Friday, March 18, 2022

The Game Boy Player's Guide (Plus NP Review #24)

Today I'm looking at a true blast from the past.

This was one of Nintendo Power's spectacular compilation guides. It's more entertaining to read than the ultra-technical NES guide, and about on par with the SNES guide. This was the only one of the three that I got as a kid, since Game Boy was my system of choice. I particularly like the cover design, with all of the cases overlapping each other.

My God. The machines have learned how to play our video games. At least, that's my takeaway from this odd shot.

Here's a true classic. Click on this image to blow it up and get a better view of the enemies. I really enjoy the way this guide (and NP in general) emphasizes the different enemy and boss types.

Krang sorta looks like a Rockette here. I never liked Krang; always thought he upstaged Shredder while being significantly less interesting. As a result, Shredder rarely getting final boss status in these games bugged me.

Here's a game that I covered on here. Wish I'd read this before I played it. These articles do a great job hyping you up for the game.

That last elevator was quite extensive. They got some good shots of the badass final boss.

Here's a pinball game that I've never heard of outside this guide. Looks like fun. But who is "the gator" in question?

The guide color-codes the games based on genre. There's a section with puzzle games; haven't heard of most of these. The guide only covers the first two to three years or so of the Game Boy's lifespan.

Here's another game that I covered on here. Again, attention is paid to the various enemies.

Nice world map. This would have been a big help while playing.

This game looks pretty sweet, think I'll put it on my list of games to cover. It transpires over various planets, with several different perspectives (overhead and first-person) as you drive around blasting alien foes.

Another interesting-looking game that I could take a stab at. It looks a lot like a Contra-series game, with the difference being that the whole thing is overhead-view.

It's also sporting a lot of machismo. The male character is the disciplined soldier who can utilize all of the weapons, while the female character can only really jump and has timid body language. Also, she might be wearing tiny shorts in a combat zone, hard to tell. In any case, this is some pretty macho stuff here. At least let Mizuki use the 3-Way Gun, she might enjoy that.

Huh, this got a Game Boy port? I can almost say that I covered this game too, but not quite.

The RPG section. Final Fantasy Legend is a good one; this covers the various "classes" that can make up your party.

This is quite the information-laden page. One of the things I liked most about this game was the ability to mix and match monster genes to transform your characters. For the most part, however, you're best off just going with humans and mutants for your party. The monster was always my weakest link.

More awesome info. Click this one and take a look. These weapon/armor/spell lists were just FUN to read when I was a kid. Like a lot of kids, I'd make similar lists of my own.

Here's a game that I never played. I was always interested in the two Runes of Virtue portable games. I've heard terrible things about them in recent years, though, so maybe it's good that I didn't play them. They seem like Zelda-lite in a lot of ways, but there's something appealing about them.

If I play through any of the Ultima series, it'll probably be Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar for the NES. Hear that one is very similar to the Dragon Quests of the time.

At the end of the book is a lengthy section filled with blurbs for the games that weren't covered in-depth.

Here's a great one (cheap plug here). Too bad it was too recent for them to cover in-depth in the book (that or they didn't for some other reason).

I wonder if this game is related to the arcade Kung-Fu, starring Kung-Fu Master Thomas. He had some issues.

Interesting. FFL2 was actually out at this point, but they chose to only cover the first game. I would have loved to see FFL2 and Wily's Revenge get covered in this book.

The book concludes with an ad for Nintendo Power. I love reading these old issues, they're a trip back in time.

And now, Nintendo Power Review #24, THIS VERY GUIDE. I also take a tour of my hometown while reminiscing on the good times I spent with this guide back in 1993.


  1. Wait, what do you mean about Shredder rarely getting final boss status? Of all the games I remember, Shredder is the last boss of every one.

    1. I probably shouldn't have said "rarely" because you're right, Shredder is usually the final boss in the TMNT games. However, Krang does get final boss status sometimes. Most notably, in the Game Boy TMNT games. Definitely less often than Shredder, but still often enough to be annoying.

    2. Ah, I gotcha, he took so much of Shredder's heat that it gave him final boss status in a few of the games. That is pretty ridiculous.

  2. It's awesome when you cover these Nintendo Power guides. I'm reading this on Christmas because, TBH, your site beats watching sports.

  3. Merry Christmas! This post made me really happy. There's a lot of quality inside this guide, and it looks like a labor of love as well as an advertisement.

  4. I totally get those looking at weapon/armor/spell lists feels.