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Metal Jesus

Should You BUY a Nintendo VIRTUAL BOY? A Buying Guide

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I realize the entire internet is talking about the Switch today, but I figured I do something a little different: The Virtual Boy was a commercial failure, but game collectors find the portable system intriguing and fun to collect for. In this video learn about the hardware and games for this weird and quirky system!

 

https://youtu.be/YDepDMiP2GM

 

Games Shown:

Jack Bros.
Mario Tennis
Red Alarm
Teleroboxer
Vertical Force
Wario Land
Galactic Pinball
Mario Clash
 
Do you own the Virtual Boy?

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"Should you BUY a Virtual Boy?"

 

*best salesman voice*: Do you enjoy headaches, eye strain, stiff necks, single color displays, and a tiny library of games (many overpriced)? If so, the Virtual Boy might be for you!

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I owned a VB for about a year and played it quite a lot. No headaches, no eyestrain, etc.

After a year I found I had just played it out, and sold it. If the library were larger I likely would have kept it.

Every now and then I play Galactic Pinball via emulation.

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"Should you BUY a Virtual Boy?"

 

*best salesman voice*: Do you enjoy headaches, eye strain, stiff necks, single color displays, and a tiny library of games (many overpriced)? If so, the Virtual Boy might be for you!

 

 

The commercials for the Virtual Boy at the time were hilarious... because there is no way they could spin it as anything other than TERRIBLE showing the gameplay footage...which is why the distracted you with post-apocalyptic warriors running around and crap like that.

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I owned a VB for about a year and played it quite a lot. No headaches, no eyestrain, etc.

 

For me it was really game dependent. Waterworld and Red Alarm used to bother me much more than most. Bowling and a few others, hardly at all.

 

And to be fair once I learned to play it laying down with the stand on my stomach, the neck issues went way down.

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And to be fair once I learned to play it laying down with the stand on my stomach, the neck issues went way down.

 

 

This is the way to play the VB for more than a few minutes in my experience.

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Should you is pretty easy.

 

If you have deep pockets, don't mind a tiny library, and it doesn't make you get vertigo, headaches or worse from it, or you can track down a flashboy -- YES.  Otherwise no.

 

Flashboy I think would be more key than eating it into the 4 figures on some JP VB titles because there's like twice the games out there for it people slipped out from prototypes to new projects, but if you stay kosher with it, it's just really not worth it unless you're fine with like 14 games and won't tire of it.  I keep going back and forward on getting one again but price, price on games are a turn off, as is trying to find a flash boy to save on that end.  It never made me sick or have problems so that's a non starter.

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I got one a few weeks ago.  Loving it, find it to be great fun.  

 

So far have:

 

Mario Tennis

Panic Bomber

Red Alarm

Warioland

 

Which are all from good to excellent.  Put the VB up on a few big coffee table books and your next will be fine. 

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I've wanted a VB for a long time, but then I tend to gravitate towards the lesser-known or unheralded consoles. I just feel like it's usually a little overpriced for what you get, so I haven't pulled the trigger yet. But eventually I will.

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Someone on the PVB forums posted this and mentioned Metal Jesus not talking about any homebrews or Japanese-only games, or Bound High or anything. I am busy trying to get a homebrew released in limited numbers for it. I am also working on a game right now for it.

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I bought one on blow out for like $30 back in the day, as well as the four games I got for it. 

 

I'll say that I figure the "headaches, eye strain, and back/neck aches" thing is mostly overblown by people that went into it not being interested and really are just looking for an excuse to not buy one 9I think they were like $180 at launch, and not exactly portable)

 

Personally I loved it, and played the ever loving crap out of it, once I got the SNES adapter so I didn't have to use batteries.  The most annoying thing about it is the "take a few minutes to rest" thing that pops up every 30 minutes.

 

I will say that while yes it's expensive, and the games are expensive, and there are only a few, it would be an easy system to complete a collection for without destroying your bank account.

Edited by Video

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Should you is pretty easy.

 

If you have deep pockets, don't mind a tiny library, and it doesn't make you get vertigo, headaches or worse from it, or you can track down a flashboy -- YES.  Otherwise no.

 

Flashboy I think would be more key than eating it into the 4 figures on some JP VB titles because there's like twice the games out there for it people slipped out from prototypes to new projects, but if you stay kosher with it, it's just really not worth it unless you're fine with like 14 games and won't tire of it.  I keep going back and forward on getting one again but price, price on games are a turn off, as is trying to find a flash boy to save on that end.  It never made me sick or have problems so that's a non starter.

If you want a Flashboy+, all you have to do is send richard an email at richard.hutchinson@dsl.pipex.com and ask for one. 

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I got a Japanese one some time ago and I really like it. Is a weird thing, you feel it could have done better if there were more variery of games. But I guess the cheap monochrome 3D was too much of a gimmick even back then, and even to developers...

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If you want a Flashboy+, all you have to do is send richard an email at richard.hutchinson@dsl.pipex.com and ask for one. 

Good to know. I guess looking at the planetvb link it's like 80USD which isn't bad.  Suppose I ever find one again that isn't wack or someone wanting some cracked out amazon/ebay high bin price on it I may just pop on it.

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Have any of the Virtual Boy games ever been released on the 3DS? Seems like a no-brainer to me, with the 3DS' 3D screen. They could remake games like VB Wario Land in full color and still offer the same 3D gameplay as the originals.

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Someone on the PVB forums posted this and mentioned Metal Jesus not talking about any homebrews or Japanese-only games, or Bound High or anything. I am busy trying to get a homebrew released in limited numbers for it. I am also working on a game right now for it.

 

 

When I shot this video I didn't own the flashcard, but I'm working on that now. I'll do a followup video at some point talking about the home-brew / demo scene.

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I bought one on blow out for like $30 back in the day, as well as the four games I got for it. 
 
I'll say that I figure the "headaches, eye strain, and back/neck aches" thing is mostly overblown by people that went into it not being interested and really are just looking for an excuse to not buy one 9I think they were like $180 at launch, and not exactly portable)
 
Personally I loved it, and played the ever loving crap out of it, once I got the SNES adapter so I didn't have to use batteries.  The most annoying thing about it is the "take a few minutes to rest" thing that pops up every 30 minutes.
 
I will say that while yes it's expensive, and the games are expensive, and there are only a few, it would be an easy system to complete a collection for without destroying your bank account.


I've generally found there is an inverse relationship between how much people put down the VB and how much time they spent actually playing it.

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I've never owned one, so the only time I've spent on it was on the in store demo machine.  However, I never played it for very long because I didn't like not being able to see around me in a public place.  Maybe that's just me...  

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I would have played it more if I had bought one.  I never seemed to have any pain or issues from the limited time that I played it.

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There are a couple of fairly good emulators for these system, and they even support 3D viewing with those funky red-blue anaglyph glasses.

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There are a couple of fairly good emulators for these system, and they even support 3D viewing with those funky red-blue anaglyph glasses.

 

 

I used OpenEMU for all the gameplay in this video and it was surprisingly easy...

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I bought one way back when I could still get a new one on fire sale price of only $30 (and Nintendo honored free 6x AA batteries with warranty registration.  At one time I had every single VB games and in a Performance brand black and red VB bag.  I've sold most of the game when I got Flashboy.  I'm a player, not a collector!

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I got one a few weeks ago.  Loving it, find it to be great fun.  

 

So far have:

 

Mario Tennis

Panic Bomber

Red Alarm

Warioland

 

Which are all from good to excellent.  Put the VB up on a few big coffee table books and your next will be fine. 

 

ahh panic bomber.  The red version with no two player.  Play it on Neo Geo or the SNES instead.

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