Introduction
I am MLW1984, I'm currently 23 years of age and I have been a Nintendo fan since 1988. My first Nintendo game was Super Mario Bros. I have played the NES, SNES, Game Boy, N64, Gamecube, Wii and yes, the Virtual Boy. The article I am writing today have to do with the Virtual Boy which not too many people were fond on. I personally liked the Virtual Boy and thought it was just as good as Nintendo's other consoles. Of course this is my opinion and I'm sure a lot of you will disagree with me. Oh well, each to his own, I guess. Enough about that...now let's get to the infamous Virtual Boy.


Nintendo fan forever!

November 15th, 1995: My 11th Birthday and how I got the Virtual Boy

One, cool, cloudy day on November 15th, 1995 on my 11th birthday, after school I was at Funcoland. My mom and friends have gave me a combined total of $500. I was deciding whether to get the Virtual Boy from Nintendo or the Sony Playstation. I really wanted the Virtual Boy because I thought it would be cool to see games in the "virtual world", but I also wanted the Playstation. And guess which one I got: The Virtual Boy! I eventually got the Playstation for Christmas. So I brought the system for $180 and got some games for free.

So that's the story on how I got the Virtual Boy....now, it's time for me to talk about the console which is considered by many to be Nintendo's worst console.

The Virtual Boy Itself

The Virtual Boy was developed by Gunpei Yokio, who is the inventor of the Game Boy and Game & Watch handhelds and the producer of the Metroid franchise. Yokio died in a car accident on October 4th, 1997. The Virtual Boy came out in August 14th, 1995 in America, it was released during the 5th generation, which includes other consoles such as the Playstation and Nintendo 64. The Virtual Boy was made due to the delay of the Nintendo 64 which was originally supposed to be released in 1995. It was discontinued in 1996 due to low sales and it was never released in Europe or Australia. It was only released in the United States and Japan. I feel that the system could of last beyond late 1995/early 1996. There was only 14 games released in the US from the system. There was also going to be Donkey Kong Country and Zero Racers, but because the system did poorly in the market, the games were cancelled. I was disappointed. What made the Virtual Boy an unusual console, is that, unlike other consoles, you stand instead of sit and you look into the Virtual Boy's goggles rather than a TV screen. Like the NES, SNES and Game Boy, the Virtual Boy uses game cartridges. Even though, this may seem unusual, the Virtual Boy Controller takes 6 AA batteries to operate it, but you can also use a power adapter. The controller have 2 D-pads instead of one like most consoles.

Here's a picture of Gunpei Yokoi, the developer of the Virtual Boy.



Here's what the Virtual Boy and it's controller looks like:



Why is the Virtual Boy Criticized?

A few of the major criticisms of the Virtual Boy is that people claim that it will make you blind and it gives you headaches. That's not true. You are not supposed to play on that thing for an excessive amount of time. You stand up to play games rather than sitting and you aren't supposed to do that for a long time either. So if you have poor eyesight or don't like standing up for a long period of time, then the Virtual Boy isn't for you. Along with the negative reception and poor sales, the price of the Virtual Boy dropped from $180 to $50 where I lived.

The Games

*May contain spoilers, if release dates are incorrect, then let me know because some of the resources have different dates*

Since there was only 14 games released for the Virtual Boy, I'm going to write a little on each of them.

Jack Bros.
This game came out on October 1st, 1995 and was developed by Atlus who has published other games such as SBK:Snowboard Kids and Power Instinct. The Jack Bros are the mascot characters of the Megami Tensei franchise, which was created by Atlus. The Jack Bros are Jack O Lantern, Jack Frost and Jack Skeleton and they want to return home. The game took place on Halloween night. A portal in the Earth and another world opens and the Jack Bros want to see what was going on with the Earth. They have 1 hour to return to Earth or they would be stuck in that new world FOREVER. A fairy guides the brothers through the 50 levels in a 3D environment. I loved this game, this is one of the Virtual Boy games that I felt should of had a sequel. Highly recommended from me.



3D Tetris
Wanted to know what is Tetris like in 3D? This game is basically Tetris but it uses a three-dimesional playing field instead of two-dimesional like the previous games. You can move the pieces in four different directions instead of just the traditional 2. The game is very similar to Blockout(1989) which is an arcade game that was designed by Aleksander Ustaszewski and Miroslaw Zablocki and developed by California Dreams (no not the show). This game was released on March 22nd, 1996 and was developed by T&E Soft and published by Nintendo. If you like Tetris, then this game is for you. It was the last game ever released for the Virtual Boy.



Virtual Boy Wario Land
I remember playing the original Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 game on the Game Boy back in the mid 1990's. I thought it would be interesting to have a Virtual Boy version of it and my wishes was answered. This game was released on November 1st 1995 and was developed by Nintendo R&D1 (or Nintendo Research and Development 1) and published by Nintendo. This game is similar to the Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 with a few changes. On a vacation in the Awazon river, Wario stumbles across a hidden cave filled with treasure. Wario is greedy and wants all of the treasure but it is guarded and as the floor crumbles, he finds himself deep in the Earth. He must find his way back to the surface while getting all of those treasures. Wario still has the Dragon (ability to use an enemy as a flamethrower) and Bull Helmet (he can attack faster) hats as power-ups, a new power up is the Eagle Hat (not seen in WL:SML3). The Eagle hat gives him the ability to fly. As new in this game, if you combine the Dragon Hat with the Eagle Hat, you get the King Dragon Hat, which gives Wario the ability of all three hats. If you liked the original Wario Land game, then Virtual Boy Wario Land is definitely recommended for you.



Nester's Funky Bowling[/i][/i]
Nester originated from the Nintendo Power's comic section. In this game, he joins his sister, Hester and they go bowling together. Hester believes she's superior to Nester in any way possible.Depending on how you play, you may see some reactions from the twins, however, don't make them too angry, or else they will throw a temper tantrum. The game has 3 modes, practice (you can set up the pins the way you like it), bowling (just like your regular bowling game) and challenge (difficult mode). This game was released on February 26th, 1996 and was developed by Nintendo R&D3.



Mario Clash
Mario Clash is heavily based on the original Mario Bros arcade game which was released in 1983. In this game, Mario was caught in a underground cavern. You will have to navigate Mario in the narrow pipes which creates a maze in the cavern area. Many of the foes which was in Mario Bros are back in Mario Clash such as the Koopas, Fire Balls and Spinies. To kill foes, you use Koopa shells. The game was released on October 1st, 1995 (although some sites have the American release date as September 30th, 1995) and was developed by Nintendo R&D1. Mario Clash was remade as a micro game for the WarioWare franchise in 2003.



Red Alarm
This game takes place 70 years into the future which that would be the year 2065 AD. The world was taken over by a computer called KAOS and it wants to destroy all of mankind. Using a Tech Wing Fighter, you must enter KAOS and destroy it. This game was like a red and black version of Starfox in my opinion. The game was released on September 14th, 1995 and was developed by T&E Soft. Red Alarm is considered the best of the Virtual Boy games.



Mario's Tennis

Basically, it's Mario Tennis but it's on the Virtual Boy. It wasn't well received like the other Mario Tennis games. The game was developed by Nintendo and released on September 14th, 1995.



Golf

It's golf for the Virtual Boy. What more can I say? It's just like the game released for the NES back in 1986 only in red and black. It was released on November 1st, 1995 and developed by T&E Soft.



Panic Bomber
I enjoy the Bomberman series, they are so addicting and I always enjoy a good puzzle game. This little gem was no exception. Released on December of 1995 and developed by Hudson Soft, this game involves Bomberman going on a hunt for the Golden Bomber statue in the regular mode. The game has Tetris-like elements with a little Bomberman twist. Panic Bomber was 2 of the only Virtual Boy games (the other being Waterworld) that was released on other consoles as well such as the Neo-Geo and TurboDuo. So if you are a fan of the Bomberman games then this one is definitely for you.



Teleroboxer

A boxing game for the Virtual Boy. Teleroboxer took place in the 22nd Century, when the "telerobotics" technology was commonly used. The area of study was developed to enable a obot to mirror the body movements of the human in control of it. The use of Telerobotics enable robots to work under conditions unbearable to humans. As the technology matured, increasingly specialized robots were created. To increase people's interest in telerobotics, the pre-eminent scientist in the field, Dr. Edward Maki Jr., developed teleroboxing -- a boxing match between robots that are remotely controlled by human players. The players called themselves teleroboxers. I consider Teleroboxer to be one of the greatest for the Virtual Boy. It was developed by Nintendo IRD who has also developed the Punch Out!! series and released on August 14th, 1995.



Vertical Force
An awesome vertical shooter for the Virtual Boy! The game's plot takes place in Space Era 210. The giant computer that takes care of a human colony planet named Odin suddenly malfunctions and decides to send an army of drone starfighters to destroy Earth. I personally felt the game was too short and it could of had more levels. Many fans of the Virtual Boy consider this game a must have. Vertical Force was released on December 1st, 1995 and Hudson Soft has developed the game.



Virtual League Baseball
Basically, this is baseball, Virtual Boy style. The sequel Virtual League Baseball 2 was cancelled due to the poor sales of the Virtual Boy. This game was released on September 11th, 1995 and developed by Kemco.



Waterworld

Waterworld was considered the worst Virtual Boy game by many. I personally didn't like the game much myself, but I'm including it with my article. It's based off the Waterworld film that came out in 1995. The purpose of the game is to keep the Smokers (enemies) from grabbing the inhabitants of Atoll. The game was released on December 21st, 1995 and was developed by Ocean Software. Waterworld was also released for the SNES and the PC.



Galactic Pinball
A pinball game with a different twist. There are 4 boards in Galactic Pinball which are Colony, UFO, Alien and Cosmic. Each of them involve killing an UFO, an alien, meteors and more. Interesting fact: Samus Aran of the Metroid series makes a cameo in Galactic Pinball in the Cosmic board. The game was developed by Nintendo and was released on August 14th, 1995.



Conclusion
That's all of the games released in the US. There was only 14 games released for the console, but you had 5 sports games, 3 shooters, 5 puzzle games and a platformer. Not bad for a game library with 14 games. The Virtual Boy doesn't look as bad as people make it out to be. Sure, it's no Game Boy, NES or SNES, but it doesn't try to be either. If you are a Nintendo fan and want a complete collection of Nintendo consoles and you want to try something different, then the Virtual Boy would make a great addition to your collection. As a Nintendo fan, I wanted to give the Virtual Boy a chance and I'm glad that I did. I had fun with mine and still play with it occasionally.

Resources
ign.com
planetvirtualboy.com
virtual-boy.org
my own memories
some of my old Nintendo Power magazines
random websites for pictures

*WARNING*: If you didn't/don't like the Virtual Boy, please do not give this article a thumbs down.