(Game Boy)

Faceball 2000 (Game Boy)

Game Profile

Faceball 2000 is a first-person shooter. You control a H.A.P.P.Y.F.A.C.E., or Holographically Assisted Physical Pattern Yielded For Active Computerized Embarkation. The graphics consist of flat shaded corridors. Enemies are all simple geometric shapes with smiley faces on them. Although the graphics are simple, they allow for full freedom of movement, not unlike Wolfenstein 3-D.

There are two modes of play. First there is a single player mode in which your goal is to find the exit to each level. There are 70 mazes in this mode. The second mode is the multiplayer arena. For the Game Boy: up to 4 Game Boys can be linked together in this mode.

Game Review

Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Dave Frear

Fun Person Shooter

Shortly before Wolfenstein 3D kick-started interest in the genre, Xanth Software F/X treated Game Boy owners to Faceball 2000: a first-person shooter that saw players working their way through maze-like corridors battling giant smiling faces (Smiloids)...

Game Screenshots

User Comments (18)

WanderFan91

#1

WanderFan91 said:

OMG. A 3D game on the Game Boy Pocket!!! :O One look at that box art just now, and I immediately mistake it for Pac-Man.
I wonder how it is...?

Zak_Canard

#3

Zak_Canard said:

Now there's a blast from the past, and one of my all time favourite games on any system at that.

Faceball 2000 was a portable remake and enhancement of an Atari ST first person shooter released a few years earlier called Midi Maze. That itself was fairly unique in utilising the built-in midi ports on the ST into a rudimentary token ring network, allowing up to 16 STs to be linked together for some hot deathmatch action. It also means that Midi Maze is for all intents and purposes the granddaddy of all multiplayer shooters, and the LAN party scene.

FB2K expanded on Midi Maze by improving on the enemy Smiloid AI for the single player Arena mode, but also throwing into the mix a fully fledged Cyberscape campaign mode. In Cyberscape your HAPPYFACE (which according to the manual is short for Holographically Assisted Physical Pattern Yielded For Active Computerized Embarkation) had to wander and shoot through over 70 levels to "face off" against the Master Smiloid. To help you through those levels there were various bonus items such as autofire, speed boosters, shields, plasters (for extra health) and extra lives, and believe me once you get through the first 20 or so levels you're going to need them.

The single player Cyberscape mode itself was worth the money at the time, but it's with the Arena mode where things get interesting. The box and the manual says that up to four players could battle it out in Arena, but that's not exactly true. With enough Game Boys, copies of the game, multiple four player adaptors and a lot of patience, you could actually get up to 16 players fighting it out just like you could do with its ST big brother. Xanth actually had a custom adaptor purely for this purpose as the daisychained 4PAs tended to hinder the frame rate, although 8 player mode was still quite playable. Even in this day and age, outside of PC gaming it's almost unheard of to get 16 players in a single game.

Here's a vid of one of the first few Cyberscape levels, and one of the smaller Arena stages in single player mode
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqldFxRuxQQ
Zak Canard says: Have A Nice Day!

edofthe209

#4

edofthe209 said:

Wow, I had the SNES version of this. Never knew there was GBA version. Quite nifty!

WanderFan91

#6

WanderFan91 said:

I mean, I'd never expected such a title for the Game Boy Pocket considering it's very limited graphical capabilities.
Then again, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan had line scrolling in a few stages, which is quite impressive for the old Game Boy, imo.

WanderFan91

#7

WanderFan91 said:

[me looks at image]
Hmmm, Corbie's name is on one of those images... You can input your name on the game? Fascinating.

Zak_Canard

#8

Zak_Canard said:

@StarBoy91 Yeah, that's the easiest way to identify your friends/rivals/prey (delete as appropriate) in the game, and to rub their noses in it when you waste them!

WanderFan91

#9

WanderFan91 said:

I've been told that the Game Boy Pocket version is better than the SNES version. I shall give it a go; I haven't got a Game Boy Pocket game since I got Frogger for Christmas in 2008.

EDIT: The Game Boy version can plug up to sixteen Game Boys?? :O That's a lot!

techno_shaman_ichauk

#10

techno_shaman_ichauk said:

Aah, I remember playing the GB version at summer camp when they told us not to bring any electronics. Naturally, somebody brought a Discman and a GameBoy(this was the mid 90's after all). I had more fun with the GB version after having played the SNES one already as it actually seemed to run a little smoother without any real loss in level quality.

Two thumbs up from this techno-shaman!

WanderFan91

#11

WanderFan91 said:

So the object of the game is to shoot at opposing smileys, and you take control of a smiley? If so, awesome. Smileys for the win!!! :D :)
Looks and sounds like fun. :) Sounds like I'm missing out on this Game Boy classic.

Xkhaoz

#12

Xkhaoz said:

They should remake this for DSiWare. It'd be perfect! I mean, really.

Zak_Canard

#13

Zak_Canard said:

They should but these days Blue Planet Software (formerly Bullet Proof Software) and its child company The Tetris Company are currently only interested in that cash cow.

dayton

#17

dayton said:

I hope they will have this on the 3ds virtual concuil. Will they? I hope if has the multiplayer

happkamp

#18

happkamp said:

Wow, what a nice surprise to come across this article. I was project producer for FB2K. This is still the game I'm most proud of. And no, it was not the first FPS, although it WAS the first real time FPS on a handheld or console.

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