Game Boy Games We’d Love to See Added to Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo’s shadow drop of Game Boy and Game Boy Advanced games to Nintendo Switch Online was welcomed with open arms by players. For years, many (including me) have been clamoring for the addition of older games from other platforms to come to the Switch in some shape or form. Oh, what I’d give to have the virtual console become available again.
This time, we got a handful of classic GB/GBA games, including The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Mario Kart Super Circuit, and Tetris. Imagine my shock and awe when I saw that we were about to get Golden Sun, Fire Emblem, and Metroid Fusion as well—I was practically foaming in the mouth! Naturally, it got me thinking about what else people would love to see released. And so I racked my brains about what GB and GBA games should be added to the ever-growing library.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Fire Emblem is on fire these days; we’ve got FE Engage, and it’s confirmed that we’re also getting the Fire Emblem GBA game. But what about other franchises for tactics lovers? Final Fantasy Tactics was initially released on the PlayStation, and it was—at that time—the pinnacle of operatic storytelling and strategy game design.
The GBA spin-off of FF Tactics is generally smaller in scope and simpler, but the bite-sized tactical experience is perfect for the Switch. Plus, the game takes advantage of the GBA’s bright palette, making the visuals vibrant and colorful. I’d love to see FF Tactics Advance return, where it’ll hopefully garner a new audience of players that’ll appreciate it.
Legend of the River King
You might know Natsume as the maker of the first Harvest Moon games, but did you know they also developed another long-running series? Legend of the River King might sound boring, but there’s more to the game than meets than eye. It’s not as easy as hopping on a boat and going fishing—there are several RPG elements at play you have to manage.
The story is simple: your sister is ill, and you must find and catch the Guardian Fish, which allegedly has healing powers that can heal her. Don’t think that you can just catch that legendary fish immediately. You’ll also have to catch other fish and talk to people to know where the Guardian Fish is.
Then there’s managing your inventory. You must buy various lures, rods, hooks, bait, and tools—all of which cost money. On top of that, the riverside is chock full of monsters. The battles are a tad different compared to other RPGs. Once you try to attack, a fist will appear in different places of the screen, and you have to press a button when it’s over the enemy to deal damage.
As for the whole fishing aspect, it’s similar to the fishing in the 3D Zelda titles. Once you cast your line and get a nibble, your screen will change to an underwater view where you can attempt to reel in your catch.
Legend of the River King is one of the shorter games on this list and perfect for the Switch and its on-the-go shtick. It offers a short ride, but at least it’s highly entertaining.
Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!
The Hamtaro games are simple in execution, but they’re nonetheless fun. For one, the graphics would make anyone say, “kawaii,” and it’s no surprise it became Japan’s 7th best-selling Game Boy Color game. The Hamtaro games essentially offer a puzzle-based adventure where you’re tasked to collect words called “Ham-Chat”. In the case of Ham-Hams Unite, you’re tasked with locating all your fellow Ham-Hams and getting them back to the clubhouse.
You’ll have to explore areas and solve puzzles by using Ham-Chat words in the right places. That’s about the gist of the main game unless you want to get into a collectathon for the other items, songs, and rocks. That said, you can get stuck in some puzzles since they don’t make sense all the time, so I suggest using a guide.
Wishing for Mother 3 feels like shooting for the moon at this point, but one can dream, right? It’s been 16 years since the final entry of Itoi Shigesato’s Mother series was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan, and millions of people are still hoping for an official Western release. Now that we got Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings on the SNES library for Nintendo Switch Online, there’s a slight chance for us to get the other Mother games. I won’t be talking too much about its story since that’ll spoil the fun for you, but the plot glosses over important themes such as grief, consumerism, and the power of mothers, family, and community. Unless you can understand Nihongo, you’ll have to play Mother 3 through an emulator with an English patch or get an English fan translation cartridge.