Metal Gear Solid is one of the most popular franchises in video gaming history. While it was first released on the MSX line of computers, it blew up with the Playstation.
One of the most underrated versions of the game was released for the Game Boy Color in 2000, and it quickly became a favorite among gamers. In this article, we will explore five reasons why Metal Gear Gameboy is one of the best games on the system, if not of all time
1. The anime look felt right
One of the reasons why Metal Gear Gameboy stands out is the art style. On the Playstation the graphics went for realism but Metal Gear GB did this years before Metal Gear Acid.
The game features a distinctive anime look that perfectly complements the game's setting and tone. The characters are so well designed that you could pick up their personalities just by looking at their talking sprites.
2. The Gameplay Was Console Quality
Despite being released on a handheld device, Metal Gear Gameboy's gameplay was on par with console quality. The game's controls were smooth and responsive, and the player could perform a variety of actions, such as crawling, crouching, smoking, shooting stingers...In short if you could do it on Playstation, you could do it here.
This is impressive considering that the PSX has all of the DualShock's buttons and the Gameboy essentially only has 2. And yet it never felt weird. Rations are there, keycards are there, guns are there, everything is there.
So while the graphics had to be shrunk down, the gameplay hasn't. Even the PSP sequels don't feel like this as they are more episodic in nature. Incredibly, the radar system with the field of view is there too. Such an incredible feat for such a small amount of screen real estate.
3. The Cutscenes Were Stylish
One of the most memorable aspects of Metal Gear Gameboy was the cutscenes. The game's story was told through a series of stylish cutscenes that were made in the anime style.
These wipe the floor with the PSP games. While the PSP anime cutscenes of Metal Gear acid looked lifeless, these look full of life and color. They have been made by Ikuya Nakamura, who really is faithful to Yoji Shinkawa's artwork. For reference, here's Metal Gear Acid:
While the PlayStation cutscenes couldn't translate, whatever you had here made you giddy, especially when they introduced a new boss.
4. The music and sound were impressive
Another reason why Metal Gear Gameboy is one of the best games on the system is its exceptional music and sound design. The game features a variety of memorable tunes that perfectly capture the game's mood and setting.
If you've played it a few times, the music is probably in your mind right now. And the "found" music is just as tense as the console versions too, if not more. The "!" sound effect is of higher than on the Playstation so you really "feel it" if you've been found.
The game's sound design was especially impressive given the limitations of the Game Boy Color's sound hardware.
5. The Bosses Were Memorable
Metal Gear Solid is known for its challenging and memorable boss battles, and Metal Gear Gameboy is no exception. The game features a variety of bosses, each with their unique strengths and weaknesses. Because this is a side mission, the bosses were a bit on the eccentric style but once again everything fits.
You had Slasher Hawk with, well, a Hawk and Pyro Byson with his flamethrower. You don't get to know them much beforehand but the boss battles were not only challenging but also fun and creative, with players having to use a variety of tactics to defeat them.
6. It had some one of the best pixel art ever made
For gaming connoisseurs, the usual suspects for best Pixel Art is usually Castlevania Symphony or the night or Seiken Densetsu 3. I posit that metal Gear GB should also be in the pixel art hall of fame. Just look at the title screen:
Take Pokemon and Zelda sprites, these are big, with visible eyes. In this game Snake's face is literally 1 pixel. And yet his sprite is one of the most impressive I've ever seen. It can go in all directions and his bandana flows as if it was programmed.
Snake can do mostly everything than in the Playstation, but once you realize that he's only a handful of pixels tall, that is something incredibly remarkable. Snake smokes, puts himself near a wall, crawls & more...and everything just looks so right.
The color palette used in the game also makes this one of the most colorful / graphically impressive games on the gameboy, like Tomb Raider and Rayman.
In conclusion, Metal Gear Gameboy is one of the best games on the system due to its distinctive anime art style, console-quality gameplay, stylish cutscenes, memorable bosses, and jaw dropping pixel art.
The game perfectly captures the essence of the Metal Gear franchise while also providing a unique experience that stands on its own. The other PSP metal gears are completely different. If you are a fan of the series or just looking for a great game to play on your Game Boy Color, then Metal Gear Gameboy is a must-play.