which Game Boy games do you think of as "large"?


#1

I was originally going to say “big”, but I don’t mean sales, popularity, relevance/impact, canonicity or anything like that.
I also don’t mean the size of the cart or ROM, which are objectively measurable things.

If you were asked to name Game Boy games that feel large when you play them, what would your answers be?

Once you discard the stuff I already ruled out, you can be as subjective as you want. You could think spatially, game worlds that feel large. It could be pure content measurement, like if it has 200 discrete levels or 400 different monsters to fight. The variety of things you can do might make it feel large, or the length of time it takes to do everything, or… whatever feels appropriate.

If you want to name/talk about “large” games on other handheld platforms, that’d be great too. Go wild.

I’m still thinking about it myself. I don’t think I’ve played a lot of ones that actually feel large, but plenty that feel small.

A less common answer might be Lufia GBC, which seems pretty large, at least in contrast to other RPGs on the system.
Final Fantasy IV and Front Mission would seem pretty large on the Wonderswan, but don’t seem nearly as large on the DS.


#2

James Bond 007, but I never finished it so that’s just my baby memories of it


#3

It may seem obvious, but Zelda: Link’s Awakening. And Pokemon Gold/Silver, where the revelation of the Kanto region at the end was mindblowing.

I came to the Game Boy late enough that I was aware of its limitations, and was therefore pretty impressed it got a full-on(-ish) Lemmings port.

The first time I played one of the Game & Watch Gallery games (it was 2 or 3), the amount of unlockable content (a new idea to me!) seemed dizzying. By the end, you had more than twice of what you started. It began to feel so limitless and full of secrets.


#4

Qwirk felt like it had a ton of puzzles.

Exploration felt so trial and error based in that TMNT castleroid that it probably padded out what was really there a good bit. (NES Goonies II does this trick too)


#5

pokémon blue felt very large to me, the scope felt well beyond what i considered plausible on the game boy. a lot of that may have been my unfamiliarity with the system, which i only knew for platform games and tetris.

perhaps something which a game feel big is when there are more generalised rules about how the game works. for example, in pokémon most of the monsters you catch aren’t special, and you can catch many of the same monster by wandering thru the region in which they live. so many potential monsters remain uncaught, and that leaves a large possibilty space untraversed.


#6


#7

pokemon blue/red felt huge partly because of all the playground rumors out there and sense of mystery the world contained. all the damn time I spent trying to move that damn truck to find Pikablu or whatever.


#8

Final Fantasy Legend II will always be the quintessential “large” GB game, for me. Between the character options, all the weapons and their non-obvious uses, its baroque numbers-go-up system, and the various worlds, it feels holistically large, particularly in comparison to the various Square SNES RPG, all of which manage to feel large in specific and limited ways (FFV is large in gameplay, Chrono Trigger in world-building, etc).


#9

In sheer glitch-atude, Mega Man II - not big, big - but glitchy as heck…


#10

Could anyone actually play the FF Legend games as a kid? I felt like I had to get a degree to even figure out character creation.


#11

Sadly enough, before grade 5,
I finished at least FFL 1-3…
Mostly a mixture of luck and walk-thru(s)…


#12

Can I say Metal Gear: Ghost Babel even though it was a GBC game?


#13

Oh sure, yeah. I consider the Color an extension of the original. Really, any portable game that evoked these feelings in you.


#14

Final Fantasy Adventure certainly felt that way to me.


#15

This is entirely subjective and probably not defensible, but Super Mario Land 2 at least felt large


#16

Almost mentioned SML2. I’ve found it much harder to play in recent years, but the sheer variety in levels, gimmicks, and weird secrets made it really stand out and feel deep.


#17

I certainly beat FF Legend III as a kid. It just took time and a healthy capacity for obsession. Not that it’s necessarily hard to figure out how to break that game in the process of playing it.


#18

I got stuck on Robopon’s early game as a kid for a full year despite all my efforts because I missed talking to one NPC so when I finally triggered that I was overleveled enough that I coasted through a huge amount of new mechanics and areas. The game suddenly went from a small affair to seeming much more vast and weird.


#19

OH ALSO DONKEY KONG


#20

That’s true, I had the DKC2 port and that game seemed huge. Iirc, it had like 95% of the levels of the console version, I think it was only missing the bonus world