|Ever since Super Dodge Ball on the NES I have been a complete sucker for dodgeball games. And every single one I've played since then has been kinda weak (note: I played this one before most of the others listed here). This is perhaps the best so far, with lovely, color-rich super-deformed female character sprites and cute cartoon backgrounds with squeaky tennis shoe court sounds to match. But the gameplay--I don't see why it should be so hard to get right, but apparently it is.|
One really irritating thing is the powerups that float across the court at intervals, restoring health or granting some other boon to the player who grabs them. Problem is, there's some kind of voodoo involved in catching them--time after time I jumped up in their path, only to have them go right through me. The CPU, of course, has no problem roping them in. So it becomes a battle against time to take out the computer's team before the tide turns in their favor as they're getting healing from the powerups but your butterfingered team is not.
The other main annoying aspect comes in the super moves. Each team has a powerful captain who can rip off a super move if you time their jumping throw just right, just as in Super Dodge Ball (the other team members seem to have their own attributes and superish moves, but much less powerful). You can only pull off the mega super move when your team's super meter is charged up, which is done by successfully catching balls thrown by the other team. The annoying thing is this: the super attack is unblockable. They have some great graphic effects but the moment you see them begin, you can just put down your game pad and enjoy the carnage as your entire team is devastated to within one hit of their life, with absolutely no chance of countering.
Why, why, WHY? The rest of the game is quite fun as the normal jumping, passing and throwing work well, the sounds and music are tops, and the ambulance-hat stretcher-bearers who carry off expired teammates never fail to amuse. Despite the super move and powerup frustrations, the game becomes rather easy once you learn which types of throws the computer is bad at countering (hints: run backwards, jump and throw, or lob a jump pass to your girl at the top of the enemy court, hold down, and throw as soon as she jumps up and grabs the ball). There's no skill level adjustment so, aside from Vs. play, you may master this one quite easily.
|It seems that this was released late last year in the US by XS Games as a budget game under the name "XS Junior League Dodgeball," having redone it with really crappy character portraits. Thanks to SignOfZeta for that.|| |