Without a doubt my most favorite game in Technos’ Kunio-kun series, Super Dodgeball is an excellent rendition of dodgeball, a fictional sport that is a very popular subject for Japanese games. If you’ve never played a dodgeball game before, think of it as “brutal volleyball” – a twisted game of volleyball where you score by not spiking the ball at the ground, but directly at the opposite team. |
Similar to a volleyball game, the court is divided into halves. Each team has six members: three players on the court, and the other three staying on the perimeter, waiting to catch any balls that fly their way. Once you have the ball, you must try to swing it as hard as you can at the opposing team, usually by running, jumping, and pressing the B button repeatedly to slam it down on the hapless opponents. On the other hand, if the other team has the ball, you have to either avoid it or catch it with the A button. Much like a typical 2D action game, each character has a life bar, and you'll be out of the game (only for that particular game) if it runs out. Once you manage to knock out all the players on your opponent’s team, you’ll win the match.
If you have played River City Ransom or any other Kunio-kun games on the NES before, you know what the art style is like: short, stumpy, “SD” players. The graphics and animations, like other Technos games, are top-notch. The most fun lies in the "super moves" unique to each character. Usually accomplished with rapid button-bashing, this causes the ball to do a number of physically impossible feats, such as splitting into three smaller balls, curving backwards in mid-air, or hitting the poor guy so hard he flies outside the court. This makes the game a lot of fun, especially against another human player.
Despite the extremely simple gameplay, you’ll have a lot of fun discovering each player’s super moves, and spiking the hell out of the other team ;) If you enjoy wacky sports, love River City Ransom, or are a fan of addictive two-player games, you can’t go wrong with this underdog that wasn’t very popular outside Japan (perhaps due to people’s unfamiliarity with the sport). Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs