The Summer of 1990 seemed like a pretty perfect time for a volleyball craze to sweep the nation. First there was the film Side Out
-- a movie so awesome it only needs a one-sentence Wikipedia entry: "Side Out
is a 1990 film about beach volleyball competition, featuring C. Thomas Howell, Peter Horton and Courtney Thorne-Smith." And then there was Malibu Beach Volleyball
, a Game Boy game that can best be summed up by that neon monstrosity of a cover above. But alas, volleyball didn't quite
gain the credibility it was after. Thankfully for those of us who feel the need to re-live the Summer of 1990 we can add Side Out
to our Netflix queues (seriously -- I just checked!) and eBay surely must have a copy of Malibu Beach Volleyball
floating around for next to nothing.
Now the truth is, I really have no idea I why
I would have owned a volleyball game in 1990. I had very little interest in sports at that time. And let's be frank, volleyball is pretty low on the sports food chain. If memory serves correctly, I got it from a friend who didn't care for it, and most likely I just figured any Game Boy cart was better than no Game Boy cart. And that's mostly true. Mostly.
Looking at Malibu Beach
now, it's clear to see that it's not a very great game. It's an overly simple game (even if it is based on a sport that's really just Pong
on a beach); the music is horrible; the hit-detection is shit; and if I tried I could probably come up with a longer list of negatives. But strangely I have some fond memories of playing this stupid game at the beach that Summer. And if that doesn't scream geeky kid, then I don't know what does. Though the game is boring almost before the end of the first round, I can't help but pop it in with the warm weather and remember Summer vacation felt like as a little kid.