Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Here’s my Top 5 Virtual Boy Games, Ever.
#5 Mario Clash
Mario Clash was a launch title for the virtual boy system and a surprisingly good one at that. As always Mario is tasked with killing the enemies on-screen in a 2D side-scrolling format with some added puzzle elements. The difference in this game is that Mario is using koopa shells to defeat his enemies, he can throw them left to right on the screen or away and toward the player. As is with any good Mario title our hero will eventually come across fireballs, spikes, increasingly difficult enemies, and a whole slew of set backs on his journey through 40 levels of chaos. Many of the enemies take different tactics to kill. They may only be able to take damage from a certain side or take more than one hit to kill. Bonus rounds and bonus points for clearing several enemies in a row with a single shell are perks of the game. Mario Clash isn’t without its negative points. Due to the fact that there is no save feature the player must start his score and level system over every time the game is booted. Even with this set back its definitely worth the play if you can get your hands on it.
As any classic gamer knows Punch-Out is one of the all time favorite Nintendo games. Teleroboxer is made by the same company that created Punch-Out and is the only available boxing game on the Virtual Boy console. Ironically just last year “Real Steel” the movie was released the topic of which was that people entered their robots into boxing matches for cash instead of boxing themselves. Teleroboxer uses this same theme and enters robots in the ring to do the dirty work. The game is played in the first person perspective and the player can throw right or left punches, step side to side, and duck up and down on the screen. Just like the days of Punch-Out (before everyone figured out the secret to winning the game.) the difficulty level is extremely high. I enjoy the game thoroughly and feel that it was meant to be set at a higher difficulty as the developers are trying to give you a more realistic feel. Even the graphics are impressive and pretty ground breaking for the time.
#3 Galactic Pinball
Galactic Pinball is one of my favorite games in the Virtual Boy library. It’s such a simple title but it’s well thought out, perfectly tweaked, and well-rounded. As the title suggests, the players pinball table floats in space. Instead of using a traditional pinball the player uses a space puck. Along with the interactivity of the actual machine as you are playing, the backdrop and for-ground dance around the screen. Samus’ ship flys across the screen, Aliens and UFO’s make appearances and comets shoot across the table. Having 3D visuals makes this game feel like you’re really playing a pinball machine. The speed and interaction of the pinball are enhanced thanks to the great development of this title.
#2 Jack Bros.
Jack Bros. is a top-down 2D adventure using one of the three Jack Lantern, Jack Skelton, or Jack Frost to crawl through the dungeons. The use of the Virtual Boys 3-dimensional rendering isn’t used hardly at all in this game, but none the less it’s quite impressive. 3D is limited to being able to see the next maze below the one you currently float on. Traveling through multi-floor mazes becomes quite a task and truly involving. Another huge positive point to the game is the music and sound track, something that is hard to find with this console. The music is excellent and the mazes become a fun challenge, something you definitely don’t want to miss out on if you can help it.
#1 Wario Land
Without question the single best game on the console must have been Wario Land. The animation and graphics of the game are top notch right from the beginning. After attempting to steal some loot Wario finds himself plummeted down a shaft underground. Wario must make his way back up through the network of caves coming ever closer to the surface. Wario must take the elevator from the end of one level to the beginning of another, fighting off bosses, and completing bonus levels along the way. Collecting hearts, coins, hat power-ups, and keys within a 20 minute time limit on each level becomes an addictive experience. As an added perk, the game automatically saves between each level. Wario’s hat power-ups are tons of fun too. Fire breathing, butt stomping, and eagle gliding add a promising flare to the game. The level design is top of the line, many of the hats must be used to proceed through the caves, and puzzles greet you frequently. Wario Land is without question the top game for Virtual Boy and a contender as one of the most classic titles of all time. Many people missed out on it who didn’t have a virtual boy but if you ever have the chance to go back and play this gold piece, take it.
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