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Nine Virtual Boy games the 3DS can completely redeem

Virtual Boy Wario Land

It may come as a surprise that the Wario Land series, which gained popularity on the Game Boy, actually began on the Virtual Boy (not counting Super Mario Land 3, if you want to get overly specific). It’s a standard run-right platformer, but the added 3D effects let you dip into different layers of each level. Combine that with the usual cache of Wario power-ups (in this case, hats that give you unique abilities) and you’ve got a damn fine game trapped on a system doomed to die.


Above: Another great example of how difficult it is to convey 3D gameplay with 1995 televisions

The only real downside to Wario Land was the fact it was on Virtual Boy – it was a legitimately long adventure, so unlike the arcade-style Mario Clash it demanded longer play sessions than most mortals could endure. If it were brought back on 3DS, in color and with some extra content, we’d happily buy it all over again. And hell, most of the world doesn’t even know it exists, so Nintendo could practically sell the exact same game again.


Galactic Pinball

Right. So. There’s no good reason why this needs to come back, other than I love space and galaxies and all that crap, and the long, deep nature of a pinball machine makes for a cool use of 3D. Someone’s going to barf out a 3D pinball game before the end of the year, so it might as well be Nintendo – they’ve already got the guts of one together, now just flesh it out!


Above: My that looks exciting 

How about a series of pinball tables based on the NINE planets in the solar system? Though that implies we leave this system and go into the galaxy proper. Clearly there are serious decisions to be made about the direction of this extremely important revival.


Above: Can we keep the kickass music from Kenji “Super Metroid” Yamamoto?

Another possible option is mixing this idea with a new Metroid pinball game – the DS Prime Pinball was quite good, and adding Samus in with this aesthetic is a perfect fit. Even though the original Galactic Pinball was forgettable and barely worth discussing (this entry may be the most anyone’s talked about it in a decade), there’s a kernel of a good idea in there. Go for it, Nintendo!


Jack Bros

Yet another Virtual Boy oddity – this is actually the first Megami Tensei game released in the US, which stars publisher Atlus’ mascot Jack Frost. Two other Jacks (Lantern and Skelton) round out the trio, and all team up to slog through level after level of unending bad guys.


Above: It doesn’t look very fun, but it is 

Gameplay is fairly basic, as you’re mostly just running through these hallways with enemies in continuous pursuit. The 3D kicks in when you look out into the black void – you’ll see the next level below you, seemingly deep in the distance. It’s a cool effect, though not really crucial to the experience.


Above: Ten minutes of gameplay! Halloween hijinks ensue!

Just as was the case with Wario Land, this is a remarkably competent and fun (if a tad sparse) game that never had a chance at life; even if it weren’t one of the rarest games on the platform, simply sitting down to play it for more than a few minutes was borderline painful. Color this properly, put it on 3DS and give this otherwise decent game a fair shot.

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22 comments

  • 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: http://www.youtube.com/user/Grooveraider?feature=mhum#p/u/172/H10SJ3_NnDE
  • 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.

    http://www.sydlexia.com/top100vb.htm 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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