It’s not often that Nintendo pulls off a Direct, the company’s live-streamed announcement event, that leaves fans satisfied while simultaneously managing to quell the angry tirade of Twitter users all in one fell swoop. That usually only happens when Twitter is either down, or Nintendo shows off whatever the latest Legend of Zelda title that’s on the horizon. This time, we got both – in the form of a new Tears of the Kingdom trailer and Twitter’s demise right before the show kicked off.
As a bonus, we got a ‘surprise’ announcement that the Japanese company is bringing back the Game Boy. Kinda. Nearly a year ago, leaked emulators for the Game Boy and its Advance sibling appeared online. It was a matter of when and not if they’d be showing up on the Switch. And that day has finally come.
Switching to Online
Anyone subscribed to Switch Online can download the basic Game Boy emulator, which includes a selection of Game Boy and Color games. If you’re after the Advance emulator, then an extra fee is needed to buy the ‘expansion pack’ tier.
Fortunately, picking up a standard Switch Online subscription won’t completely deplete your bank account. To test it out for a month, it’ll cost R52, three months is R105 and a year costs R262. The Switch Online + Expansion Pack (yes, that’s its name) is only available for a yearly subscription – costing R629.
Booting up the standard Game Boy emulator will give you access to a selector of Game Boy, Game Boy pocket and Game Boy Color games. It’s worth mentioning that original Game Boy games can be played across all three emulators, though the Color games can only be played in the matching mode.
If you’re looking for that injection of nostalgia, there’s an option to “reproduce classic feel” that’ll turn on filters to simulate the iconic pixel look you’d find on an actual LCD screen. Additionally, it’ll simulate a higher response time if you’d like it to. Standard Game Boy and Pocket games will also be made much darker. The only problem is that these all fall under the “classic feel” umbrella and specific settings can’t be singled out.
“Display with small screen” is here too, which emulates the game at its native resolution without any extra stretches added to the mix.
For the Advanced gamers
Spending that little bit more will net you access to the Game Boy Advance, as well as the regular Game Boy and Color emulators. There aren’t as many settings to fiddle with here, with the “reproduce classic feel” setting only adding a pixelated filter to your Switch. The “Display with small screen” feature is available here as well.
If you’re still on the fence about picking up a subscription, check out the list of games for the Game Boy + Color and Advance consoles. We’re of the opinion that if you’re in desperate need of any of the games offered, it’s worth giving the subscription a go. If there’s nothing that catches your eye, give it a miss until Nintendo adds a couple more emulators to the service. GameCube emulator when, Nintendo?