Video Works by Jeremy Parish

Next in our look at Virtual Boy's Japan-exclusive lineup is the system's sole foray into the fishing genre: A by-the-numbers take on the format by Locomotive and Pack-In-Video called, creatively, Virtual Fishing. It is... fishing. On Virtual Boy. The end.

Thanks as always to Chris Kohler for lending his copy of the game to this project.

Another Japan-exclusive Virtual Boy release, this one from minor publisher Coconuts Japan. And it's a good, if slight, creation that takes great advantage of the Virtual Boy hardware to present players with a sci-fi rendition of a popular sport. Like a lot of other games on the system, it needed a little more time in the oven to achieve its full potential—but it's both fun and interesting, making it one of the more notable imports for Virtual Boy.

We launch into Virtual Boy's Japan-exclusive line-up by heading back to the other Tetris game at the other end of the system's life: V-Tetris. This game is nothing at all like 3D-Tetris; for one thing, it's actually Tetris. V-Tetris does nothing to really take advantage of the hardware here, so it's a shame that this interpretation of the block-dropping classic has been locked to Virtual Boy—its special mode offers a unique and enjoyable take on the venerable favorite.

Two direct arcade ports hit the NES here, and boy golly are these things not necessarily created equal. About the only thing they have in common is that they're both incredibly difficult to complete. But Athena is a hot mess of a conversion, as is the Micronics way, while Arkanoid is a pretty spectacular adaptation. Of course, to be fair, Arkanoid has an advantage here: It came with its own pack-in controller, designed exclusive for use with this one game. But even without the Vaus paddle, it's still a far sight more fun than Athena. Which isn't to say Athena was necessarily a barebones package; in Japan, it came with a special bonus pack-in that Americans were denied...

If you'd like to hear the full cassette tape, I've ripped the audio into a separate video upload: