as it should if it’s able to be a point- and- click game for the small Gameboy screens. But since the screen for the NES systems used to be larger some elements are hard to click on correctly (such as the glass of Selzer in Joe’s Bar).  

Sounds & Music: 9/10 

The music is good with a “retro” style to it. Some sound effects can get you on the nerves (such as when your character gets a deja vu) but on the whole both the sound and music keep a high class.

Gameplay:  8/10

It’s a point-and-click adventure with a few twists. I particularly enjoy undressing Ace and walking into the street to get him arrested, or feeding him some of the various drugs you can find  so that he’ll die a horrible death. It’s an interesting game and most significant actions have (usually) immediate consequences. If you spend your money too soon you can’t get to places in a cab, if you shoot someone they’ll either shoot you first or you’ll get arrested, if you punch a mugger once you won’t be able to do it twice etc.

Be prepared to use a walkthrough at one or more points though, the game isn’t always that predictable.

Replay value: 9/10

If you haven’t played the game in a while you will have forgotten most of the plot and  the game will feel fresh enough to replay. The game is kind of long to, both each game on its own but particularly together, and the different characters are fun to meet again in the second, third or fourth playthrough.

Trivia:

This game inspired the making of great games such as Maniac Mansion.

 

#08:  Dragonball Z: Legendary Super Warriors

This is a game that boasts 28 playable characters, excluding their transformations, in chibi-style. It’s based on the Dragonball Z series and stays pretty faithful to its story.

Graphics: 9/10

The game looks as cartoony as you can in 8-bits. The only thing that can be complained about is the design of the chibi’s while in battle, and some of the cards which can look a little bit off due to color limitations, pixel limitations or both. But don’t get me wrong, the game looks very good overall for being an 8-bit game.

Sounds & Music: 7/10

While the sound effects are good and all I couldn’t help to find some tracks irritating. The melodies themselves are great but sometimes too high pitched. Add that plus the soundboard of a Gameboy Color and you’ll get a not-so-good result.

Gameplay: 9/10

There’s a Story Mode, a Random Fight Mode and a Versus Mode. You can choose to add special attacks in the form of cards in slots that each character has or add them to your card stack where they’ll appear randomly after each turn. You have an overhead view of the Overworld where you search for rare cards and move from battle to battle basically, and then you’ll have to partake in battles and level up your characters one by one RPG style (there are no random encounters though, thank Kami). After each fight you’ll get a random pair of cards and also unlock the fighter you just defeated. This is very enjoyable even though the button combination you need to use for the weakest of attacks can be cumbersome. You get just enough time to input  the button combination. If you’re psychic, that is.

Replay value: 10/10

You can level up all your characters to Lv. 5  (if I recall correctly) and try to get all the cards. Also you can battle endlessly and retry the Story mode several times. You’ll recall the game mechanics completely after a rough 45 minutes of play. If you disregard those button combinations, that it. That’ll take longer to remember. Since there are 28 characters to level up you’ll have a lot of things to do…

Trivia:

You’ll have to excuse me for getting some title screen choices’ names wrong as I played the Spanish version. I was promised that the “Texto de Pantalla” would be in “Ingles” but after starting the game I saw the title screen showing “Dragonball Z: Guerreros de Lleyenda”.  And since I bought the game in a city 2 hours away from our place of temporary recidence I couldn’t return it before leaving. Thank Kami I took Spanish class.

 

#07:  Monkey Puncher

This is a gem that’s often overlooked in the GBC library. Often it’s even regarded as a crappy game! In my eyes it’s one of the better ones on the system and is a must-have if you have a soft spot for training, breeding and making monkeys fight each other. Also it’s a plus if you enjoy Engrish translations and monkeys.

Graphics: 10/10

The game is beautiful with a lot of colors and a variety of well designed characters and environments.

Sounds & Music: 7/10

The music, although well pitched, isn’t that remarkable but rather…generic? Maybe that’s a little more than it deserves but in lack of a better word I’ll keep it at that. The sounds are good too.

Gameplay: 9/10

Your objective is rather simple: you have to train a monkey that a suspicious old man (rival of your dad’s) gives you so that you can challenge the best Monkey Punchers. Why? Well why wouldn’t you want to save your father and brother/sister from the evil clutches of animal abusers? You can choose to be either a girl or a boy and your sibling in peril will have the opposite gender. Then you’ll have to bond with the monkey (by default your first one is named Freddy) by overfeeding it and then train and fight with it a lot until it becomes a champ. The only gripe I have with the game is that while in a match you can’t control the monkey, you can only command it to focus on Attack, Defence or play it smart (then it does both, but it has to be very smart to do that or it’ll screw up and lose).

In the meantime, or after that quest if you want to, you can breed your monkeys into stronger offspring and find all the items that can increase the stats without you lifting a finger.

Replay value: 10/10

You can train monkeys endlessly until they reach 999 in each stat (if that’s even possible). While the max. stats in the first monkeys lies around 100 in each, I’ve managed to breed one with 6-700 in each and for each breeding it’s increasing. My goal is 999 in each stat as I’ve found all items in the game too. The knowledge behind the gameplay comes back after 30 minutes of playing.

Trivia:

Tip: If you find Peanuts consider yourself lucky! They’re top class anabolic drugs for the monkeys. Because all monkeys love it.

 

#06:  Super Mario Bros. DX

This is a great game with a lot of newly added stuff (such as an overworld map) which makes it even greater than before. And the original game didn’t even need an explanation of why it’s so great so I won’t bother explaining this anymore.

Graphics: 7/10

While vibrant in color it isn’t the best the 8-bit graphics can produce. It looks good but not great.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

You know why! Danananana- na -na! Nah nah nah nanananana nahnahnahnahnahnah- nah-nanana!

Gameplay: 10/10

Solid controls and rewarding gameplay. The pace is fast but not overwhelming.

Replay value: 10/10

It never grows old! Just pick it up and play! Everything comes back to you faster than fast.

Trivia:

Mario has been a carpenter (that abused his pet gorilla Donkey Kong) , a plumber,  a kart racer, a party gamer, referee in various sports,  a tennis player, a soccer player and many other things including, but not limited to, a quack who shoves pills down patients’ throats.

 

#05:  Pokémon Trading Card Game

Pokémon TCG is a game based on the Wizards of the Coast- produced card game of the same name. The only difference is that this cartridge-based game is so much more fun to play.

Graphics: 10/10

The Pokémon Cards are depicted very well as are the environments, characters, overworld and the map.

Sounds & Music:  10/10

The music really gets you in a “mini-dance mode”. And the music during the Gym Leader battles makes your blood boil of excitement. The sound effects are great too and give a deeper dimension to the otherwise silent cards and attacks.

Gameplay:  10/10

Although a little bit too easy at times (if you’ve got a good deck against the opponent) it can prove to be challenging when you haven’t won enough Booster Packs to make one. The “battles” are fun and you can battle anyone again. For experienced Pokémon TCG players this game will seem a little bit too easy, but for others like me (not so hardcore gamers) the difficulty will be just fine.

Replay value: 10/10

The game is really fun and you’ll get back into the game rules pretty quickly. Collecting each and every card can be difficult but is ultimately very rewarding.

Trivia:

There was a sequel, Pokémon TCG 2, which was themed around the Team Rocket decks and promo cards from the Japanese market, but that game sadly never reached neither the North American nor the European markets.

 

#04:  The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is a game that’s linked to Oracle of Seasons of the same series. When you finish the game you’ll get a password to unlock new stuff in the other game.

The story is simple: Nayru, the harp-stroking godess, is kidnapped by the evil witch Veran and you’re sent to save her. Rivalling you (not really actually) is Ralph, her assistant, and you both will have to jump back in time to save her.

Graphics: 10/10

The game looks very much like Link’s Awakening (same sprites and all, which in my opinion is very much welcome) but now also with brilliant colors.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

The music and sound effects are just as great as in Link’s Awakening. Not much more to say here.

Gameplay:  10/10

While the new additions of items and travelling in time via the harp do add to the game significantly, the time travelling itself can be cumbersome, hence why I rank the game lower than Oracle of Seasons. The story is great and captivating, the controls solid and the challenge reasonable (bar one time travelling mess one has to get through). The game has its focus on puzzles which can be challenging at times, especially when you have to figure out where and to which time you have to travel. Also the last boss is significantly easier than in Seasons.

Replay value: 10/10

Together with the Password Game and Linked Game systems you can replay the game and gain new items and even new dungeons- and that’s great obviously! Also characters from the other game you’ve inserted the password from will be available in the new game with the same name. And that’s when the game is great enough to replay on its own to begin with. The learning curve of the early game will make it easier to get back into the game once you pick it up again.

Trivia:

Nintendo meant to have a third game in the series with Farore as the godess representing the game such as to make a triangle (like the Triforce) but technical difficulties rendered the development impossible.

#03: The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is a game that’s linked to Oracle of Ages of the same series. When you finish the game you’ll get a password to unlock new stuff in the other game.

The story is simple: Din, the Dirty Dancing godess, is kidnapped by the evil General Onox and you’re sent to save her. You’ll have to explore the land and the vast underground terrain of Subrosia to find the Essences of Seasons to save her from the clutches of evil.

Graphics: 10/10

Just as in Oracle of Ages and Links Awakening everything looks very nice.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

The music and sound effects are just as great as in Links Awakening, but I reeeeally dislike the Subrosia theme. And the Subrosians too.

Gameplay: 10/10

Changing the seasons is a much more pleasurable thing than warping back and forth in time. The game is in its essence a true Zelda game with a lot of adventure and a focus on action plus a few puzzles thrown in there for good measure. As in Ages you can get a few animal friends to help you (and which you can replace by items later on) which add to the fun of the game a bit as you won’t have to feel alone whilst battling the monsters.

Replay value: 10/10

Same as before, just a little bit greater. Together with the Password and Linked systems you can replay the game and gain new items and even new dungeons- and that’s still great! Also characters from the other game you’ve inserted the password from will be available in the new game. And that’s when the game is great enough to replay on its own. The learning curve will make it easier to get back into the game.

Trivia:

Nintendo meant to have a third game in the series, with Farore as the godess representing the game, as to make a triangle (like the Triforce) but technical difficulties rendered the development impossible.

#02:  Pokémon Puzzle Challenge 

This is a version of the game known as Panel De Pon in Japan, best known as Tetris Attack in Europe and North America, and a great one at that. With Pokémon.

Graphics: 10/10

This game is soooo prettyyyyy. Vibrant colors and great sprites. I really enjoy playing this game.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

Great sound effects that “rewards” your good gameplay and “punishes” your bad gameplay. The music is composed of great remixes of music from the Pokémon franchise up to that point, most notably from Gold and Silver, but also a few original tracks are to be found.

Gameplay: 10/10

Just being a Panel de Pon game gives this game a 9. You win a match by reducing the opponents HP meter to 0. You can also unlock new Pokémon to play with and this is vital as you’ll add new types to your roster against the opponents. Yes, you can make Super Effective damage on the enemy! Nice!

Replay value: 10/10

This game just never grows old, and together with some button inputs at the Vs. Computer screen you can unlock harder difficulty modes. You will get back in action in no time.

Trivia:

You can’t use baby Pokémon (such as Elekid, Magby and Igglybuff) in the Challenge mode. But you can battle with them in Gold & Silver! Why did they do that?!

#01:  Pokémon Gold & Silver

These games are like Pokémon Red and Blue… only better! More Pokémon, more battles, more attacks, more everything! And breeding makes its debut in this game too… monster copulation for the win! Er… maybe not…

Graphics: 10/10

Outstanding graphics for its time with great colors and well designed sprites. Everything is nice to look at; the monsters, the characters, the environments, everything! The attack animations are also much prettier.

Sounds & Music: 9/10

Great music, just not as great as Red and Blue (with the exception of maybe 3-4 tracks) even though it contains more channels and more elaborate tracks. The sound effects are much better though.

Gameplay: 10/10

As in Red and Blue, but much better. HM’s are no longer needed to be chosen through the menu which smoothes things out and gives the game a smoother pace. Pokémon appear exclusive to which time of the day it is through the new internal clock and for the first time the player can experience night and day! The enemies present more of a challenge later on since there isn’t much room for Pokémon growth (due to lower level opponents earlier in the game) but the Elite 4 is now much weaker. But it still doesn’t help when your own Pokémon are weak too. The second part of the game is the visit to Kanto, which is awesome!

Replay value: 10/10

There are 251 monsters this time. So many to train and battle with! Getting all 251 is a tough task and not really worth it unless you really want to. There’s so much to do and breeding adds a lot to the pot of replayability. Easy to pick up and play again.

Trivia:

The batteries run dry after a few years (5-12 years) because of the internal clock and with it the save file will be lost forever… unless you back it up with a Gameboy Color memory device or a Monster Brain (a device made exclusively for cheating and memory usages on Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver and most Crystal versions).

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2 thoughts on “My list of Top 10 Gameboy Color Games

  1. There is no greater satisfaction than in Dragonball Z Legendary Warriors, when you one hit a character with a Kamehameha.

    Like

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