Nine Virtual Boy games the 3DS can completely redeem

Looking at Nintendo’s many years of success, it’s hard to imagine the company ever releasing an inarguably awful piece of hardware. From the NES to the Game Boy to the DS, Nintendo has a strong track record – even its least successful console, GameCube, is home to some of the greatest games ever made. But in 1995, Nintendo unleashed one of the most baffling pieces of technology the world’s ever seen:

Above: Hope you really like red and black 

The Virtual Boy, a monochromatic rig that actually displayed games in 3D. Just pull up a chair, stick your head in and wait for your eyes to melt into your lap. Yes, the graphics were 3D, but the brain-searing, red-on-black graphics and confusing, dual D-Pad controller were too physically demanding for even the staunchest of gamers. It was also impossible to advertise – how do you convey, via magazines and TV spots, a 3D system? So obviously the Virtual Boy tanked, the games were cleared out and we all moved on.

Above: No really, imagine staring at this for more than 10 minutes 

Above: So it’s a system that young children should avoid? I sure hope the 3DS doesn’t have to put up with this 

As with any console, however, there are always diamonds in the rough. Virtual Boy is no exception, containing a handful of clever games that have been utterly lost to time. But with the 3DS on its way, Nintendo has a chance to clean up and re-release some of these old, dead games on a system that actually delivers a desirable 3D experience. Could some of the most ridiculed games of all time… suddenly be worthwhile?

Mario Clash

One of the system’s best games, Mario Clash was a (garishly red) update of the original (not Super) Mario Bros arcade game. Instead of running through themed worlds, chasing Bowser or eating mushrooms, you clear out single-screen levels as they fill up with various sewer-dwelling critters. For example, you jump on the turtles, then toss their shells at other enemies until the screen is empty. Then on to the next.

Above: And naturally they become progressively harder

The 3D effect works great: you enter pipes to travel deeper into the background, and from there can toss shells “into” or “at” the screen. This not only makes you go “whoa that shell is flying right at me!”, it also adds a literal new layer of gameplay to an arcade classic. But uh, very few played it, and this surprisingly fun little game has lived in obscurity ever since.

Above: Now imagine it reborn on 3DS!

Above: The visuals would undoubtedly look better than the VB original, but you get the idea

It’s such a decent idea that I fully expect Nintendo to announce a new Mario Clash (or straight up remake) sometime soon. Possibly even during the Jan 19 event that I’ll be happily attending. There’s currently no Mario game slated for the 3DS, so why not dig into the past and revive a perfectly good idea? Nintendo already featured it in a WarioWare game, so it just needs to take that next step…


  • Deathstalker83 - January 19, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    I still got my Virtual Boy.but it needs fixed. lol
  • hermanmcclain - January 14, 2011 2:57 a.m.

    Should Nintendo revamp the Virtual Boy games for 3DS; i'd love to see them go after their cancelled VB games like the 3-D Super Mario, F-Zero, and Starfox. 3-D Super Mario footage:
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - January 14, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    @Neel It merely starred Mario, it wasn't called "mario's golf" or anything, and had no "Mario-eqsue" features to it, like trick shots and so on. Mario's Tennis has a full cast, prominently features Mario and co throughout the game, so for me that's the beginning.
  • WTeen8 - January 13, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Nintendo are you reading this?
  • NeelEvil - January 13, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    @ Brett- Golf on the original game boy was actually the first Mario sports game, released in 1989.
  • CaptainSalmon - January 12, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    You could have probably named this "3/4 of the entire Virtual Boy library". Other than most of these seem like games (if not the actual game, but rather the concept/idea) that will inevitably come to the 3DS. 3DS Mario Clash. You saw it first here folks!
  • CancerMan - January 12, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    Wait a minute I actually had something like the Virtual Boy except the only game I can remember playing was baseball. And Brett, you need to face facts there are only EIGHT.
  • Japanaman - January 12, 2011 3:46 p.m.

    Yeah, I already came up with a list of VB titles that should be on 3DS. You nailed them all, but honestly, I would much rather see Tetrisphere from N64 on 3DS than 3D Tetris.
  • philipshaw - January 12, 2011 3 p.m.

    Only Brett could write an article like this and I love him for it
  • Baron164 - January 12, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Man I loved Red Alarm, Mario's Tennis and Galactic Pinball. There was also another Tetris game that got released, it was called V-Tetris and was bar far the better version. It's also the version I have. I have a lot of fond memories of the Virtual Boy, all though portability was not one of them.
  • chrisbg99 - January 12, 2011 7:01 a.m.

    What no Waterworld?
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - January 12, 2011 5:58 a.m.

    ^ That's why I capitalized NINE, because Pluto's a planet until I say otherwise. Science didn't consult me on this.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - January 12, 2011 3:32 a.m.

    @ Brett There's actually only 8 planets in our solar system, Pluto lost its planet status in 2006 and is now classed as a planetoid. Just sayin.
  • Styrophoamicus - January 12, 2011 3:03 a.m.

    Wario sounds like Snidely Whiplash, if Snidely Whiplash was a pedophile
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - January 12, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    That bowling sure was cool *nudge* *nudge* *wink*
  • EroticInvisibleMan - January 12, 2011 12:05 a.m. Best site on the subject.
  • AdonisX82 - January 12, 2011 12:01 a.m.

    1 - I'm not gonna lie, teleroboxers graphics looked damned good. Terrible name though 2 - Give red alarm a further draw distance, textures and some more speed, starfox. badda bing. 3 - Did red alarm seem to go faster than tetris? Is tetris REALLY that graphic intensive!?!??!
  • therawski - January 11, 2011 11:45 p.m.

    You can hold the entire library of virtual boy games in one hand, if they made remakes for 3ds, you should be able to hold that same library between two toes for no more than $10
  • NappyAfro - January 11, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    I dunno, I must be one of the rare owners of the Virtual Boy who actually loved the thing.
  • garnsr - January 11, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    I didn't know they even made nine games for the Virtual Boy.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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