Faceball 2000 is a port of a 1987 Atari ST game called 'Midi Maze' and was released for SNES, Game Boy and Game Gear in the early 1990s. Today I'm taking a quick look at the Game Gear edition, which was exclusive for Japan, despite being complete playable in English. Faceball 2000 is an interesting title, because it is the closest thing to a first person shooter that you'll find on the Game Gear.
In Faceball 2000 you control a so called H.A.P.P.Y.FACE., which is short for 'Holographically Assisted Physical Pattern Yielded For Active Computerized Embarkation'. Nowadays, we would call it a giant floating emoji. It's a nice little touch that you can select from a few different pre-rendered emoji's to play with. The game offers a 1 and 2 player mode, but since I do not know anyone else with a Game Gear and the game I could only check out the single player experience.
In single player mode, you can choose between two types of games: Arena or Cyberscape. In Arena you move your Happy Face/Floating Emojiu in a small battling arena with other Floating Faces and you have to shoot them in their Happy Face while trying to avoid their shots. I found this mode very hard, even on the easiest setting and could not enjoy it for very long.
Thankfully, the Cyberscape mode is more interesting. In this mode you have to search for 'Blinking Doors', while avoiding or shooting enemies and finding your way in an ever expanding maze. It's sort of entertaining, and quite technical impressive for a Game Gear title.
However, all the mazes consist out of green walls and a blue floor. Doors are yellow, and so are the enemies. And that are all the colors you'll see in the game, so it gets quite boring pretty quick. Also, the Game Gear has a hard time keeping up with the frame rate, which makes the gameplay a little slow and choppy most of the time. Furthermore, finding your way in the bigger levels isn't really enjoyable and the available little maps aren't always very useful. But I really do like the great MIDI samples, despite being it replayed all the time.
All in all, Faceball 2000 is an interesting Game Gear title, if you're looking from a technical perspective. As a game it is less interesting and does not entertain for a very long time. But since it's the only first person shooter game I can think of on the Game Gear, the developer gets some credits.