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Interesting idea, bad execution
Author: Virtualizer | Date: 2018/05/01 | Rating: 4/10

Virtual Lab is a weird game. Like, really weird. Not only is the game notorious for being rushed to the market and misspelling Nintendo as "Ninntenndo" on the game box and label, it is also known as one of the "Holy Grails" of the Virtual Boy. It is also one of the 4 puzzle games for the VB, but does it hold up to the rest? Well...

-Concept: 8/10
Some of you who have played this game before might be wondering why I gave the concept such a high rating, but let me explain. The premise of the game is connecting pipes/Myuus/worms, whatever you wanna call them, to each other. Connecting them and finishing them off with a stub erases them. Connecting 10 or more worms erases the bottom row of the playing field. Oddly enough, the gameplay managed to be very addicting to me, but not enough to warrant a long play session. However, this might be the only good thing about this game...

-Story: 4/10
You wouldn't think a game like this would have a fleshed out story, but surprisingly, it does! A scientist called Dr. Karagiri has been researching a lifeform called "Myuu" with his scientist group on a laboratory in space. However, someone changed the climate control of the laboratory and Karagiri with his assistant Kai, found out that the Myuu had multiplied to a bunch of pieces. The two geniuses leave sorting things out to a 13-year old girl Lisa, who must restore things back to normal with the magic of puzzle solving!
The same girl also accompanies you througout the game on the side of the puzzle field, which leads us to...

-Graphics: 2/10
I think nearly every game on the Virtual Boy library has a right to be on the system, but honestly, there is no reason for this one to be on the VB. Not only are the graphics laughably blocky, the game only uses 3D for the stars in the background and the score numbers. The only thing I can commend them for is the dance Lisa makes when you connect a row succesfully, and even that animation consists of...3 frames. Great job, J-Wing. Great job.

-Controls: 3/10
Good controls are crucial to a puzzle game, and the folks at J-Wing screwed up big time. Even the slightest nub of the D-pad sends your next piece further than expected. If you do manage to play carefully enough, you can get used to it, but it is still not an excuse for these kinds of awful controls.

-Sound: 1/10
Do you know someone who thinks VB causes headaches in one way or another? Introduce them to this soundtrack and prove them right.

In all seriousness, this soundtrack is really bad. There are only 2 songs in the entire game and both of them sound blocky and dull. This is a 32-bit system folks! Granted, it has a 16-bit stereo, but still! This is just painful to listen to!

Replayability: 0/10 or 7/10
Two ratings?! Whaaaaat?! Let me explain. If you don't enjoy this game, it might be for the better. You're really not missing much. There are several dozen of stages for you to conquer, but all it does is introduce more pieces for you to place at once and difficult ramping up.

However, if you can overcome it's flaws and appreciate the concept of Virtual Lab, I think you're in for a treat. The many levels do make up for it, and I found myself playing many more stages than I ever thought I would. Just don't go expecting anything spectacular.

-Overall thoughts-
It's very hard to recommend this game. It's not fun, and it's pretty much an incomplete mess. The prices this game is going for is only for the hardcore collector, but I do think you should give it a chance and play it on an emulator if possible. This game is truly an oddity, and its very existence might just be as odd as the game itself.