Malibu Beach Bikini Volleyball


Review by Al Backiel



Graphics: 6

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

When the theme for this issue was decided upon, I thought back to the classic game systems which are my specialty. There was not much to go on. We had done previous reviews of the ones I picked. In the early days the companies were more puritanical or concentrated more on macho themes. The female characters were mostly damsels in distress. The Lynx game I came up with, I must admit, was due to the titillating title. I always liked the word "titillating", sort of self-defining I thought. I was disappointed when I found out that it is derived from the Latin word meaning "to tickle".

At any rate, I think that volleyball belongs on the beach and not indoors.

But as far as bikini volleyball, how does that make it a different game? I am being facetious, because this was obviously a marketing ploy. I can see where this competition would create a distraction for the male players. The Olympic sport has separate male and female teams consisting of 6 players per side. In this game we have mixed doubles only. But for all you hormone-wild teenagers out there, don't expect to see a lot of "jiggle". This is a small screen, so forget about it. The only babes to really be seen up close and personal are on the packaging, the double-screen pinup shown during the intro, and the scoreboard. All are relatively mild by today's standards, yet it is still surprising for an Atari release. I don't think any nude codes exist. If you find one, by all means share it with us.

I have only played the so-called 1-player version. The reason I put it this was is because you have to work both sides of the court by manipulating the top and bottom buttons, or else one team partner will drop the ball. Plenty of opportunity to cheat provided you can get the ball over the net, but that's another story. This game was really made for the ComLynx cable which also requires having additional copies to play against 2/3/4 players. This would probably make it more playable.

The game remains true to the basic play of volleyball. The major difference being the number of players. Part of the fun of v-ball is keeping the ball in play and not making mistakes. This game does have the set, spike, diving shot and the block all of which are tough to execute. The major problem I have is that when the ball is being served, half of the left court disappears along with the served ball as it switches screens views. The serve is an overhand shot, but it is too automatic. There is an option where you get a box showing where the ball will land similar to displaying a shadow. Even so, there isn't enough time to react effectively. The timed versions were not necessary. All the volleyball contests I’ve witnessed in "real life" had no specific time limit, but were determined by set scores.

There are 10/12/15 point game choices, but not the more obvious 21 point game. I hate to nitpick, but this score should have been available. I would have liked to see a complete playing field, but I do like the side view perspective for a change. The music gets on your nerves and reminds me of those old porno sound tracks. There is some speech which is amusing. Like "Nice game...NOT". My sentiments about this game exactly! The game does get boring because it is so difficult and moves at a slower pace than say... tennis. There are high speeds, but this makes the game play even MORE impossible. There are also variable wind speeds which I also avoided for this very same reason. This game is a poor substitute for the real thing. I have too many fond memories of playing volleyball at company picnics and on the beach to get involved with this weak Lynx effort.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM