History Behind Virtual Boy Purchase
Like that other system with "Boy" in its name, I didn't bite on the Virtual Boy at all. However, as with many other people, once I saw the system for $25 and the games for $10 two years later, I just couldn't resist picking one up. Somehow, my friend and I rationalized the purchase of this oddity. I picked up my Virtual Boy on June 12, 1997. I got it at Electronics Boutique. The system was $24.99 and I picked up Mario Clash, Wario Land, and Golf at the same time for $9.99 each. So both my friend and I continued to pick up a few other games over the next month or two. I even got two games from Japan for the equivalent of 10 cents each! Ouch! After that summer, neither he nor I have played our Virtual Boy systems again. As a matter of fact, I think I played the system fewer than a dozen times.

Retrospectively, there is not much else that can be said about the Virtual Boy.  It was a colossal failure.  It is to Nintendo what big-time product flops are to other companies, such as Coke's New Coke, Sony's Betamax, Apple's Newton, Ford's Edsel, and so on.  Strangely, even though the Game Boy only had four shades of "gray," the Virtual Boy with its black background and three shades of red seemed inferior.  Psychologically, I think there's just something unnerving about seeing red on a black background.  It just didn't work.

With the 2009 release of Avatar into movie theatres, 3D had made a resurrgence into culture.  Nintendo even made another attempt at 3D gaming with its portable Nintendo 3DS in 2011.  But that in no way, shape, or form redeems the Virtual Boy as a "product ahead of its time."  Virtual Boy was poorly designed and poorly executed.  There was no way to make lemonade out these lemons.

Since fewer than 1 million Virtual Boy systems were released, its place in history is sealed as an elusive, obscure, and aberrant collector's item.  But let's be honest: Collectors don't want this system to play it; they just want to say that they have one.
All-Time Favorite Virtual Boy Games
Virtual Boy Collection (10 games)
Random Notes & Thoughts
What lies below is a listing of my Virtual Boy collection along with some history behind the system's purchase. One thing to keep in mind is that these are all the games I currently own. I've actually had other games throughout the years. But I got rid of some of them for whatever reason. Please also note that all of the games listed below are actual cartridges. I am neither into getting emulators for the classics nor am I into pirating the latest games.
Virtual Boy
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Mario Clash (Virtual Boy) screenshot
Wario Land (Virtual Boy) screenshot
Galatic Pinball (Virtual Boy) screenshot
Virtual Boy Wario Land easily is the best game for this strange system. It's classic Wario Land-style gameplay with some 3D effects mixed in. The quest itself is just as good as other games in the series, except the Virtual Boy adds some nifty depth-perception effects. In all honesty, this is the only Virtual Boy game that has substance.
Mario Clash can be considered a version of the original Mario Bros. that takes place with a third dimension. In fact, it makes some of the best use of the Virtual Boy capabilities. This simple yet addictive game is good on the Virtual Boy, because it won't warrant long-term playing sessions, which is fine since the Virtual Boy is so uncomfortable!
Galactic Pinball gets the nod as my third favorite Virtual Boy game. It's just plain ol' fun. In actuality, though, the Virtual Boy's library contains many games with simple thrills or little substance, so the competition isn't heated. Galactic Pinball, however, won me over because of its convincing 3D effects and fun gameplay.
  • Galactic Pinball
  • Golf
  • Mario Clash
  • Mario's Tennis
  • Nester's Funky Bowling
  • Red Alarm
  • Virtual Boy Wario Land
  • Virtual Professional Baseball '95 (Japanese)
  • V-Tetris (Japanese)
  • Waterworld
The following bulleted points are some random notes and thoughts about the Virtual Boy. In the list, you will find information about the system and games that I could not place anywhere else.
  • I want to make these games part of my permanent collection: none.
  • Honestly, I wish I had back the $100 I spent on the Virtual Boy and its games.
Last Updated: January 21, 2012
Copyright © Scott McCall. All Rights Reserved.  ™ and © for all products, characters, and indicia related thereto which are contained herein are owned by the companies who market or license those products.
1. Virtual Boy Wario Land
2. Mario Clash
3. Galatic Pinball
Honorable Mention: Mario's Tennis and Nester's Funky Bowling