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Wii Virtual Console: Balloon Fight Review

by: Hollan ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

I challenge you to a balloon fight. You heard me. A balloon fight!

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    So, back in 1984 Nintendo thought it would be a good idea to make an arcade game that utilized the little known sport of ballooning fighting. In 1985 they released it on the NES because, well, why not? And now they have released Balloon Fight on the Wii Virtual Console. That being said, I'd like to have a private word with Nintendo: Stop milking the nonexistent Balloon Fight franchise and do what you do best. Make a new Zelda game.

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    You are an adventurous unnamed fellow who partakes in the ancient sport known as the Balloon Fight. Okay, so there is virtually no story for this game, although, as I played I liked to make one up. Once he was balloon fighting because his father had died in a balloon fight and and he wanted to seek revenge. I know it's cliché, but anything would be more interesting than nothing!

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    There's not much here. Balloon Fight is little more than a glorified mini-game. You fly around one screen (you can leave and re-enter the screen on the opposite side) with two balloons attached to you. You must press the 1 and 2 buttons to fly. The purpose of the game is to pop the other balloon fighter's balloons, and to avoid getting hit by lightening (why one would balloon fight during an electrical storm is beyond me) or falling into the water at the bottom of the screen. You have three lives, and each time you pop another balloon fighter's balloon you get points.

    There is also a two player mode in which you and a friend can have a balloon fight of your very own. Either way, I don't see why this game was released for the Virtual Console other than to make money. How many diehard Balloon Fight fans were sitting by their Wiis waiting for this release? Exactly. The gameplay isn't bad there just isn't much to it. While the levels get increasingly more difficult there still isn't anything new to do. And, unlike Ice Climbers, there is no goal to reach. It's just another day another balloon fight. Yawn.

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    Graphics and Sound

    Well, these are some really old 8-bit graphics, but they don't look that bad. The balloon fighters are recognizable as humans and birds (why do birds need balloons to fly? Are they penguins?) And the night sky twinkles with multicolored stars. The thunderhead looks pretty nice, and the lightening is actually a pretty cool effect.

    Sound wise, the music is repetitive and annoying. However, the music when you die is upbeat and fun. I think they did this backwards. I enjoyed listening to the death music more than the action music. And the sound effects are actually worse than the music itself. They are nothing but one beat repeated over and over until I wanted to dig out my ear drums just so I didn't have to hear it anymore. That's not a good thing.

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    Ballon Fight to the Death!

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    For about five minutes Balloon Fight might be fun. It would have been a cool mini-game, had it come with a larger and more expansive game. However, that is not the case. Nintendo shouldn't have tried to repackage an already badly repackaged arcade game for the Virtual Console. The few minutes of fun you might be able to squeeze out of it are not worth 500 Wii points.

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    There are some gems in the Virtual Console library, but this isn't one of them. Don't waste your money on Balloon Fight, no matter how enticing the title might sound. You would have more fun (and spend less money) if you invited a few friends over and had a balloon fight of your own.