Sunday, July 13, 2014

Retro Sunday - July 13, 2014 - Galactic Pinball

Ah, Sunday. The most retro of all the days. Today, we're going to take a look at a title that most people have never heard of, let alone played. The reason? It was on Virtual Boy.

First, a little background. The Virtual Boy was a system Nintendo released in 1995. It has two screens; one for each eye. You put your face right up in there, and by seeing a slightly different image with each eye you get a 3D effect. However, the system only displayed in one color (red), and was very uncomfortable to use (in fact, it was still in its prototype stage when it was released). As such, it was discontinued after less than a year.

That being said, the Virtual Boy had some really cool games. There was Wario Land, Mario's Tennis, Panic Bomber, and a few others. The best of all of them, though, was Galactic Pinball.

Galactic Pinball is a space-themed pinball game that uses a puck instead of a ball. Since it's on the Virtual Boy, everything is in 3D. Despite the all-red graphics, the game is tons of fun. It's easy to pick up, but difficult to master. There are four tables, each with their own theme.

One of the tables, UFO, has a giant flying saucer at the top of the table which you can enter if you aim correctly. Complete various tasks to have the UFO take off, leaving behind triggers that open up holes on the board which you can enter to gain kickbacks, center posts, and the like. Or try the Colony board, which has you defending a space colony from an onslaught of meteors at certain intervals.

Probably the most notable board in the game is the Cosmic board. It's a classic-style board with a mini-table you can reach to earn more points, and a rotating sphere that you can enter to earn various bonuses and power-ups. This board also features a cameo from the Metroid-slayer herself, Samus Aran.

Galactic Pinball is the probably the best game to showcase how good the Virtual Boy could have been. The sounds and music are immersive, especially since there are stereo speakers very close to your ears. The gameplay is smooth and fun, with lots of excitement and challenge. The 3D effect works so nicely that it makes you wish other games were in 3D (just like what the 3DS does now, really).

My brother bought a Virtual Boy and actually taped the unit to a hat so you could just wear it around. It looked totally redneck, but it worked brilliantly. Every time my brother went to work, I'd go put on the Virtual Hat and play Galactic Pinball or Mario's Tennis. He probably wondered why the batteries died so fast all the time.

So if you have the money, go on eBay and find yourself a Virtual Boy and a copy of Galactic Pinball. If you're anything like me, you won't regret it one bit. And if you're not like me, then you might as well kill yourself right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha, wow, I'm glad I don't regret having one ;) Sounds like an awesome game!