Nine Virtual Boy games the 3DS can completely redeem

Red Alarm

Hoo boy… this is kind of a hard sell. The idea of a heavily armed spaceship blowing the hell out of everything is immediately enticing, and if you add 3D to the mix it really starts to sound like a sweet deal. But Red Alarm opted to go for wireframe graphics instead of sprites or shaded polygons, so you get a game that’s occasionally incomprehensible, if not outright unplayable. Try to make sense of this:

Above: What

…riiiight. Believe it or not, I somehow found Red Alarm entertaining, and there’s something to run with here. Spruce it up, overhaul the controls so they don’t use the horrid dual D-pad setup, add some free-roaming areas or at least goddamn graphics and I bet Nintendo could salvage Red Alarm. That said, it does seem like a Star Fox game without any Star Fox, so creating a second space-shooter franchise might be overkill. In that case… just throw Fox McCloud on the cover.

3D Tetris

Every platform needs some form of Tetris, and the concept of taking this venerable series into the third dimension is as sound as can be. But the execution here, with just one color to work with and barely any processing power, is flat-out appalling.

Above: WHAT

I’ve watched that clip five or six times as still can’t make out what’s happening. Some blocks falling, points pop up, something disappears… but it’s so glacially slow and aggressively uninteresting I can’t fathom anyone bothering to play it for more than 30 seconds. But done right? Why, I reckon it’d be even cooler than Tetrisphere, which, while we’re at it, deserves a 3D makeover too.

In total, there were only 14 Virtual Boy games released in the US. Of those, only these nine (plus maybe Panic Bomber and Vertical Force?) are remotely worth playing, and even then the cumbersome controller and physically offensive hardware make them almost impossible to enjoy. But the 3DS could save them from their fate, redeeming not just their original programmers, but also, in a small way, the Virtual Boy itself. I guess.

All Virtual Boy screenshots came from the immensely helpful MobyGames

Jan 11, 2011

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  • 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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