Review by FireMarth
Your Pong is evolving! It became a...HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT?!
So the other day, I innocently walked into my local GameCrazy. I had $5 burning a hole in my pocket, and I wanted to buy something. I walked in and noticed a bin full of old NES, SNES, and PS1 games with a sign above it. This sign said "5 for $5". I heard the Hallelujah Chorus as I ran to the bin, knocking down several customers, and jumped in to find some games.
OK, it didn't happen exactly like that. But I did walk away with five games that day, and one of them was Orb 3D for the NES. I had absolutely no clue what to expect from it; I just bought it because the label looked cool.
I popped it into my NES and it booted up immediately (I have to brag about this. I fixed my NES!). I went in with an open mind, and this is what I saw...
Gameplay - 7/10
Remember an old game called Pong? You know, that game where two people hit a ball around to each other? Imagine playing that by yourself, with you controlling both paddles. Doesn't that sound just about as fun as shoving hot rocks up an orifice? Luckily for you, the good guys at whatever developing company made this created a game that is just a little more involving. You see, you can press the A button and move your orb to the BACK OF THE SCREEN!
Actually, your orb just shrinks an amazing amount to simulate this 3D effect from the game's title. Anyways, the goal of the game is to keep the orb in play, pong-style, and send it back and forth to hit targets. Still doesn't sound fun? Well, let me tell you that each of the thirty levels plays differently. Some levels just involve hitting targets until they all disappear. Yawn. Other levels have you playing (super) simplified versions of bowling or pool!
While you're playing this, look to the right side of your screen. You will see a bar labeled "Fuel". This is your orb's fuel. No ****. As you are playing, this bar slowly goes down. If it reaches the bottom, it's GAME OVER. Also, if you miss the orb while playing pong with yourself, it goes down a whole lot.
No fear! With a press of the B button, you can go to a Gas and Eats station! Here, you have to send your orb through holes in the station to get more gas. Problem? The holes are closing on you. If you have bad aim in this game, it is very likely that you won't get any gas, and be screwed. Sometimes, when you go to the station, you'll have to fight a dragon. By fight, I mean you have to run into it's eyes while it does nothing to you. Except waste your gas. Basically, if you have almost no gas and are unlucky enough to run into the dragon, you're royally screwed.
Story - 1/10
An evil wizard had taken over the universe, and your orb must save it with the power of PUZZLE SOLVING! WHEEEE! Seriously, this is a generic story that doesn't even fit this game.
Sound - 1/10
Damn it, MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!
Seriously, there is only one song in this game. And it plays through all thirty levels. And each level can take a while to beat. You get to hear it over. And over. And over. And OVER!
...does anybody have a rag? Blood is everywhere...
Graphics - 3/10
Yes, yes, I know, this is the NES. You can't expect anything amazing. But these graphics are a joke. You get a field of dots, filled with random images that you have to hit. Your orb is basically just a silver ball with lines on it. Your paddles? You are given two small white blocks, and you have to have the ball it in between them. These people didn't even bother to create a whole paddle! This section is a joke.
Controls - 6/10
All you are doing is moving two paddles. They move at the same time with a simple press of the D-Pad. The A button makes your orb go all 3D on you. It works. Except, the orb is so hard to aim, you'll get a headache from the simple aiming before you get one from the graphics...
Difficulty - Medium (5/10 equivalent)
This game is about as hard as a piece of old cheddar cheese. It may be a little difficult, but you can easily get through it to the cheesy center. The only difficulty is aiming. And that damn dragon. Really, developers, why is there a giant dragon's head in SPAAAAAAACE?!
Replayability - Medium (5/10 equivalent)
I keep coming back to this game. In spite of the low scores, I love this game. The problem is, the levels never change. They are always the same thing. Maybe the high score counter will keep you going. Maybe not. How am I supposed to know, I can't read your mind through the computer!!
Score - 28/70, 40%, 4/10
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Orb 3-D (US, 10/31/90)
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