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Old 07-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MIA - Balloon Fight!

It's another swelteringly hot Friday down here in sunny Florida, and you know what that means. It's time for another fun filled installment of Missing in Action!

For all of those neophytes new to my corner of the blogosphere, let me explain how MIA works. MIA is a weekly column where I pick out a game or franchise of old, dust it off and present it for a possible current generation entry.

To qualify for the MIA treatment the game or franchise cannot have appeared on any of the current generation consoles, nor can a new title be currently in development, though unconfirmed rumors, speculation and hearsay are certainly permissible. Also the title or franchise must be well served by a current generation entry. E.T. for Atari is not likely to grace these electronic pages.

This week I present for your consideration, by popular demand, Balloon Fight!


Before I begin there is something I want to address. Some of you may debate on Balloon Fight's eligibility for MIA based on the 2007 release of Tingle's Balloon Fight for the Nintendo DS. My counterargument is two-fold:

1) The DS is no longer ‘current generation' as the 3DS is the successor system – this holds true even though the DS is still seeing development.

2) Tingle's Balloon Fight never made it to the states and was a Nintendo Club exclusive at that. As such the vast majority of my audience has been unable to play it.

Now that that's settled, on with the show!

Balloon Fight began its life in the year 1984 as an arcade game in the Nintendo Vs. series. For those of you unaware, the Nintendo Vs. series was a run of arcade games designed for two player competitive play and included games such as Donkey Kong, Castlevania, Popeye, Mario Bros. and even saw the appearance of previous MIA subject Ice Climber.

In terms of gameplay, Balloon Fight is actually rather simple. You take control of a little man with two balloons tied to him. You can get your little Balloon Fighter to flap his arms and ascend into the air by pressing the A or B buttons. The object is to clear the board of enemies by popping their balloons, which sends them hurtling towards the ground or into a body of water to be eaten by a large fish.


Flap those arms little balloon man!

Seems easy enough, but remember that these enemies won't sit back and wait for you to pop their balloons. They will in turn attempt to pop your balloons and send you to a similar fate. If the enemy succeeds in popping one of your balloons, flying will become much more difficult and you won't be able to ascend as quickly. Losing a second balloon will ultimately send you to your doom, however this isn't the only way to lose a life – you can also be struck by lightning, eaten by the aforementioned large fish or just plain fall into the water as well.

In the arcade game there was only one mode of play where you and an optional pal would simply clear the board of enemies in attempts to reach a high score. When the game was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 an additional mode was added in the form of Balloon Trip.


Sure it looks pleasent, but there's a man eating fish in those waters

Balloon Trip allowed a single player to take a side scrolling journey via their balloons. The goal was to collect as many balloons as possible while avoiding random lightning strikes. The player is given a single life to do this with the goal being a high score.

As an interesting side not, Nintendo later released a Game & Watch version of Balloon Fight that was essentially a portable version of the NES Balloon Trip mode.


Those Game & Watch handhelds sure looked spiffy

In 1990 Nintendo released a sequel to Balloon Fight called Balloon Kid for the Game Boy. Balloon Kid is a further expansion of the Balloon Trip mode developed for the NES and Game & Watch versions of Balloon Fight. The player takes control of a little girl named Alice as she tries to find her brother Jim, who had been blown away by a sudden gust of wind. Luckily, Jim had apparently read Hansel and Gretel and left a trail of balloons so that Alice could follow and save him.

When in control of Alice the game plays much like Balloon Trip, in that it is a side scrolling adventure with Alice floating with the help of two balloons. There were some added features such as allowing Alice to remove her balloons and walk on the ground, and if her balloons were to be popped but she managed to land safely she could simply retrieve two more balloons from her pocket and proceed.


She ain't got no balloons!

Unlike the original Balloon Trip mode, Balloon Kid was broken up into finite stages with the object to get to the end of them. There were also four bosses in the game that required Alice to get her stomp on by either simply jumping on top of them or floating above them to detach from her balloons and fall on them.

There was also a two player mode where one player would battle against another to gather as many balloons as they could before reaching the end of the stage. In addition to this there is also a classic Balloon Trip mode that mirrors the original.


Between the release of Balloon Kid and Tingle's Balloon Fight the series was absent but not forgotten. The Balloon Fighters have seen cameos in the WarioWare, Inc. series and have been seen as trophies in the Smash Bros. games. Speaking of Smash Bros., the Balloon Fighter was actually being considered as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but lost out to previous MIA subjects, the Ice Climbers.


Here's hoping Balloon Fighter makes it into the next Smash Bros.

In 2007, Club Nintendo released the exclusive Tingle's Balloon Fight – a game that featured one of the most polarizing characters in Nintendo history, Tingle the elf. The game contained both traditional Balloon Fight and Trip modes with the titular star in the role of Balloon Fighter. The game never saw a wider release and never made it out of Japan.


Even though it has Tingle in it, it still looks fun...

The original Balloon Fight, like Ice Climber, has seen several ports over the years to different handheld and virtual consoles – as a side note this is one of the titles that Nintendo is releasing to the 3DS as part of its ‘ambassador program' – but has not seen a current generation update at this time. And like Ice Climber I can see no better home for it than the 3DS.

The vertical two screen display of the 3DS would make for a great Balloon Fight playing field. But the real enhancements would have to come in the form of multiplayer. By the magic of the 3DS download and play, we could have 4 players battling it out on a single cart. Add to that WiFi support and I could be battling any of you via the wonderful world of the internet.

The addition of different landscapes, greater variety of enemies and different control schemes could make this game a real standout.

Graphically the game doesn't need a lot and it's actually amazing that Nintendo hasn't thought about bringing an update to the handheld or the Wii itself. Since the game isn't all that large, there is no reason this couldn't be released as a virtual title on the eShop app or as Wiiware.

And there you have it! It is the opinion of this writer that it has been far too long since we've seen a new Balloon Fight game hit the streets. Let your thoughts be known by sounding off in the comments section below!

And be sure to join me next week for MIA – Mutant League!

Happy Gaming.



http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9085408

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  Wow, Robot. I've written reviews that are shorter than this - good job!
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

That is cool. Balloon Fight will surely be a nice addition to my 3DS library. I'm up for playing 4 player-wifi!
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

Retro Uprising - Arcade - Balloon Fight
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

I know it's on the site But now I have Balloon Fight on the go
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

I remember that game.. it was one of a set of games that made me really glare at birds.. Not saying I dont like birds in general but Birds in video games are just EVIL! Led to the oddes one time nightmare I ever had.

"I AM SINISTAR! BEWARE I LIVE! FEAR MY BIRDS! RUN RUN!"
o.O seriously was terrifying..

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  Yeah, and Sinistar is floating around on a couple of balloons as well - that would be perfect!
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

Is the Ballon Fight guy with a red hat, red clothing and blue overalls Mario?
He looks like Mario, and if they were to make a new Balloon Fight game and market it as Mario, it would sell like crazy.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!



---------- Post added at 10:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:56 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon-Mask View Post
Is the Ballon Fight guy with a red hat, red clothing and blue overalls Mario?
He looks like Mario, and if they were to make a new Balloon Fight game and market it as Mario, it would sell like crazy.
I would love to see an updated BF, if they kept what made the original great, and maybe threw in some power-ups or something.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

silly steven, not to sound rude, but if people began work on updated Balloonfight, tons of retro gamers would be up in arms... id rather just have a collection of nes games that play using DS control. Stylus control, but still the easy option to play classic style.

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  Your an idiot
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

Awesome article. Um... where can I find more of these MIA articles? They seem to be MIA.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

why am I an idiot? Every time a good old game is remade or brought back people get upset that its 'not the same'. A modern remake of baloon fight would probably be 3d, and with power ups it will go from strategy to 'shoot the baloons'.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyborg View Post
Awesome article. Um... where can I find more of these MIA articles? They seem to be MIA.
These articles come from 1up.com and are posted here by our lovely robot.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: MIA - Balloon Fight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belmontzar View Post
silly steven, not to sound rude, but if people began work on updated Balloonfight, tons of retro gamers would be up in arms... id rather just have a collection of nes games that play using DS control. Stylus control, but still the easy option to play classic style.
But, an updated version of Balloon Fight already exists.
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