It’s been rumored that Nintendo will be putting games from the Game Boy library onto the Nintendo Switch Online service soon. If these do end up being rumors then hopefully Nintendo considers porting games from the Game Boy family to the Nintendo Switch for purchasing on the eShop. Nintendo has countless games that are trapped in the past and only available by buying a physical cartridge online or through emulation. Nintendo has been adamantly opposed to the latter and has even increased their efforts toward shutting down ROM websites in recent years.
Some have speculated that Nintendo’s increased hostility toward emulation websites might be a sign that the company is going to start making these games available to play on the Nintendo Switch Online service or through digital purchases, like the Virtual Console from the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U. I’m hoping Nintendo makes their older games more readily available through at least one of those means. There are hundreds of games that were published with love and passion from Nintendo but are currently doomed to only exist in the memories of those who played them at release or that have access to a physical cartridge. I love Nintendo’s games and desperately wish they gave them the availability they deserve.
I’ve compiled a list of the games I’d most like to see appear digitally on the Nintendo Switch. I still remember what it felt like to touch the edges of some of these cartridges and would like the games to exist far beyond that memory so that they can be enjoyed and remembered for generations to come.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!
The WarioWare series probably started off as a joke. It’s about as satirical as it is imaginative. The series has survived over the years but this title and the Wii U’s Game & Wario are probably the best in the series. I want the Wii U version to get reworked to use smartphones and tablets and ported to Nintendo Switch (like the Jackbox series) but that’s less likely to happen than Nintendo porting one of the best Game Boy Advance games. All you need is a couple buttons and a few minutes to spare before you’ve spent hours having fun with Wario and his crew.
Mega Microgames! is exactly what it sounds like; the game contains over 200 microgames that only take a few seconds to complete. The addictive rush comes with the skill needed to succeed without failing. Players are tasked with completing a set number before moving onto one of the game’s “boss stages,” which are more difficult and don’t have a set time limit. “Boss Stages” also give the player the ability to gain a life back; lives are lost whenever microgames aren’t completed successfully and after losing four, it’s ‘Game Over.’
There are several different kinds of microgames across the 200+ available. Many of them are based around platforming or involve precise timing. There are lots of references to old Nintendo games and characters, too. The music is fun and all over the place. It helps carry the tone of the story, which is simple and could only be from Wario himself. Wario wants to make a lot of money. He wants to do so by selling games and he’s going to make–, er enlist the help of his friends to make the games.
It sounds simple but it’s not. Things get progressively harder and more frantic as the player completes stages. Chasing high scores and discovering new game types, all while helping Wario get closer to making it big in game development, WarioWare Microgames could not be more addictive. Microgames may take seconds to complete but the game embodies the “just one more” feeling of battle royales, which would be another interesting way for Nintendo to use and even revitalize the WarioWare intellectual property …
Resident Evil Gaiden
Resident Evil has taken over the minds of people like the very viruses in the series since it debuted on the original PlayStation in 1996. The series almost seemed to peak with Resident Evil 4 before it started to wane in popularity but it’s currently experiencing another outbreak in both reception and sales after the release of the seventh title in the long running franchise. And it’s on track to do the same with the upcoming Resident Evil Village later this year.
Capcom has already remade three of the games and it’s rumored they’re in the process of remaking the fourth entry as well. They should really make sure that the original games and entire series are playable on modern hardware. A lot of the older games are available in some form or another on modern systems but not all of them.
The Game Boy entry was released almost 20 years ago and hasn’t been ported or made available on anything since. Now is the perfect time to honor the legacy and history of the series by re-releasing Resident Evil Gaiden onto the Nintendo Switch.
Resident Evil Gaiden is set on a lavish ship with Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton handling a viral outbreak. The hardware limitations of the Game Boy Color transform gameplay into something almost unrecognizable and yet almost familiar, much like the signature character mutations. Players control characters from top down perspective when traversing around environments and then it shifts into first person view during enemy encounters. Exploration and shooting zombies are still part of the game in Gaiden but with cute pixelated graphics that still manage to inspire fear and mystery.
Interesting yet different gameplay and a sense of dread work together just like zombie teeth and human flesh to create a horrific experience that is too rad to leave in the past. Nintendo and Capcom need to make this available to purchase on the Nintendo Switch eShop or available via Nintendo Switch Online. In doing so they’d be digging up and preserving a really cool piece of Resident Evil history and could even fix the game’s infrequent save system with save states.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II
I don’t understand why this game hasn’t been re-released. Dragon Ball Z has literally only gotten more popular over the years and this is a Dragon Ball Z action RPG that looks like it could have been released on the Super Nintendo. Legacy of Goku II puts the player in control of several of the Z fighters across the Android and Cell Saga storylines. For anyone unfamiliar with Dragon Ball Z or its storylines: you get to fight super powerful androids and an even more powerful creature, all while leveling up, learning new attacks, and getting lost in some incredibly atmospheric music.
The first game introduced the gameplay style and mechanics but the sequel improves on the gameplay while also seizing the opportunity of utilizing several other characters. The story arcs that the game runs through allow the player to triumph against several iconic enemy encounters and through extremely interesting locations. Gaining more power as Goku and the rest of the Z fighters grow stronger to defeat the Androids and ultimate evil of Cell couldn’t be more exciting.
Legacy of Goku II is a great game that blends side quests into main quests almost seamlessly while covering a lot of major events that take place in the anime. The developer was able to cram so much atmosphere into the Game Boy Advance’s limited hardware and it has retained all of that charm over the years, like many games that possess a Super Nintendo aesthetic.
It’s also what got me into Dragon Ball Z in the first place and I’m sure I’m not alone. Dragon Ball Z is more relevant than ever and Nintendo should absolutely look into bringing this iconic action RPG and its incredible overworld theme to the Nintendo Switch.
Pokemon Card GB2: Great Rocket-Dan Sanjō!
Pokemon Trading Card Game was received with pretty positive reception when it first released and it’s maintained popularity over the years. It was even re-released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in 2014, which gave me hope that the sequel would finally be released outside of Japan. The game featured a quaint overworld with a soundtrack that was better than it had any right to be. The game featured a fun little story where the player battled their way through the world’s eight Club Masters before finally making their way to the Grand Masters. The story doesn’t have a lot of nuance but it didn’t need to; the best parts of the game were taking down everyone with customized decks while head bobbing to some of the best music on the Game Boy Color. The sequel expanded on story, characters, cards and even added a group of villains known as ‘Team Great Rocket.’
Pokemon Card GB2: Great Rocket-Dan Sanjō! was released exclusively in Japan on March 28, 2001. The original game was popular enough and Pokemon was still incredibly popular so I don’t understand why the sequel didn’t see a wider release. I’ve never been able to find information on the reason and can only speculate that it may have been because of the upcoming release of the Game Boy Advance. It’s possible Nintendo also just didn’t see the need to put time and money into translation and localization.
In the years since fan translations have been made and it’s possible to play the game through emulation but Nintendo should give this game the Star Fox 2 treatment and allow everyone to experience this relic from Pokemon’s post on the Nintendo Switch. They could throw some money at those that did the translation and sell it for a few bucks on the eShop or use it to sell subscriptions to Nintendo Switch Online. There are undoubtedly tons of Pokemon fans that would sink dozens of hours into the sequel that still have the first game’s soundtrack in regular rotation YouTube. Nintendo could preserve an important part of Pokemon history while also making some money in the process. Can you think of a better selling point for Nintendo’s online service than being able to play Pokemon Trading Card Game and its sequel online with friends?
Metroid Zero Mission
The original Metroid isn’t a bad game. It helped spawn an entire genre while also utilizing intuitive game design to show how it worked within the first thirty seconds of the game. At that point in time players were used to moving toward the right but it isn’t possible initially so the player is forced to move left, which earns them the ‘Morph Ball’ ability and allows the player to progress to the right. It’s absolutely brilliant. It introduces exploration and upgrades before there’s even much to explore. Metroid Zero Mission takes the entire first game and revamps it in what is quite possibly one of the best remakes ever created.
The graphics are the most obvious upgrade but cinematics were also added to flesh out the story more. The game even provides more information on the past of the main character, Samus Aran. It strikes the right balance between shedding some light on Samus while still keeping some mystery wrapped into the story and atmosphere. The game extends past where the original game ended but it doesn’t feel unnecessary. The original game is unlocked after completing Zero Mission too, which is great for preservation’s sake and as an added value. It allows players unfamiliar with the original to both experience and to also to see what changed and remained between the two versions.
Zero Mission still retains the original game’s story and gameplay but with improvements that help modernize it. Samus controls so much better. Aiming at enemies is so much easier but it doesn’t break the game or anything. It feels like this is what it was supposed to play like but couldn’t due to hardware limitations. Having better control of Samus and against enemies makes the environments feel more accessible and more interesting to explore. And yeah, the soundtrack is somehow more incredible than the original game.
Zero Mission is the definitive version of an absolutely essential and iconic game. It has only been re-released on the Wii U and it was done sort of quietly toward the end of the console’s troubled lifespan. I cannot imagine this game being abandoned on one of Nintendo’s most unsuccessful consoles. If Nintendo truly respects Metroid as a franchise and its legacy then it must be added to the Nintendo Switch in some form.
The Super Nintendo is home to some of the best Role Playing Games and its influence is undeniable. The aesthetic still endures decades later and has continued to shape graphics, storytelling, music, and game mechanics. Golden Sun isn’t the first game to run with the SNES-thetic but it’s one of the best to do it on the Game Boy family and in dire need of a Switch re-release.
Golden Sun hasn’t had a new release since 2010’s Dark Dawn on the Nintendo DS, which is a little understandable since it wasn’t received as well as the first two games. Golden Sun and its sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age were among some of the most popular RPGs on the Game Boy Advance so it’s shame they haven’t been widely available since they originally released in the early 2000s. The first game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console but Golden Sun deserves so much more than that.
The plot isn’t the most original and utilizes a lot of tropes for the genre but this works in the game’s favor. It adds to the charm for those already familiar with the genre while also serving as a good introduction for those new to these kinds of games.
The game begins by introducing some of the main characters and thrusting them into a near-catastrophic event before they’re tasked with saving the world by sticking together and using their strength and newfound powers. Isaac and his party travel across the land and encounter all kinds of interesting towns, dungeons, and people, all while gaining strength, power, and the aid of creatures in the world known as “Djinn.”
The party has the ability to use a form of magic (known as “psynergy”) and can use Djinn for summons that can deliver status effects, revitalize the party, or deliver a world shattering amount of damage. Psynergy can also be used for manipulating objects and people in the world, similar to HM moves in Pokemon. It’s by no means a perfect game and has some faults but it’s an extremely fun experience that, like so many other games published by Nintendo, should be widely available to play, experience, and appreciate.
Preserving the Past for the Future
Nintendo has such a long legacy in game development and publishing. There are countless games that are forever trapped on the original hardware, leaving players to give someone on eBay money or resort to emulation, with Nintendo working endlessly to remove the latter option entirely. Games should be preserved and available not only because they’re cool but also because they’re art created off with hard work and sleepless weeks from people like you and me. Nintendo should either encourage the emulation community and support it or preserve and carry their legacy forward with each generation.