|Reference added: 447|
"WCDB has the giant players, like the old Super Dodgeball. Yay!"
Is this the first dodgeball game on current-gen consoles? Does it now only qualify for handhelds or budget titles? Whatever happened to this beloved video sport of yesteryear?
Well, for one thing it's gone high-res 2D, baby. Yay! Yes, this game looks nice, the sprites are huge and well detailed. They don't have what you could call fantastic animation, but it's nothing to sneeze at. Sound is quite decent as well, with some jazzy compositions in the various world stages.
Okay, okay, but what about gameplay? Anything new here, or are we back at the venerable old "Super Dodgeball" (see entry 447) stage of things?
First of all, a few steps back: WCDB doesn't have the fakeout-passing that Rainbow Dodgeball (see entry 219) has, nor the super-passing of Super Dodge Ball Advance (see entry 273). You can't even hit the guys on the enemy sidelines. And passing is kind of crusty--if you're facing at all toward the opposing side, even if the man next to you is raising his arm to signal that he gets the pass, your pass goes clear across the court to the sideline guys. Blap.
So it's kind of stodgy in the passing department. However, it does pretty well in the offense department, and who cares about passing anyway? Everyone has a jump attack and a running attack, as is usual in dodgeball games, but the character variety is unusual here--for instance, there's at least one character in the game who just plain has no attack, and there's another (the old man on the English team, bless 'im) who doesn't have a super jump attack, but his weak-looking lob is deceptively hard to catch.
And then there's the big kahuna: if you manage to get in enough throws in a match you'll charge up your team's super meter, and then your leader (the guy who's twice as large as everyone else, man that's something that's been missing since Super Dodgeball), if he's still alive, can do this back->forward->+X attack that does something super-spiffy. Usually an attack I think, but the team I played most so far, England, has the "Holy Grail" move where a big gold chalice comes down, spills some clear liquid, and heals up your team. Woo!
Oh yeah, and the sideline guys have a little more maneuverability, and can jump out over the court for leaping attacks. This opens things up a bit more than most dodgeball games, which is a good thing.
You know come to think of it, on the positive side of the dodging business, you really have to watch your passes across the enemy court in this game: you can't just lob it way up high where the other team can't get it, so if you aren't careful they're likely to jump up and grab your pass. So you've got to watch for openings, and maybe make detour passes to get it around the opposition. Makes passing a little more strategic.
In terms of modes, you've got the World Tournament mode, which is the meat'n'potatoes here. Then there are "Bonus Games" you unlock while playing that, these are things like "Dodge&Catch" and "The Shooting," where you exercise specific dodgeball skills. If you do well you get to save your score for that game, and then it also unlocks on the main menu so you can go right to it whenever you like.
There's also "Free" mode where you can do Vs against the CPU or other players. The box says 1-4 players, so that could be pretty cool but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
Now, it seems to play pretty darn well as far as these things go, but I can't neglect to mention that I've found one attack (the English captain's run attack, I think the German captain has it too) that seems a wee bit overpowered: the ball swirls in loops as it goes along, and can chain-hit people two or three times before it gets clear of them. What's worse, I'm not sure how to prevent getting hit by the thing. In theory you could catch it, but good luck with that. So that might be a tad unbalanced.
|Download added: oldman.jpg (30336 bytes)|
"When the old man calls for the ball, you darn well pass it to him, sonny."
You can, of course, use the shoulder buttons to select passing/throwing targets.