“As for the actual gameplay, it is passable, though not without its quirks and faults.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
Usually when I hear “American Video Entertainment” I want to run away and not bother playing the game. Venice Beach Volleyball, however, might be my favorite AVE title. Maybe it is just the simplistic charm of it all, how it does not try to do too much, or the spark of competition you can actually feel when playing this sports game. I dunno. It is not quite as cutesy as Krazy Kreatures, but I definitely like it better than Blackjack.
Considering its source, two of its strengths are solid pixel art and fairly deep settings. But the depth of gameplay leaves something to be desired. There is a happy medium, somewhere between complexity and Pong, whereas Pong is basic yet tightly honed in its mechanical perfectly, and something like Final Fantasy VII works on an altogether different level. Venice Beach Volleyball resides somewhere in the middle of game theory, of game philosophy, and for that reason you do not hear much about it — nothing really sticks out, for better or for worse. It just… is.
Also, go hunt down the image for yourself if you really want to, but the salacious-for-its-time box cover for this game may be of interest for anyone looking for scantily clad women. Not approved by Nintendo, indeed.
Fun Fact: The instruction manual contains instructions for “upgrading” a late-model NES console to better be able to play unlicensed cartridges, like Venice Beach Volleyball, that Nintendo would normally try to lock out. Nice touch.
Read The Full Review For: The secret crab, thoughts on lights and sound, basic gameplay mechanics, and a snide remark or two.
NES Gameplay Tips for Venice Beach Volleyball: As soon as you get to your spot for the spike, jump. When the opponent goes for a spike, I am really not sure if it is worth trying to block, you may just want to go for dives and digs whenever you can, although those will not provide perfect recourse either.