Review by terrisus
Unless you really like Defender-style games, stay away. Even if you do, still best to avoid
Seriously, unless you think Defender was the most wonderful game ever created, and would love to play another game in a similar style, it's probably best to avoid this game. Even if you were moderate on liking Defender, this game still probably isn't for you. If you're like me, and you didn't care for Defender in the first place, you're certainly not going to like this game.
Waterworld is, tangentially, related to the movie of the same name. It has official licensing and everything, but, really, it's not like there's much of a "story" in the game. Basically, you're on a raft in the middle of the water (ok, like the movie). Around you are various other people on other rafts, who you'll want to kill before they kill you, who are trying to steal a girl from you. (I guess this all might make more sense if one has actually watched the movie). That's about the extent of it though. Basically, you move around on the water (forward, left and right. No moving backwards), shooting down these other rafts, not getting hit and whatnot. Once you kill all the other rafts, the game zooms out to an overhead view, tallies up your score, and you move on to the next level, with more enemies. This repeats indefinitely, until you get a game over, or get bored and turn off the game. There isn't any "end" or "goal," aside from trying to get a higher score, and, seeing as the game doesn't save the scores, even that's kind of defeating. So, yeah, honestly that pretty much describes the entire game right there. If you've played Defender, basically, the other rafts are equivalent to those little flying enemy things you're trying to shoot down as you fly left and right. I suppose at least this game lets you fly forward (take that, Defender!), but, that's not saying too much. So, again, if you've played Defender, you have a pretty good idea of what to be expecting from this game. Even years ago, however, I was never a big Defender fan. Then, to take a game that had been done years ago, and make a pretty poor copy of it without adding anything of note, it's just really rather disappointing.
Graphically, the game is extremely bland. The "ocean" is just an empty black space. Yes, I know, Virtual Boy only displays red and black (and better to be all black than all red, sailing around on a sea of lava or blood wouldn't be too fun). Still, with a little bit of creativity, they could've added some waves, or textures, or your raft could've made some ripples, or, well... anything. So, you may as well be sailing around on a blacktop parking lot for all you know. The enemies and obstacles and whatnot look decent enough, but, still. Also, there's basically no use of the Virtual Boy's unique graphical system, no fancy effects aside from the "pan-out" when you kill all the enemies. Really, this game could've been done just as well on the original Gameboy and no one would've noticed the difference. I suppose that's what it comes down to. Sound isn't that bad, there's not much to it, but, it does fit the mood of being adrift on an endless ocean. So, I suppose that's at least a small bright spot. On the other hand, turning the sound off fits the mood of being adrift too, and, well... you probably wouldn't notice too much of a difference either way.
As for replay value, if the game at least had a battery to save scores, that might've at least been a small redeeming value. However, since those are wiped as soon as you turn off the game, unless you feel like keeping score on a piece of paper, it's rather limited even there. Aside from the score, what you see of the game after 30 seconds is what you'll see after an hour, after a day, after a month... there really isn't anything much to look forward to here. Maybe a small scene of you rescuing people every now and then would've been nice. In fact, you know what would've been great is if, after a certain amount of levels, you found land. I don't know how that would've worked with the movie storyline, but, at least it would've been something to try for. Since all there is though, really, is to try for higher scores, well, if you don't care for the game in the first place, it's going to be hard to convince yourself that it's worthwhile trying to do any better on it.
As far as Virtual Boy games go, for the US-released games, this is on the expensive side of things. It's not like it's going to cost you hundreds or something, but, really, for the same price you'd probably be better off buying 4 copies of Wario Land (what would you do with 4? Who knows), as opposed to buying this game. In fact, you'd probably do just as well buying one of the various versions of Defender. Unless you're really set on getting a complete collection of Virtual Boy games or something, there really isn't much of a reason to own this. I suppose at least they did make it for Virtual Boy, which was nice of them I suppose, but, again, this game probably could easily have been made for the original Gameboy and no one would've noticed the difference.
Unfortunately, that's really my main gripe with this game, even moreso than the Gameplay. It's not so much that it's bad, there are plenty of bad games out there. My main problem was, that it did absolutely nothing to take advantage of the Virtual Boy. Sure, it was nice of them to make a game for Virtual Boy at all (goodness knows there weren't nearly enough of them, so, something is better than nothing). Still, again, there just literally isn't anything at all in here to tell you that you're playing a Virtual Boy game as opposed to a Gameboy game, aside from Red/Black instead of While/Black. Even if the game were still bad, at least if it had a few redeeming points in doing some nifty things with the Virtual Boy, one might've been able to look past it at least a bit. As it is, there really isn't any reason at all the recommend buying this game, again, aside from if you just have a desire to collect Virtual Boy games, or you have a huge Defender obsession. I got my copy of this game for a few dollars from a friend year back (along with a few other games). I guess, considering that, I don't really have any "complaints." Still, unless you can find this game for a few dollars yourself, I just can't recommend buying this game, and, even at a few dollars, it's hardly worth it. Really, the only thing keeping this game from getting a 1, is the fact that, again, it was nice of them to release it for the Virtual Boy, for those of us who had bought the system. It's hard to find anything else nice to say about it though.
Hey, it's a Virtual Boy game: 10/10
Got Your Own Opinion?
Submit a review and let your voice be heard.