In honor of the Double D Dodgeball review, I've crafted a simple haiku that summarizes the game nicely.
Video game dodgeball
with some retro-like graphics.
It's still just dodgeball.
Double D Dodgeball attempts to bring the fun of dodgeball off the playground and onto the Xbox 360 by packaging the game with graphics that make you wonder if you're playing on a psychedelic Atari machine from the 80s.
The game's primitive graphics (think Space Invaders with colors and sparks) may serve to highlight more important things like the actual gameplay, but even that gets old pretty quickly. Players can choose between East or West dodgeball rules, which differ in how to deal with players who are out. One set of rules means that players who are out must sit on the side until a teammate takes an opponent out. The other set of rules lets players who are out run on the outside perimeter of the court and take opponents out with balls.
The controls are simple, with buttons to throw, catch, charge a throw for a super move, and to sprint. One analog stick controls the player while the other controls aiming (think Geometry Wars), which is represented with a small red line coming out from the player's character.
There's not much else to say about the gameplay since almost everyone has played dodgeball before. The sparks and eye-candy were too distracting and kept me from seeing where the balls were a couple of times. The actual playing field seemed small compared to the area available on the screen. The variation in ball type (heavy, fast, glass, exploding) and fields (one has lines that stun you when you step on them) seemed to be a desperate attempt to add value to the game.
The AI on the opponent team was rudimentary, which I got bored of quickly, so I thought I would try my hand playing against live players. Unfortunately, that was harder than it should have been thanks to the horrendous lag. For a fast sport like dodgeball, lag is a game-killer.
Ultimately, what I was left with was a dodgeball game that tried too hard to not be ordinary. Given that it's a $10 download, I'd rather risk getting picked last and play a game of real dodgeball with real live people outside.
Images courtesy of Yuke’s Company of America.