KID ICARUS: OF MYTHS AND MONSTERS / Nintendo / Game Boy
I was no fan of the original NES Kid Icarus, mostly because of the gameplay scheme of combining slidey play control with constant jumps over pits that killed you instantly if you slipped up. The mostly-forgotten sequel for the humble Gameboy fixes that with a much less slidey scheme and fully vertically contiguous levels where if you fall, it just means re-doing some climbing rather than the end of Pit's life.
Pit is once again on a quest to scroll vertically, shooting various demons for very vague reasons. The game was developed in-house by Nintendo so it keeps all the elements of the previous and has their expected level of polish. You pick up Hearts with which to buy stuff at occasional shops, and Hammers to smash up the occasional obstacle. Familiar enemies all make their return and the game has a very similar feel to the NES title, just immensely less frustrating.
The switch of focus from hardcore platform jumping to more of an exploration style does wonders for the game. Makes you wonder what might have been if Nintendo built off of this for an SNES follow-up. Ah well.
* Gameplay Video