The Nintendo Virtual Boy is the biggest flop in Nintendo history and yet it’s one of the most sought after systems for collectors. The system was discontinued in less than a year and with only 14 games released in the US (19 in Japan) it’s a difficult system to collect for. Two of the most sought after games are Jack Bros and Waterworld. Today I will look at Waterworld Virtual Boy game.
If you are not familiar with the Virtual Boy system the “3-D” effect is fake and is closest to the View Master type of 3-D. The Virtual Boy is a RISC-based 32-bit system, which produces high-resolution red 3D images against a deep black background using two mirror-scanning LED (Light Emitting Diode) displays. The 3D experience is enhanced through stereo sound and a new specially designed, double-grip controller that accommodates multi directional spatial movement. It is powered by either six AA batteries or a separately sold AC-adapter. The other problem with the system is that it’s not very portable and you need to place it on a table to play it.
Waterworld generally is regarded as one of the worst titles for the system and yet that is a relative term considering that there are few standout games for the system. The gameplay is focused around the Mariner’s (the main character) trimaran, which the player moves around a 3-D world, shooting enemies on personal water crafts called Smokers. It is a form of 3D shoot ’em up. The objective is to keep the Smokers from grabbing Atollers (inhabitants of Atoll) placed around the playing field. To keep them from being captured, the player must shoot the Smokers using the L and R buttons on the Virtual Boy’s controller while moving around with either of the two directional pads.
The controls for the game are pretty clunky considering that it’s a straight up shooter. While on paper the ‘open world’ aspect of the game is a good idea but in reality there is very little on the screen to see beyond the enemies. Most of the time you end up spinning around and shooting the enemies. Trying to save the people is a real pain in the ass. Most of the time you end up crashing into the enemies and the game ends pretty quickly. If you manage to not crash into them and end the game as with all Virtual Boy games your eyes will start to bleed at about the 5 to 10 minute mark because of the red LED that was the systems Achilles heel. If you play the system too long your eyes will have a hard time seeing the color world for a few minutes.
Is this game worth your time and money? The biggest flaw in the game is not that its so terrible but it suffers from the lather, rinse, and repeat gameplay. While the “3-D’ looks pretty decent and the “open world’ aspect has it’s moments the game is just downright boring more than I would call bad. Trust me I have played terrible games and this one is not awful. It is one of the games that you could do without if you are lucky enough to own a Virtual Boy. But if you are like me it’s worth having because it’s a pretty rare game and with so few released it’s a nice game to have for that reason and not the game itself. If you are able to score a cheap copy of the game then it’s worth having but with its high price due to the rarity of the game it comes down to adding it to a collection. Honestly there are cheaper games that are better and more fun than this one for the Virtual Boy.