The 90’s was a truly magical time where as a kid I would gobble up whatever game is placed before me primarily because I didn’t have a job or any source of income but my folks. One of the games I played to death before the abomination of a pirate console, the UFO entered our living room and set the precedent for me to drown in games and eventually aspired to legitimately play original software was Faceball 2000. This game was one of the first first person shooters on the SNES and while FPS games today are generally regarded as violent this game was absolutely child friendly. I mean you shot at smiley faces with round nerf-looking balls and your avatar was a smiley too and if that ain’t enough, when you get fragged in this game, the perpetrator says “Have a nice day” much to my frustration and rage back in the day.
What makes this game so great was the fact that you are roaming in a three dimensional environment, much like how the original StarFox blew my mind in the years to come. Also, in spite of what seemed to be a kiddie-crap-bull-shit game, it’s actually insanely hard especially in the later levels where Smiloids (your smiley opponents) take more hits to kill, move , and shoot faster. I don’t recall whether or not you can actually increase your stats (namely armor, speed, and rate of fire) permanently but I do remember power-ups that can either stop all smiloids from moving, make you invisible to them, or give you invulnerability for a fixed time period but I do remember whatever perks you have on you will be wiped out after you get fragged (or “tagged” as they are referred to inside Faceball 2000). The game also allowed two-player split-screen co-op or 1 v 1 head to head combat in the arena mode if you’re sick of your partner hogging all the power-ups.
This ought to be the part where I go all hipster and shit like “oh, I wish games these days would have pushed the boundaries of technology and make something like Faceball 2000 which was sooo mind-blowing at the time of the SNES…” but seriously, a game like this wouldn’t have progressed AT ALL into where games are now. Sure, I had a blast with the game and I would consider it one of the top games for me during the SNES era but now it’s just going to be a piece of video gaming history and a novelty. There is absolutely no value in taking this game “to the next level”… I mean smiley faces were probably used due to technical limitations at the time and it actually turned out great… well not so great. Bullet Proof Software (publisher) and Xanth Software F/X (developer) both sank into obscurity after the SNES era.
Credits to All Video Games TV on Youtube for the gameplay video.
Screenshots lifted from Moby Games.