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Sega gets to take a breather. It's Nintendo's turn to get roasted. By Saikyo Ki

Yeah, Sega has been kicked around quite a bit…some times deservedly so (32X), sometimes not (Saturn). Here is one time that Nintendo deserves a shot in the jimmy. The system concept itself isn’t bad, but boy was it horribly executed.

Graphics Capabilities: 7
I loved the Sega 3D Master System. I thought it was very cool to have the game jump out at you. When I heard about the VB, at first I was excited. Not only would the cool idea that Sega pioneered be back, but it would be portable!? It sounded like it was gonna be awesome.

Well, I’ll start with the good points first. The system seemed to have good 2D capabilities. It did rotation and scaling very much like an SNES. Too bad the only color it produced was RED. Any other color would have been better, more than one color would have obviously been much better. Even though the 3D effect was very cool, it left your eyes screaming for a color other than red. I personally didn’t experience eye or ear pain like some people, but if you use the system for, say, 90 minutes, I don’t doubt that that would happen.

Also, if this is supposed to be a 32 bit system, how come it was only capable of SNES quality 2D effects? Don’t even get me started on the system’s 3D power. One game tried being polygonal and although the game was kind of fun, StarFox blows it away visually.

Audio Capabilities: 7
A 32 bit system with 8 bit system quality music? Come on, Nintendo. The only reason it has a 7 is because there are more voices in games sometimes, which is cool.

Controller Design: 1
Attaching the controller to the headset was an incredibly stupid idea. Noone want’s to have to hold their hands up towards their face for that much time. The controller had more buttons than the GB, which would have lead to more gameplay depth if the library was bigger, but the extra buttons just sat there and ended up confusing some people. IMO, If the headset was shrunk down to the size of a normal pair of glasses, that and the controller could have been connected to a small unit (that being the actual system) that could fit in your pocket. This way you could sit down, relax and play, not have to lie on your back all the time (unless you enjoy hunching forward and playing with the VB resting on a table…).

Game Library: 3
Unfortunately, the possibilities of a system like this were not fully realized. Heck, Sega’s 3D SMS went farther. One game that many people say was the best was the Wario game. I had the opportunity to play it once, and it was pretty cool. You could jump into the background and come back to the foreground. This game probably has very deep, innovative gameplay. Sadly I only tried it once.

The polygonal game I mentioned above briefly was called Red Alarm. A moderately fun game, but the bad graphics turned many people off. If there weren’t gonna be any textures on the polys, the least they could have done was have a good framerate.

One thing a friend of mine (who is a VB FREAK) told me is that there should have been a Zelda VB game. I think this games a lot of sense. Dungeon levels would have had a level of depth to them unseen in any Zelda game. You would literally have to CLIMB Death Mountain instead of going up screen by screen. Thanks for botching up a good idea, Nintendo.

Bottom Line?
Nintendo’s first flop. Sadly, it wasn’t its last. If only they changed some things about the system, it would have been more popular. In the end, the few people who have the VB still enjoy the best games on it and if you can actually find a system and a copy of Wario Land, it wouldn’t be a bad buy. The unit was built extremely poorly and delivered less than it promised, which is why I give it a 4.

4 / 10

Rated: Jul 12, 2001 • 00:00