With excitement building for both the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR, it’s easy to forget this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that virtual reality is the future of gaming. In fact, over the last 25 years, one VR system after another was launched and almost immediately scrubbed, leaving behind these, the old VR games that showed what might have been:
Made for Virtuality, an arcade game system that resembled escape pod inner tubes with Daft Punk half-masks, Dactyl Nightmare is pretty much what you’d expect from a virtual reality game if it were the early ’90s and you were on a a Zima bender. Combining a first-person shooter, chessboards, archways, pterodactyls, and a blocky motif that makes it look like you’re killing Duplo blocks.
Flush with the success of its Genesis console, Sega launched a virtual reality headset that never hit the market due to complaints of motion sickness and severe headaches. But Sega said it cancelled its VR headset because “it was too realistic” and might cause people to injure themselves while they played. But one look at Nuclear Rush, a game where you pilot a hovercraft in a future where Hoth has been franchised, is all you need to know that Sega was either lying or had never looked out a window.
Missile Command 3D
A peripheral for Atari’s ill-fated and final home console, the Jaguar VR was cancelled right before a Christmas launch, with only one title ever being created for it — Missile Command 3D. But it was enough to show that the Jaguar VR’s approach to games was going to be take an old title and add as many pointless background details and nonfunctional panel graphics as possible, like a spoiled meat you hope can be saved with a ton of ketchup.
Mortal Kombat 3
Worried that Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was going to take over the entire gaming industry (a concern that, in hindsight, is like worrying RC would win the cola wars) Tiger Electronics quickly put together its own headache-inducing VR system. But the R-Zone did its would-be competitor one worse by translating hot games like Mortal Kombat 3 into what appears to be an Etch-a-Sketch.
Ever wonder what it would be like to play a video game while your eyes are covered in blood? Launched to resounding boos in 1995, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy effectively ended the first virtual reality boom. Of course, that’s what happens when you give the world a crimson-colored Tetris. But that didn’t stop Nintendo from releasing 22 games, including Red Alarm, which resembles the Death Star trench attack if you were having an aneurysm, a seizure, and Red Bull withdrawal at the same time.
Which VR game are you hoping gets an Oculus remake? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!