Nintendo announced a new way to download games during its January 19th 3DS event. Nintendo has called it the eShop which will allow consumers to purchase and download Game Boy games as well as other original software. This eShop is essentially the 3DS version of a Virtual Console, or 3DSWare service. It will also introduce the use of cash that will replace the current Nintendo Point based system we use now. A lot of gamers are excited for the new eShop, if only for the ability to download Game Boy games. I have taken the time to go through each letter of the alphabet and pick one game per letter I’d like to see made available for download. This list was tough to create and some titles will be left out, but remember these picks are my opinion and they certainly don’t represent what will actually make the service. This feature will be done in multiple parts, so make sure you continue reading the rest of this series. With that said let’s get to letter A. Oh yeah, some spoilers may be lurking within so read on with caution.
Adventure Island II
This game was chosen because it represents its NES counterpart quite well. It retains all of the original features introduced in the NES game, such as the ability to save weapons and ride dinosaurs. It also features a charming overworld that is a little different this time around. Master Higgins is able to move around the map at freewill and can even pinpoint levels that offer secret branching paths akin to Super Mario World. The NES game was fun because it was a great platformer that allows you to ride dinosaurs and throw boomerangs, this fun isn’t lost on the Game Boy version whatsoever. While the game may be a little easier than its older brother, the game really stands up well on the handheld.
Another game that takes elements from its NES counterpart without losing the essence that makes it a great game. It retains all of the bionic swinging action of the NES game and even looks better than the NES game in my opinion. It takes the original military theme and replaces it with a more futuristic look which makes this quite the graphically detailed Game Boy game. Bionic Commando even controls great and it’s tighter than the NES version. Even the music is very strong in this game. It doesn’t just borrow elements of the NES game; it surpasses them in almost every way.
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
Belmont’s Revenge is the sequel to the disappointing Adventure game. Hearts are now used for sub-weapons instead of health; yeah you read that right, the first Game Boy title didn’t even have sub-weapons. Castlevania II takes many elements from The Adventure and improves on them, such as the increased detail in the graphics department. The game plays a little slow, but it’s not something that really bothers me after playing Castlevania Legends. The music was great on the Game Boy, even if the tracks aren’t as memorable as some others in the series. Overall, this was the definitive Castlevania for the Game Boy because it took what made the console versions great and minimized them for our portables.
Why didn’t I choose Donkey Kong Land? Well, it’s because this game is so much fun! You may have been fooled, much like I was when I found out that after beating the arcade levels a brand new game unfolds. The game becomes an action inspired puzzle platformer which was definitely the basis for the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. You actually get to chase Donkey Kong through 97 more levels of platforming goodness. The object is to reach a key and bring it to the locked door in each level. Sounds simple, but can be quite tricky. After every few levels, Mario will face DK head on while avoiding obstacles thrown at him by the ape himself. It builds on the original Donkey Kong formula and Mario can even do back flips (very helpful actually) and aerial maneuvers not seen again until Super Mario 64.
It was a struggle to find a great game to represent the letter E in this article, but I found one. Earthworm Jim is chosen because it is a pretty good port of its SNES and Genesis counterparts. It is faithful in both level design and gameplay mechanics and the game looks really good as well. Animations for Jim are almost identical to the other versions. Plus all of Jim’s moves make an appearance in the Game Boy port as well. It even has the Andy Asteroids bonus levels. This is a pretty darn good port and would be a welcome addition on the Nintendo eShop.
Final Fantasy Adventure
Final Fantasy Adventure isn’t really a Final Fantasy game, but that doesn’t matter because this game is awesome. Final Fantasy Adventure is actually part of the Mana series for those who didn’t know. Gameplay is similar to Legend of Zelda in the sense that it plays like an Action RPG. It goes beyond the action by offering stat like increases found in other role playing games. The game even starts off with a blast by throwing you into battle with a giant monster and not holding back any punches by killing off your friend, these events occur within the first 5 minutes.
Gargoyle’s Quest is a spinoff of the Ghosts ‘N Goblins series starring Firebrand, whom is actually one of the trickier enemies to defeat in the series. Most of the game plays like a side-scrolling platformer, but does feature some additional RPG elements. While playing in the side-scrolling areas, Firebrand has the ability to attack, jump, glide (for a short period) and even stick to walls. Most of these actions are what you come to expect with a platformer, but as mentioned before RPG elements also play a role in the gameplay. Elements that include traveling between towns and talking with the townsfolk, finding items to introduce various abilities used to help Firebrand fight his way to victory and even encountering random battles every now and then. Overall this game would be a must download for any action side-scrolling fan.
You’ve made it this far eh? There are still 19 more games to choose and it only gets tougher. Some letters will be easy to pick, letter P I’m looking at you. Others like S will be more challenging. So, if you liked this article please tweet it, digg it, share it with all your friends and be sure to come back tomorrow to read Part 2 which will feature letters H through N.