If you tuned in to the latest Nintendo Direct on February 13, 2019, you may have been just as surprised as I was when Nintendo revealed that they’re developing a remake for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch. The teaser trailer for the remake was in such good taste. There’s an open sea experiencing a tumultuous storm, with waves crashing to and fro. When I saw a lone boat in the midst of that storm, it didn’t take long for my mind to click at what was happening. A beloved Game Boy classic is being reimagined in a whole new way, and that brief trailer shows off a rather charming aesthetic.
Once my hype from the trailer had subsided I began to think of several other Game Boy classic, and Game Boy Color, games that could do with a good remake. So here’s a list of those games in no particular order. Bear in mind that such titles like Kirby’s Dream Land, Metroid II: Return of Samus, Pokemon Red and Blue, and Pokemon Silver and Gold are omitted from the list. That’s because these games have already had a remake at some point or another. In the matter of Kirby’s Dream Land, the Kirby Super Star sub-game, “Spring Breeze” acts as a remake of Kirby’s Dream Land.
1) Super Mario Land + Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
I often think that Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins are criminally overlooked classic platformers in the Mario series. I can’t even begin to tell you how many memories I have of these games as a kid, especially when running errands in the car with my parents to pass the time. The first game saw Mario venture away from the Mushroom Kingdom and to a world called Sarasaland to save Daisy from the clutches of the space alien Tatanga. The sequel to that game made the debut of Wario, who would go on to have his own series of platform games and become a recurring character in several Mario spin-off titles. The games could easily be bundled together. Though they lacked color back in the day, the worlds of Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2 would lend themselves beautifully to a high-definition remake. Even on Game Boy they had tight controls and fun platforming segments. Who wouldn’t want to scale the inner workings of a huge Mario statue in glorious HD? Plus it would mean the return of one of my favorite Mario power ups: a Carrot. Yes, a Super Carrot that turns Mario into Bunny Mario and lets you hover in the air.
2) Wario Land Trilogy
Although the Wario Land series of games continued into the Game Boy Advance generation, it got its start on the original Game Boy classic. Plus if the Super Mario Land games were to get a major remake, then it stands to reason that the Wario Land games would follow suit as it was born from the former’s series of games. Wario was the antithesis to Mario. Forget Super Mushrooms, Wario would use Super Garlic to increase his size. Wario was already ground-pounding enemies into submission way before Mario was. Wario’s main mission was to steal a golden statue of Princess Toadstool, and that caused him to butt heads with Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates on more than one occasion. As the series went on there were several new hysterical additions to Wario’s superpower lineup such as Fat Wario, Hot Wario, Puffy Wario, and Zombie Wario. It’s been a long while since we had a traditional Wario 2D side-scroller game. A look back on his selfish roots would be a fun break from the princess-saving shtick for awhile.
3) Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
Of all the games shown on this list, I would probably be most eager to see a remake happen for Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. Did you even know there was a Kid Icarus game on Game Boy classic, and the last game in the series before Kid Icarus Uprising released a few years ago on Nintendo 3DS? Well, there was. It’s actually because of how much I enjoyed Kid Icarus Uprising that I’d love to see a remake of Myths and Monsters. Uprising made excellent use of voice-acting. Hilarious even if you count all the times that the characters of the game broke the fourth wall, just like they do in the Palutena’s Guidance Easter eggs in the latest Super Smash Bros. games. Masahiro Sakurai may have his hands full with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC, but if he decided to take a break from the series and come back to Kid Icarus, with his team at Sora Ltd. backing him, then I’d be one happy camper. I think the Nintendo Switch is an excellent platform for a Kid Icarus revival. This Game Boy classic featured Pit gathering the Three Sacred Treasures, at the behest of Palutena, to save Angel Land from the Orcos, terrible humanoid demons. So, Nintendo, let’s get those voice actors together again, kick the doors down on a remake, and get Kid Icarus in motion again.
4) Donkey Kong Land Trilogy
If you weren’t already playing the Donkey Kong Country series of games for Super Nintendo, you may have been playing something similar on-the-go with your Game Boy classic. The Donkey Kong Land series of games were also developed by the iconic studio, Rareware. These Game Boy games were released in conjunction with their Super Nintendo counterparts. However, a common misconception about these games is that they’re often viewed as being direct ports of the SNES games. While both series use the same engine, the Donkey Kong Land series featured a different storyline, enemies, bosses, and levels apart from the Donkey Kong Country games. They’re just different enough to warrant a full scale remake. Though this pick on the list could just be for wishful thinking. If Nintendo ever wanted to look back on remaking classic, side-scrolling Donkey Kong, they would possibly look no further than the SNES games. I couldn’t blame them for that. You never know though. Could you say you were expecting a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening? I guess it goes to show that you should never say never.
5) Tetris Attack
Okay, I have to admit that this is a very personal request. I have always just found Tetris Attack to be a very simple game to immerse yourself into but also addicting once you got the hang of it. While there was a SNES game, there was also a Game Boy port so this pick on the list technically counts. In fact, Tetris Attack is known as Panel De Pon in Japan, but was rebranded and made to include Yoshi characters for the sake of awareness when the game was shipped to the West. Curiously, do you know that item from Super Smash Bros. called, “Lip’s Stick?” That item comes from this game. Anyway, the premise is simple, Yoshi moves from world to world to challenge some other characters to a series of puzzle-solving. That’s it. Though I’m sure a remake could take some creative liberties. What it really comes down to is matching similar panels together to chain consecutive combos that causes stacks of blocks to fall on your opponent’s existing stack. The stack also moves upward slowly so you constantly need to be in the habit of thinking quickly, but also chaining combos together for real big stacks. The Tetris brand is really revving up again with Tetris 99. Let’s keep that momentum going by slapping some Nintendo characters on there again.
6) Kirby’s Dream Land 2
I would never say no to more Kirby. The series may be viewed as an easier take on the side-scroller platform genre, but there’s no doubt these games have featured great level design, ooze charm, and have excellent music to boot. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 was Kirby’s second adventure on the Game Boy and the first game to introduce his cuddly animal buddies such as Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine the Ocean Sunfish, each of whom could carry Kirby and grant him their unique abilities such as flight, swimming through rapid currents, and giving you improved traction on ice. Kirby’s copy abilities can also be combined with the abilities of his animal friends for more offensive options. A remake can be done rather quickly too. That’s because Kirby Star Allies for Nintendo Switch made playable avatars for the animal buddies. It would be easy to take those existing assets and repurpose them for a remake. Of course the developers could throw in a bunch of extras to expand on the original Kirby’s Dream Land 2. Kirby Star Allies felt a tiny bit lacking in content when it first released but, with free updates over the months, the game has since become full with extra features to keep you busy.
7) Game & Watch Gallery
Remember the multitude of Game & Watch collections that released for the classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color? The covers always featured some nice artwork. There were four compilations in total. The collections were practically remakes of the classic Game & Watch brand of LCD one-shot games that released throughout the 1980s. At their inception they were about as fun as those Tiger Electronic games that were all over the place in the 90s. Limited in design, sound, and capability, the Game & Watch series nonetheless made for an endearing way to pass the time. A lot of these peripherals were even simplistic in name, often using one word to describe what you’re going to play like, “Ball, Boxing, Chef, Octopus, or Parachute.” When the Game Boy collections came around Nintendo applied a Mario aesthetic and let the artwork sell itself. This day and age of the industry sees a lot of “twitch games,” in which you scroll, flick, or tap on the screen for a quick gaming fix. The Game & Watch Gallery series of games could be cheap to develop but has the potential to make some extra income for Nintendo. Who says it has to be on Nintendo Switch? Release these remade games in compilations for mobile devices and I’m there. Come to think of it, why hasn’t Nintendo done this yet with this classic series?
8) The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Oracle of Seasons
Here’s a definite no brainer. This was perhaps the only time that Nintendo lent out their precious Zelda IP to another developer and didn’t have it blow up in their face and caused them to deny its existence. I’m looking at you, Zelda Philips CD-i games. Yes, it was Capcom that took The Legend of Zelda from Nintendo and did it so well with Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. So well that Capcom developed two more Zelda games for Nintendo with Four Swords and The Minish Cap. Link adventures to the worlds of Labrynna and Holodrum and sets out to save Din, the Oracle of Seasons, and Nayru, the Oracle of Ages, from the villains General Onox and the Sorceress Veran, respectively. The game also featured a unique “Linked Game” for its time. By using passwords between both games, players could experience the games’ true ending, where Ganon is the one true villain of the hybrid story. The remake of Link’s Awakening already has caught the eye of millions. Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons is ripe for a reimagining. Given that the gameplay styles between both games are unique from one another, where one has an emphasis on puzzle-solving and the other an emphasis on action, to bundle them together would be a dream come true for Zelda fans, especially for those who may have missed these gems when they released on the Game Boy.
9) Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble
In a similar vein as twitch games, Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble would be an easy game to revive, more so on the Nintendo Switch rather than mobile devices. That’s because Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble was remarkable in its time for making use of an accelerometer feature to guide Kirby, in a ball form, to a finish point. The accelerometer was built-in the game cartridge itself, thereby allowing players to physically tilt and swerve the Game Boy in any direction to move Kirby in a 360 degree space. A remake would be a fun little distraction for awhile. You may recall that the Joy-Con have a nifty “3D rumble” feature. It’s tricky to describe if you’ve never felt it for yourself but the “Ball Count” mini-game from 1-2-Switch is a fine example. Obviously there are no marbles in the Joy-Con but the 3D rumble feature of the device makes you curiously conceive the heft and movement of objects in motion without it happening in the real. Nintendo can do some real interesting stuff with this idea. And why not? They’re pioneers in game design and Kirby makes for a fertile playground to take advantage of the Joy-Con’s unique features. I mean even Kirby Star Allies even has a hidden Easter egg in which the Kirby theme song plays from the vibrations of the Joy-Con’s 3D rumble technology.L
10) Pokemon Pinball
Honestly, I’m not all that big on twitch gaming on my handheld device. Even needing to satisfy a quick gaming itch needs to have some layer of breadth. However, putting a Nintendo brand on something as entertaining as pinball and you’ll probably grab my attention. Yes, the Game Boy Pokemon games pretty much have had their remakes, even Red and Blue have been remade twice now. Silver and Gold were remade through the SoulSilver and HeartGold games on Nintendo DS a few years back. Why shouldn’t there be a good pinball simulator for the Nintendo Switch? Are there any on the eShop? Really, I’m not too sure. But, I mean, Pokemon and pinball, you can’t beat that idea. With the Nintendo Switch’s, and its Joy-Con, optimum portability and unique features, it would be exciting to get pinball action back. Imagine them giving the players access to customize their own pinball tables? How about stacking one Nintendo Switch console on top of another to effectively make the pinball table “bigger?” It’s a smart idea and I’m sure it would sell if Pikachu’s face is slapped on the box.
Well, those are some Nintendo first-party Game Boy game suggestions that I would like to see remade from the ground up. Do any of these games tug at those nostalgic heartstrings? What would you like to see come out of these games if they were reimagined for the Nintendo Switch or mobile devices? Are there any other Game Boy games that you would like to see remade? Let us know! Thanks for reading. As always, for gaming news, reviews, and more editorials, check us out on Mammoth Gamers!