Review by jp0922
"Balloon Fight: A post-apocalyptic nightmare"
Imagine you live in a post apocalyptic world recently ravaged by nuclear war. Two thirds of the world population did not survive. The living envy the dead. Society is in ruins but you are one of its sole survivors. You and your fellow man have been ravaged by radiation damage and as a consequence, your bones have become hollow. You live in a world where people fly around using ordinary party balloons tied to their backs, flapping their arms rapidly to get around. Insane survivors try to sneak up behind you and pop your balloons while you search for food, sending you to your death. The only way to survive is to get them first. This is Balloon Fight. Ok it's not, I made this story up but it's sure better than the one they give in the manual. ''Using balloons to float into the air and fly around, the player(s) try to pop the enemy's balloons.'' Balloon Fight is a boring but enjoyable 1984 Nintendo rip off of the Atari classic Joust. While the premise of the game is ridiculous and causes me to cry tears of sadness, with some imagination you can spice up the fun by incorporating the aforementioned storyline.
The graphics for balloon fight are what you might expect from a classic digi-stic NES game. They are not spectacular by any stretch, however they are sufficient. The main player is obviously a man with a helmet and two red balloons strapped to his back. It's obvious he salvaged these from among the wreckage leftover after the war. The enemies also appear human but wear a strange mask/hat with eyeholes and a beak making them look birdlike. This is a horrifying sight. Kill every last one of them before they get you. Do these masks protect them from the radiation? Are they part of some sort of cult? Why do they wear these masks and what is there purpose? I don't know. It's better to kill them now and ask questions later.
It's you versus a gang of bird mask wearing flying freaks. Try and land on and eliminate as many as you can while they pump of their balloons as each board begins. As they become air born, they will stop at nothing to pop your balloons. God only knows what they will do to your body after you're knocked unconscious. Pop floating bubbles filled with precious helium for bonus points. Be careful to stay clear of lightening shooting clouds! They're filled with deadly radioactive gas which makes the lighting twice as powerful. Giant mutant fish lives in the murky depths of the water below. Occasionally your enemies will fall into the water and be devoured by these fish. Scary! Again, these are my own interpretive additions to Balloon Fight. Make your own and see what happens!
Balloon fight is a great game for two players. There are also two single player modes. One I have mentioned while the other is a side scrolling scene where you must navigate around shimmering but deadly spiky stars while collecting balloons for points. Play on for an infinite amount of time while Nintendo laughs at you generating more and more random boards for you to waste your life on.
Anyone who has played Balloon Fight will remember hiding under the sofa for hours after first hearing the ''music'' for Balloon Fight. Oh yes, there is a short little two bar medley in the beginning of each level. However, it is followed by a series of rapid bleeps and bloops at varying speeds and volumes. This continues for the duration of each level. Is it the sound of the laughing supercomputer, responsible for launching the nuclear attack on mankind years ago? It most certainly is and there is not a thing you can do about it. The music for game B, also known as ''Balloon Trip'' is OK. I wouldn't dub it onto a tape and listen to it on long car trips like I have with Gyromite, Zelda and Super2 music, but it's not bad either.
Those of you who have played Atari's ''Joust'' will recognize the similarities. ''Joust'' is a great game for the 7800 system. Balloon Fight is a slower version of Joust with people strapped to balloons (or balloons strapped to people) instead of medieval warriors jousting each other off giant birds. Joust! Fun for hours with a friend, Slow and depressing by yourself (like many things!) I recommend adding in your own storyline. For fun, make up voices for your character(s) and the enemies and imagine what they might be saying while playing. Act out these scenes with a friend while beating board after board. This works for other games as well. With a bit of imagination Balloon Fight can be a real blast!
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/29/01, Updated 05/29/01
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