DSi Virtual Handheld: It’s for the Core
When you sell as many units as the Gameboy did third parties are bound to take advantage of it. After all, beening able to play your favorite console franchises on the go is a marketing strategy that writes itself. With no other viable handhelds to go to even the developers of more hardcore games had to jump on the Gameboy bandwagon. These same third parties would also be quick to get as many of their games as possible on the virtual handheld to actually get some money for the 100k roms sitting on their thumb drives.
The Gameboy version of Bionic Commando, as well as the Gameboy Color version “Elite Forces”, are somewhere inbetween sequel and remake. The handheld versions of theses shooting and swinging adventures were actually developed by Nintendo but the lack of NES Bionic Commando on the Wii Virtual Console may prove that they don’t want the service to be promoting games on other systems.
Metal Gear Solid
Also known as Metal Gear Ghost Babel, this Gameboy Color game is a throwback to the MSX originals that no one in America actually played. It’s also comparable to Metal Gear Mobile for cell phones although the graphics aren’t polygonal. The game has the weapons, stealth, VR missions and pages on dialogue the series is none for but the story itself is non-canon which might be a turn-off the Metal Gear elite.
Ninja Gaiden Shadow
Now this is a weird one, there used to be a clone/competitor of the old Ninja Gaiden called “Shadow of the Ninja”. When Natsume though about bringing the franchise to Gameboy Tecmo just gave them the go ahead to brand it as a Ninja Gaiden game and the funny thing was, no one really noticed or cared. The only real difference was that Ryu had a grappling hook in addition to his sword and ninpo magic.
Street Fighter Alpha
I’m not too familiar with the Street Fighter Alpha series but the Gameboy Color version has Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Akuma and M. Bison so that’s good enough for me. Launching fireballs and doing shoryukens on the GBC is possible but the switch from six buttons down to two does limit the fighting system somewhat. Still, what Capcom managed to do on the platform was impressive and definitely warrants being on the Virtual Handheld.