The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages plus Oracle of Seasons plus Link's Awakening
I could never figure out why the GBC Zelda games didn't quite work for me, but playing Death's Door this year and watching Kat play some of Minish Cap, my favorite of the series, finally made me realize the problem. And it's a familiar one: the movement.
I love the surreal atmosphere of these games, and they're easily some of the best-looking GBC games you'll ever see. They got great music, the Oracle games have creative bosses unlike anything you'll see in other Zelda games, and there's even a way to import your play data between games. It's a stream of things I absolutely should like, but I just can't get past how Link feels to move. It feels much slower than other handheld games, which isn't helped by the lack of a roll skill or a Pegasus Boots equivalent or by how much time you spend in menus on account of only having two action buttons. These are flaws of the GBC itself rather than inherent problems in the design, which explains why I happily finished LA on Switch and gives me hope for liking any eventual remakes of the Oracle titles, but it also means there's little point to continuing to play any of these three on the original system.
A set of six sports minigames from WayForward. You're ostensibly competing in a challenge to win the most medals on Xtreme Island by beating other competitors in duels, but it's really just a long series of indistinguishable score attack events on the same stages. I beat about a dozen rivals in surfing matches that all took place on exactly the same course and then tried a few skateboarding rounds that were also on a single course before giving up.
It's not just the "xtreme" repetitiveness that drags it down, though. The GBC's resolution just isn't up to the speeds it tries to portray and the skateboarding events in particular are a comedy of errors until you have the course memorized. Crates and other hazards come from offscreen far too quickly for you to have any chance of dodging them, and preemptively jumping to avoid them is dangerous because half the time you'll just miss out on opportunities to do tricks.
Wendy: Every Witch Way
A neat platformer also from WayForward where you can flip and start walking on the ceiling whenever you want. I thought it would be a puzzle game, but it was really just a simple action/platformer in the short time I was able to play. You're tasked with collecting five stars throughout the level and beating up a bunch of enemies along the way. Each star gives you a big upgrade to your attack spell, and I assume it resets to its basic form after each level.
But wait, you might be asking, if the first level was good, why are you only assuming it resets? Well, unfortunately, the game got stuck at the point in the screenshot above. It didn't crash and I was still able to pause, but Wendy disappeared after I collected the level-ending gem and the game never felt like advancing to the next level. That's a fatal issue for my playthrough. Still, from what I was able to play, my guess is that this game is just okay anyway. The platforming mechanics just weren't were you'd want them to be and the music wasn't anything special.
Current status of the list: (Good games are bolded, green means finished and orange means abandoned. Bold means good)
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: Tomoeda Shogakkou Daiundokai
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
13. John Romero's Daikatana
14. Kakurenbou Battle Monster Tactics
15. Keitai Denju Telefang
16. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX
17. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
18. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
19. LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge
20. Magi Nation
21. Mario Golf
22. Mario Tennis
23. Metal Gear Solid
25. Millennium Winter Sports
26. Mobile Golf
27. Monkey Puncher
28. Perfect Dark