GameBoy Color List Roundup #1

I've finished with a few of the games on my GBC list now, so it seemed like a good time to give an update on whether or not they're any good.


Quest for Camelot
A Link's Awakening knockoff that should go back to sleep

Quest for Camelot


I put this one on the list entirely because it was one of the first games I ever had. I didn't think it was very good back then, and it turns out I was still giving it way too much credit. It has some of the worst excuses for music I've ever heard. It forces you into long sequences of hunts for small items in large maps. The combat is a terrible copycat of Link's Awakening. There's honestly nothing good about this game except for those tree sprites, which look nice. I played until I died and then abandoned it.


Shantae
A Half-Genie who is better visited in more recent ports

Shantae


Shantae was clearly impressive for the time, but it doesn't hold up well. That's partly the fault of its sequels, which are basically the same game but without the GBC's limitations, and partly down to the recent resurgence of indie Metroidvanias that means there's no shortage of similar, better games from other franchises. This only held my interest for about a half hour.


Pokemon Trading Card Game
Pokemon Trade-in Card Game

Pokemon Trading Card Game


I expected to finish PTCG because I'd enjoyed playing it to completion before, but this time it was undone by its overwhelming randomness. This is a game where turns routinely involve flipping a coin to resolve a status effect, flipping several coins to resolve your attack, and then flipping several more coins for the opponent's attack on top of the randomness of drawing cards. Other times both sides just sit there for ages and ages while trying to draw the energy or evolutions you need, and then someone plays an energy removal and starts the whole thing over again right as someone finally gets to attack. PTCG has a great soundtrack and a fun story, but it just can't overcome the inherently unfun gameplay of the card game it's based on. I beat three gyms and then stopped.


Pokemon Puzzle Challenge
I'll Panel this Pon any time. I have no idea what that means.

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge


I've talked about this one already in a Mini Reviews post, but it's good! This is a single-player only Panel de Pon with a Gen 2 theme. It's got great music and the Pokemon theme is charming, but all of that is really just a skin and has no impact on the gameplay. If you don't like PdP, you're not going to like this. I was also a bit disappointed that so much content is locked behind higher difficulties, which are actually quite hard and would require you to be invested in getting good at PdP to have much chance of finishing. I'm not, but beating the easiest level was fun.


Pokemon Crystal Clear
I wanna be the very best

Pokemon Crystal Clear


This one is kind of cheating because it's a romhack rather than a real GBC release. I talked about it in the most recent Mini Reviews and won't rehash it here, but I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants an innovative Pokemon game that is aimed at long-time fans but doesn't go overboard on hardcore difficulty or break compatibility with the core series. I'm fairly confident that this is going to be my #1 GBC game when this list is all said and done, but there are still a ton of games that could surprise me.


V-Rally: Edition '99
I have 99 problems, but all of them are boulders in the road

V-Rally: Edition '99


And finally we've got one that I just finished today. It's a rally game very much in the style of Pole Position and OutRun. There are 22 different tracks in 11 different environments, and each environment has its own graphics and hazards. I could've done with just one track per environment since the second variation is never very different and the AI is so easy that you'll have wrapped up the championship halfway through, but that's not a big deal since it's only about an hour long. Would I go out of my way to play this game today? No. It's worth a look if you want a fast, arcade-y racer to occupy you for a lunch break or DMV wait, though.


Current status of the list: (Good games are bolded, green means finished and orange means abandoned)

1. Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare

2. Arle no Bouken: Mahou no Jewel

3. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces

4. Cannon Fodder

5. Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoe Shogakkou Daiundokai

6. Croc

7. Croc 2

8. Daiku no Gen-san: Kachikachi no Tonkachi ga Kachi

9. Dragon Warrior III

10. Frogger 2

11. Ganbare Goemon: Tengu-tou no Gyakushuu!

12. Golf Ou: The King of Golf