Review by Ice Water

"Want a self induced headache? Play this thing for an hour!"

Back in the old days of 1995, war was beginning on the console field. The Sega had released the powerhouse Sega Saturn, then Sony countered with its 32 bit Playstation. Nintendo had decided to unleash their 32 bit terror as well. The only problem was...Nintendo made this: The Virtual Boy.

The Virtual Boy was supposed to be Nintendo's answer to the 32 bit world, and an innovative idea too. The problem with this sucker was...it only had two colors: red and black. No problem with the two of them, as they go really well together, but if you stare at lazer red lights for a long time, you will give yourself a headache which is the reason why the Virtual Boy only lasted one year, and why Nintendo had to unleash the Nintendo 64 to the world.

The System
It was a very nice idea. The system was basically just a visor that stood atop a metal stand that came with the whole set. The system was a nice shade of Red, with a nice layer of black underneath it (And it was a very nice system color. Now why can't they make that again?). The system had stereo sound that came out of both sides of the visor where you put your face, and went directly into your ears, so it wasn't completely advised to put it at full blast. The screen gets a few complaints though. For one, the view all depended on how your eyes were set up. The other was getting the correct brightness. If it was too bright, you'd get migranes, but if it was too dark, you couldn't see anything. The only real complaints about the layout, but thats not the worst part.

The Controls
You know how the Gameboy Advance is set up? This may have made the button configuration for that thing what it is. The Virtual Boy took the R and L buttons, slapped them on the back of the controller with the battery pack in the middle, then slapped two direction pads on both sides of the thing. On the left side, there is one D pad as well as the standard start and select buttons. On the right side, there was another D pad and the A and B buttons. And in the middle was the decorative logo of Nintendo and the power button. The thing with the power button was that it wouldn't fit on the main system, and this way you can't turn on the system without having the controller plugged in. It was a great idea! The controller was great, and it should be remade for another system one of these days. But unfortunately, that may not happen...

The Graphics
This is where the console loses all of its quallity points. The graphics are all a mixture of 2 and 3d, which sounds all fine and dandy since you have probably seen games that pull this off greatly. Unfortunately, the Virtual Reality part kills it off. The red lines really makes it all very stressful on your eyes, and the black makes it all very dull, but makes the red even easier to see, causing you to get your headache faster. Nintendo realized this and installed a timer that paused the game every 15 minutes so you could rest your eyes and get some asprin. But even then, it didn't save this system from being a flop.

The Games
There's a whoppin' collection of 14 games on this bad boy. Collect them all. They had a variety of games for this system like all of Nintendo's consoles, but this one has the smallest of them all. There were a couple of puzzles (Tetris and Panic Bomber come to mind), only one platform (Wario Land) and it was the best one on the entire system, several sports (golf and boxing), and a few others that I can't even think of at the moment. The 14 games may be hard to come by now, but with a bit of searching through Ebay, you may get them all. Whoopie.

That's pretty much all I can say about this poor console. Perhaps if they added some color, this system would have lasted longer than a year. If you want one badly, go search Ebay or a used game store. You may be able to score a copy for about thirty bucks or less if you get lucky. Just be sure to get Wario Land, otherwise you'll be missing out on the best game.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 03/24/03, Updated 03/24/03


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