The First Four Game Boy Games STILL KICK ASS!!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 11:09 pm.

Well…two of them do.

Your mileage may vary on Baseball and Mahjong.

Let us discuss them. We will start with, probably my fave of the lot….

ALLEYWAY:    Alleyway is a clone of Breakout,  which was a big hit for Atari. Now that Nintendo was doing a version for their brand new Game Boy system they have to insert Mario because he was Nintendo’s BREAKOUT character! (See what I did there?)  Ten years later and it would have been Pikachu in this.

Alleyway is a confusing title because there is no alley and there is no way.  Mario hops into a space ship and uses it as a paddle to knock blocks apart.

Sound boring? It isn’t. It’s actually a fun challenge even though there is absolutely no reason for Mario to be in it.

Here’s another game that doesn’t need Mario to be in it (But he is.)…

BASEBALL 

I played actual, real life baseball, when I was a kid. Not the video game, the actual game. It may come as no particular surprise to you that I sucked at it.  I was better when we kids played Tee-Ball.

When we wee lads started playing actual baseball, I was injured by a ball. A ball smacked me in the head when I was on the BENCH!   I’m pretty sure that happened to Charlie Brown in a Peanuts comic strip.

The Game Boy game is better but only marginally.

By that, I mean it’s not very good, but it can’t hit you in the head with a ball when you aren’t even playing it.

Mario is once again shoe-horned into this, but now let’s talk about a game Mario has an actual reason to be in….

SUPER MARIO LAND

I’m by far not the first person to have observed that this may just be the weirdest game in the Super Mario franchise. (At least the early years of it)   For starters, there is no Princess Peach, there is no Bowser, no Luigi and there are HOPPING VAMPIRES!!  (If you don’t know what hopping vampires are just Google them. They are off kilter even by vampire standards.)

I once read, on reddit, that Super Mario Land looks it was made on a calculator.

I don’t know if that’s exactly true.  (Most things on reddit should maybe be taken with a grain of salt.) When I was a kid we could barely spell the word “boobs” on a calculator and this Mario game seems way more complicated than the boobs thing.

Super Mario Land  and the Game Boy came out close to the time Super Nintendo came out, so I can see how Super Mario Land pales in comparison to Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo.

Both are great games though, and I will always have a special place in my heart for Land because I think it was the first game I ever beat. ( It was either that, or Tiny Toon Adventures. Both were on Game Boy)

Of course, I saved the best for last!

Just kidding here’s…

 

MAHJONG!!

I might have been bad at baseball, but I don’t even know what Mahjong IS!

I mean, I kind of do, because of the book The Joy Luck Club.  I read that book and watched the movie for tenth grade literature class and I remember Mahjong features prominently in it.

But if I were forced, at gun point, to explain to you how to play Mahjong, you could just go ahead and kill me, because I have no idea.

But I still ordered the game for this article, so I could feel OK talking about the launch titles for Game Boy! Now that I have a copy of Mahjong for Game Boy….well, it didn’t help me understand Mahjong, as a game, at all. I just keep hitting buttons and I think I keep losing, but I dunno. Maybe I’m winning? Although, that is the way I play most video games!

Whatever, at least I now own (according to Wikipedia) THE FOUR GAMES THAT WERE LAUNCH TITLES FOR THE ORIGINAL GAME BOY!!!

Still one of my fave game systems.