Virtual Console | Nintendo | 1 Player / 2 Players (local multiplayer/co-operative play) | Out Now | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (sideways); Classic Controller; GameCube Controller
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28th October 2010; By KnucklesSonic8
In this tense arcade game, you will be equipped with a set of balloons that serve as your life support and means of transportation. In single-player mode, you'll guide your sky-bound dude through a series of levels, trying to survive for as long as possible. To rise off the ground, press the 1 or 2 Button repeatedly to flap your hands, and use the D-Pad to guide your movements.
There's a bunch of enemies who will try to force you out of their air space. Perhaps they've been hired by the military to patrol the area for intruding spies. Whatever their purpose is in being there, you'll need to pop their balloons before they pop yours. At the start of the game, they'll need to pump up their balloon, leaving them very vulnerable and open to attack. Once you strike, they'll pull out their parachutes, one last trick so they can stay in the game.
You'll also need to keep an eye out for thunder clouds that will sometimes fire bolts in your direction to zap you. And, if you get too close to the water at the bottom of the playing field, a large fish will jump out and try to catch you in its mouth. Seeing it come out of the water is actually pretty funny since it's introduced by alarming music. From time to time, bubbles will come up from the water below and if you pop these, you'll earn bonus points.
As you advance to later stages, the opponents will get more aggressive and harder to defeat. It requires you to think strategically on the fly, and because you're outnumbered, this lends itself to a fun experience where decisiveness is key. After a few levels have gone by, you'll encounter a bonus round where you can increase your point total. 4 pipes are situated on a dark screen with coloured balloons coming out of them in no particular order. If you manage to pop them all, you'll earn even more than the usual amount of points.
Presentation is really straight-forward here. The colour palette used here is quite dark, and in need of some brighter tones. All the noises that emit from your TV as a result of everyone flapping around on the screen sound like the inner workings of a robot, which is both amusing and nostalgic. Since it's such an old game, you can't really expect much.
In two-player mode, you can either work co-operatively with a friend to get far as a team, or use each map as an opportunity to battle each other for aerial supremacy. Popping balloons has never been so much fun, not to mention challenging. There's also a side-mode called Balloon Trip where you fly through a series of bolts of electricity, trying to get balloons without getting shocked. This can be a fun diversion to play once in a while, but it's not as enjoyable as the standard gameplay.
With the recent drought of VC games, now's the perfect time to relive some of the older, more obscure classics that you may have missed. Playing on your own is challenging for a few minutes at a time, but Balloon Fight is just so much fun as a multiplayer game between companions. Definitely check it out next time you're itching for a new VC game.
23/30 - Good
Gameplay 8/10 - Simple concept, multiple threats on-screens, controls are easy to grasp, bonus round to break things up a bit
Presentation 7/10 - Dark colours, nostalgic sound effects, straight-forward presentation
Enjoyment 4/5 - Incredibly fun especially when playing with a second person, can play multiplayer as a team or do a battle
Extra Content 4/5 - Balloon Trip, multiplayer creates lots of replay value, high-score contest for ssolo players
Equivalent to a score of 77% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)