Review by KeeperBvK
"Balloony pop, balloony pop, oh balloony loony pop"
Many old games simply remade for today’s systems may be really cool for anybody having played the original back in those good days but they, simply put, suck for the new generation of players needing killer graphics and Dolby surround, digital, or whatever and for those who are into gaming for a long time but didn’t play them anyway.
But Balloon Fight is different:
Hmmm....I could make up one, but it would probably take some time to come up with something making sense in a game where you fight via floating balloons... 0/10
Of course the e-reader does not allow for graphics anywhere near up-to-date. Being given this premise one must say that Balloon Fight features really nice visuals. Maybe not the best ones on the e-reader and maybe the boring, actually not existing, backgrounds could have been done better, but they aren’t blurry or give you headaches or anything and they definitely have something cute to them (hey, graphically it’s a Nintendo game from back in those nice family gaming days).
Nothing special here: Some nice music, some standard sound effects, at least the sound is not irritating in any way.
Here is what makes Balloon Fight different. Although I played it last year for the first time I enjoyed for hours and hours to come.
First of all there are two play modes in this game that play nearly totally different which already is a great aspect for such an old game: Both modes have you float with two balloons quite being the only similarity.
In the first mode players are assigned to float around in a stage being exactly as large as the screen and to defeat numerous (stupid-looking) mask wearing enemies having only one single balloon by touching this balloon. Afterwards you need to finish them off if they won’t land in the water because otherwise they pump up a new balloon and become harder to defeat. If you fly to either side of the screen you pop out on the other side, clouds can shoot lightnings, in the water lives a meat loving fish, enemies come in three different colors determining their intelligence, speed and the points you get by defeating them, dead enemies leave behind score raising bubbles and there are some sort of bumpers (known from SSBM as a trophy) which are quite annoying as you can’t predict where they will bump you. In bonus stages that come after every third level you can earn extra points and your eventually destroyed first balloon is recovered.
This is absolutely all there is to say about this mode and yet it rocks. You can just play on and on going for a new record until you finally manage to get the 999,999 maximum points. Believe me, it is as highly addictive as a game with such a low variation can be.
And if this is not enough for you then try the second play mode which has you scroll from right to left until you either hit one of the lightning balls or get to close to the water. By collecting balloons bubbles spawn that can be grabbed for extra points and for a short stop of all movement except for yours (sorry, no Matrix-action here, although it can be found in nearly every other game nowadays).
This mode is a lot harder and (in my opinion) less fun but it still provides some solid fun.
Somewhat odd at first but the controls actually feel quite realistic (hmm...if anybody would know how it feels to float with two balloons). After some practice you won’t have any problems with the controls.
The second play mode can be quite hard but overall the game ranges from good to pick up to challenging and it never gets frustrating.
After a while it gets old, but before you’ve achieved the perfect high score you won’t stop playing for to long. Of course there are no unlockables or any story or any real possibility to complete the game, so the replayability totally depends on whether you get addicted or not.
This game is for a system having a really small software library, it can be played on the go and it costs only a few bucks, so what the hell are you waiting for? This is the best game you can get for the e-reader and even if there were a lot of good games on the e-reader Balloon Fight would still be a safe bet to buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/26/04
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