Now, you’d think a home VR game system would have plenty of first person shooters right? That was, after all, the genre many of us assumed would be awesome in VR when we first became aware of the technology. Who didn’t want to play Doom, Duke Nukem 3D or Quake in VR?
That’s more or less what Niko-Chan Battle is. It’s an entry in the series known to US gamers as Faceball 2000, which uses an engine very similar to Wolfenstein 3D, about the most advanced that will run decently on the Virtual Boy’s struggling 32 bit RISC chipset. This means the floor and ceiling are the same height everywhere, and there can only be 90 degree angles.
Still, it’s a first person shooter on the Virtual Boy. Beggars can’t be choosers. Unlike Innsmouse no Yakata, this one is properly 3D, or 2.5D depending on who you ask. It would probably have been a good deal more impressive back in 1995 when the Doom engine was still relevant tech.
I have to give it some credit for finding ways to keep the game fresh from level to level. Almost every level introduces some new mechanic or gimmick. Destructible walls, transparent walls, invisible enemies and so on. It turns what would otherwise be a tedious maze crawler into something more.
I give Niko-Chan Battle a 7/10. It holds the distinction of being the only proper first person shooter on the Virtual Boy, and it’s a cute, interesting game to boot.
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