Nintendo Game Boy NTSC-J Japan Video Games

Nintendo Game Boy NTSC-J Video Games to Collect or Play

Nintendos original Game Boy handheld video game console was home to numerous games that changed the face of gaming. As with the console itself, these titles primarily originate from Japan. Versions of some of these classic Japanese games are prized by collectors as well as those who simply want to experience them for themselves.

How does NTSC-J affect video games?

NTSC-J refers to a discontinued television system for the analog TV. In simplest terms, NTSC-J indicates that a particular video game design is intended for play on consoles and screens made different areas of the world like Japan (hence the J in the name). As a result, these games are region-locked to Japan and other countries with compatible technology; they are unable to run on machines not formatted for this type of game. While the practice is largely discontinued now, most original games still keep to this standard.

What are some Japanese Game Boy games available?

Since the majority of classic games on the Game Boy originated in Japan, there is a Japanese version for almost every Game Boy game ever released. A few notable titles include:

  • "Pocket Monsters Pikachu": Known as "Pokemon Yellow Version" in America, this was one of the first four Pokemon games ever made. Roughly following the same story as its three predecessors, this Japanese game distinguishes itself by introducing elements from the then-new animated series based on the games as well as monsters to catch that differ from those in other versions.
  • "Super Mario Land": Marios first adventure on a handheld console, "Super Mario Land" follows the plumber in an unusual side-scrolling adventure in Sarasaland, where he must rescue Princess Daisy from the evil spaceman Tatanga.
  • "Street Fighter II": A port of the legendary arcade game of the same name, this version of "Street Fighter II" had to rework several elements to fit on a handheld system, including interesting changes to the fighting system involving how long inputs are held.
  • "Shanghai": This is an old-school solitaire game of mah-jongg with some fantastical elements thrown in to spice things up.
What are some Japanese-exclusive Game Boy games?

Japan had its fair share of games that were never released outside of the country, including:

  • "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon": Based on the first few episodes of the animated series of the same name, this game invites the player to control Sailor Moon as she goes about her life as a student fighting evil.
  • "After Burst": Players control a robot as they fight their way through 30 stages to destroy the enemy orb, encountering bosses on every 10th level.
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