Virtual Boy – Angry Video Game Nerd


During the ongoing delay of the Nintendo 64 Nintendo announced a new product to fill the time and continued their successful line of portable game systems beginning with the Game & Watch Games, and the Gameboy. The product with more review information, originally dubbed VR 32 would become known as the Virtual Boy. It made use of 3D technology where each eye would see two separate screens and create the illusion of three-dimensional depth.

Virtual reality seemed like the way the future. Just the idea of feeling like you were in the game was an AWESOME concept. But instead, it turned out to be the grand motherlode of SH*T. *dissapointment* The first problem was that it was marketed as a portable system. Yeah, portable– my ass is portable! You could barely find a comfortable way to play this big, red, ugly piece of sh*t at home, let alone bring it somewhere. Like, you Couldn’t play in a car or something like that.

And, Come to think of it, you wouldn’t want to play this thing in public anyway. You’d look like an asshole! *trying to play virtual boy in different ways* *grabs a roll of duct tape* *the sound of duct tape* Why isn’t there a headstrap?

Let’s think about this. This must be one of the WORST designs for any invention in history! It’s basically a pair of GOGGLES on a stand! To me, that translates to a pair of eyeballs on legs. The controller is really weird, too. It has two D-pads and the battery pack is attached to it.

You can swap it with an AC adapter. But when you’re playing on a table it can come loose and SHUT OFF your game! The 3D effects are hard to focus and they strain your eyes.

There is even a warning on the box That said it could cause headaches and seizures. That’s great, right? It’s like the cherry on the sh*t sundae. How would you like to play BAD games and have a HEADACHE, too? But, before I say the games are bad, Let’s take an honest look. Unfortunately, the only way I can record these games is to zoom into the eyepiece.

So, please excuse the guerrilla-style Videography. Let’s begin with Mario’s Tennis. This was one of the first Virtual Boy games to be released. And it’s usually the first one that most people have played. It starts out with Mario hitting a tennis ball right into your FACE.

The 3D effect is actually pretty effective. But without experiencing the actual game you can’t see it. Now, the main thing that disappointed everybody right from the beginning was the fact that the games are all in RED and BLACK! Now the original Gameboy was in black and white or black and greenish-yellow, whatever, but the Virtual Boy was supposed to be cutting-edge So it was fair to expect it to be in color. What a let down! Now, as for the game itself– it’s just tennis, but with a selection of Mario characters.

Not bad But nothing special. The big problem for me personally What the HELL kind of virtual reality game is this!? I don’t feel like I’m on the court Interacting. I would have expected this to be in a first-person perspective. The WHOLE idea of virtual reality is to simulate the experience of the game like you’re actually in the environment.

It’s supposed to FEEL like reality, hence the term VIRTUAL REALITY. Here’s another one, Galactic Pinball. Well, it’s just a pinball game with a space theme. The 3D effects are pretty shallow on this one. Nothing ever really comes up in your face. To use the paddles, you hit the buttons on the bottom of the controller which feels like Using a real pinball machine But you expect to be able to hit the button harder to hit the ball harder.

So, in the long run it just makes you Wish you were playing a real pinball machine instead. Or Anything other than THIS! I feel like I’m taking an eye exam! And speaking of that, my EYES are starting to hurt already!

If you play this long enough and go blind you can really become the Pinball Wizard. OK, now we have Teleroboxer. Kind of like Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots. And HOLY SH*T It’s a first-person perspective! THIS is a little more like virtual reality. The gameplay is pretty much the same as Punch-Out.

You can punch to the face, Punch the body, hook, uppercut, duck, dodge and you can make use of both D-Pads which individually control each arm. So you can block with one arm and punch with the other at the same time. It’s not bad. And the 3D effects are cool. Especially when your opponent knocks you out!

*KNOCK OUT* Next up– Red Alarm. Well, red is right. All the games should have had red in the title.

It’s basically a flying game like Star Fox. Remember what the graphics look like on Star Fox? Everything was a polygon But imagine that in red and black without any rendered shapes whatsoever. Everything’s just a WIREFRAME!

It looks like a game that hasn’t been finished! Worst of all, it’s DISORIENTING! If only there was some kind of TEXTURE You’d be able to see where the boundaries are, but without it You’re just flying around with a bunch of lines!

Often, I think I’m flying into an opening, but then I just find them BUTTING against the wall! Look at THIS! Where am I supposed to go!? *don’t know where to go* One thing that’s cool Is that you can switch camera angles.

I choose the POV because, after all, isn’t this supposed to be virtual reality? Unfortunately Red alarm and Teleroboxer are the only two Virtual Boy games to have this feature. Next up is Wario Land. You take control of Wario with one basic goal– reach the end of each level. Along the way, you gotta find keys to open doors, collect treasures, and fight enemies.

You stomp on ’em, throw ’em, or dash into ‘Em. There’s also parts where you can leap into the background, OBVIOUSLY trying to cater to the 3D gimmick. But it’s actually a good game.

DAMN good! But, only one problem– it’s on VIRTUAL BOY. Next we have Panic Bomber. It’s a puzzle game, and a decent one I might add.

Basically, things fall down and you gotta match three of a kind in a row in a column or diagonal. The match pieces Disappear and you get bombs. When a lip bomb falls, you can use it to blow up the other bombs. Now, I have one question. Why in the HOLY MOTHER OF F*CK does this need to be on VIRTUAL BOY!? It’s a PUZZLE GAME!

This is the kind of thing that belongs on Gameboy. Not only is there NOTHING remotely 3d or virtual reality based, you can only play it alone! Aren’t puzzle games most fun when you have friends to play with!?

Well, Virtual Boy actually had an extension port for a multiplayer cable. It would have been used to link two Virtual Boys much like the Game Boy did, but the only Problem, they NEVER released the cable or made any games that supported it because the Virtual Boy SUCKED so hard It was RETIRED before such a thing could be released! Next, we’re up to Mario Clash. Every Nintendo console had its own definitive Mario title, and this you would hope would be decent. But what you get is basically a remake of the original 1983 Mario Brothers Arcade.

Each level is just one screen And the goal is to knock out all the enemies, except for the Koopas. You stomp on them and use their shells to throw at The other enemies. Some of the enemies like the ones with the three spikes on their back have to be killed from a distance So it’s basically Mario brothers with the background and foreground. What bothers me about this game is just one simple problem. They SWAPPED the buttons!

B Is jump and A throws shells. How did they f*ck up the controls for a Mario game!? WHY CHANGE what we grew up with!? WHY CHANGE what’s been FIRMLY planted in our brains since CHILDHOOD?! There’s also a bonus stage– and look what we have here!

TEXTURE. It’s nice to see a floor that’s fully rendered for once! Overall, Mario Clash isn’t bad But it’s repetitive, and it goes on for 99 LEVELS. Probably making it the LONGEST Virtual Boy game. And since it causes eye strain, It shouldn’t be finished in one sitting. Next, Nestor’s Funky Bowling!

Any subscriber to Nintendo Power knows who Nestor is, and this is probably the only game He’s ever been in. All I can say is, it’s bowling. That’s what it is. But I don’t know what’s so FUNKY about it.

It’s just an average bowling game with the same ten pins OVER and OVER. The animation on Nestor’s reactions is pretty fun to watch But other than that, there’s not much to say. OK, next is Virtual League Baseball. You bat, you run, you pitch, you catch, you run, you throw. It’s BASEBALL. The music Is pretty cool, and you get a nice 3d effect when it shows the field.

Kind of like you’re sitting in the seats, almost like a *AHEM* Virtual Reality feel. When it comes to batting, the hit detection is kind of awkward and when you’re in the outfield It’s like you need a microscope to see the players. It’s such a strange sensation to be controlling sprites the size of ANTS. Kind of like North and South on NES.

Now let’s do Vertical Force. This one is a 2d shooter, kind of like Galaga, 1942, or Archetype. It’s a genre that’s CLASSIC. As Classic as a good old TV screen. The only 3D part is that you can switch between two different altitudes So it’s kind of like 2d 3d.

Sometimes you gotta fly up or down to avoid obstacles But most of the time you can just stay where you are. The 3d effect isn’t even that deep anyway. This is another PERFECT example of a game that doesn’t need to be on Virtual Boy. Next is… Golf. That’s it Just Golf.

Of all the games with this title, I’d stick to Golf on NES You pick your club, you line up your shots, and that’s about it. Just the IDEA of playing an 18-hole course on this makes me SICK! The graphics are decent But they BEG to be in green and black rather than RED and BLACK. Well, it would be nice if it was in color But let me tell you if there’s ONE COLOR that I imagine when it comes to golf, it’s f*cking ANYTHING but RED! Next we have 3D Tetris.

Now, anyone who’s familiar with Tetris will immediately Understand the concept. Blocks fall down and you have to put them together without leaving gaps. Anytime You fill a whole row they disappear and the only difference is that it’s in 3D But that means it moves along a lot slower because there’s a lot more space to fill. The A and B buttons Turn the blocks around in the second dimension While the right D-Pad flips them in the third Dimension. The left D-Pad moves the pieces around to where you want to drop them.

And it works quite well. 3d Tetris and Teleroboxer are the ONLY TWO Virtual Boy games that use both D pads to do something different. Until the blocks drop down, they’re transparent and they have little shadows to help you tell where they’re going to land. Also the layout keeps moving so they basically tried everything they could so that you won’t get confused. But still, it’s a little hard to tell what you’re doing.

The 3d aspect isn’t even very unique. They could have made a game like This on just about ANY other console at the time. While the Virtual Boy does place parts of the graphics in front of other parts, the blocks here are just two-dimensional shapes drawn to give the FEELING of the third dimension Without ACTUALLY doing so. It’s like if I just draw on a piece of paper. THERE, that’s 3d. I’d say just stick to regular Tetris.

Well now, we saved the worst for last. It’s Water World. Now, let’s just stop for a moment and take this in, OK? *quick deep breath* Water World… on VIRTUAL BOY! It’s like PUKING on a PILE OF SH*T!

Alright, here we go… Ocean presents Water World. How IRONIC. Well, as far as the graphics go, too bad they couldn’t use the color BLUE! I mean they had TWO CHOICES for the water It could have been RED or BLACK.

Well, at least they chose black because if it was red We’d be calling it Blood World. Either way, it looks like SH*T! IT DOES LOOK LIKE SH*T. The object of the game is just to shoot everybody and rescue the people It’s basically a remake of Defender.

There’s not really any goal other than getting a high score, which really helps since it doesn’t save any data. There’s actually a 9 player mode which I HONESTLY find hard to believe. Could you IMAGINE passing the Virtual Boy around a room to EIGHT other people?

I’d rather drink Kevin Costner’s recycled piss water! Water World is the ONLY movie based game on Virtual Boy and doesn’t it seem like a match made in Heaven? It’s a PERFECT analogy. An OVER budget, OVERHYPED movie turned into a game on a GIMMICKY, OVERPRICED ANAL ATOM BOMB OF A CONSOLE EXPLODING WITH DIARRHEA!!

Well, that’s it. The Virtual Boy was such a flop it DIED in less than a year. Yeah. And I didn’t pick these games. This is all of ’em.

I just reviewed every Virtual Boy game to be released in North America. That’s right! I am holding the ENTIRE library of games for this piece of sh*t in my ONE HAND.

With the exception of Jack Brothers Which is rare, expensive, and probably not worth JACK SH*T! Now, to be fair, most of the games are OK. But they’re the same kind of games you might as well be playing on a regular TV screen! I mean, they tried to take advantage of some 3D elements, but this WASN’T CALLED 3D Boy, it was called *hit the virtual boy* VIRTUAL BOY!! And they didn’t even ATTEMPT, they didn’t even ATTEMPT a virtual reality concept!

What it needed was some first-person shooter games. Like DOOM! That would have been awesome! Now it’s been about 10 years. The technology’s gotten better, but Nobody really gives a sh*t about virtual reality anymore.

And maybe, that’s for the best. *EXPLOSION* *dramatic music* IT DOES LOOK LIKE SH*T.