Is the Game Boy Color conversion of Bubble Bobble better than the awful Game Boy version? In a word: no. It isn’t. It’s arguably worse…
Firstly: Classic Bubble Bobble still has those damn strobing bubbles, which are annoying. It’s maybe worth pointing out that Game Boy developers would often strobe sprites on and off, so it gave the impression of them being transparent, and also so that they could circumnavigate sprite limits and associated sprite tearing, but I think the technique is headache-inducing and unnecessary.
Secondly: Classic Bubble Bobble still suffers from a lack of screen real estate and therefore blundering into enemies (you can’t see off screen) happens all the time, and it feels unfair. It’s hard to describe how annoying this is without experiencing it yourself.
Thirdly: it’s way too easy to accidentally jump off a bubble into an enemy and to your doom. The bubbles are far too ‘bouncy’ in this version, for some reason.
Fourthly: one thing I did notice is that popping bubbles (by jumping into them) is much more difficult than in other conversions – maybe too difficult – which also leads to many unnecessary deaths as you repeatedly jump into them and to your doom. The bubbles should burst with just a touch – like REAL bubbles – but in this you really have to headbutt them. It’s like they’re made out of rubber, like balloons. It’s really frustrating! They’re f**king bubbles – not balloons!
Fifthly: the white ghost that appears when the timers expires chases you constantly, rather than in bursts (like in Bubble Bobble), meaning that it’s much harder to evade.
Classic Bubble Bobble is another annoying conversion with flawed gameplay, but nice graphics and colours. The graphics and colours do not make up for the flawed gameplay, though. Unfortunately this is another one to avoid.
See also: 10 Best Bubble Bobble Conversions