Developed by: FinalBoss Games
Published by: PlayStack
Platforms: PS4 / PC / Xbox One / Switch
Reviewed on: PS4 Pro
Rhythm games have come a long way since the days of O2 Jam and some of the speedy rhythm games you use to see when you visit arcades. Super Dodgeball Beats boasts similarities in many terms when compared to the tap-tap games in the market now. A game filled with quirky comic book style sequences, Super Dodgeball Beats is sure to entice players with its fast-paced gameplay, catchy soundtrack and interesting visuals.
The game’s Campaign Mode starts off with a brief tutorial of the game. With 4 characters placed strategically as to how our controllers are laid out, you are given cue’s to hit the designated buttons with combinations of a single tap, hold and slide. It may seem easy at first, but it gets pretty intense as the difficulty increases as you go up the leagues.
As you hit the beats correctly, there is a power bar that slowly increases as your combo flourishes. When it is full, you are entitled to a power-up. These power-ups differ from time to time and can either give your team a boost or cause the enemy team to slip up and miss beats. Giant mascot head flying around blocking your view, turning your players into stone, bombs that blow up and destroy your combo meter, just to name a few of those power-ups that are at your disposal ( and your enemies too ).
The 4th player in your team isn’t actually part of the team to be exact. They are your mascots/supporter. In every game, you are given a choice of 1 supporter, depending on your play style, as different supporters bring in different power-ups.
The rise to the top!
Once you are done with the initial campaign tutorial, you met with the scoreboard of the Rookie League. You play as the Sigma Nerds Club, and as their team name suggests, you control a group of nerds that inspire to win the championship. Once the Rookie difficulty is done, you can subsequently unlock two more difficulties as you complete them, the Pro League and the Legendary League. The difficulty of the Rookie League is nothing compared to the other two leagues. Warning, possible rage quits ahead, especially in the Legendary league!
For the old timer’s in this genre, you can probably breeze through the campaign mode within a few hours or so. I noticed that once you get the hang of the music going on in the background, the timing you hit the beats would come naturally as you keep playing along. You can always revisit the awesome soundtrack they have through Training mode.
Dodging those baddies!
You face a wide variety of enemies as you progress along with the game. From a group of ceramic cats to a man dressed up as a Godzilla look-a-like, because you know, why not? I envy the team called the Senile Company, comprising of old-looking men and women. I aspire to be like them when I grow old, seriously. How many old people can say that they actually competed in a dodgeball tournament at their age? Exactly my point! Each character in every team has their own animations when executing moves, winning and losing poses too.
As the game relies heavily on comic style art and drawings for their animations, characters and levels, there is a certain quirk to it that will keep you wanting to see what comes next. Combined with high octane music, the gameplay turns energetic after you see the announcer in the game counting down from 3 to start the round. Keeping your eyes on your character is the main focus here, don’t look away! you always need to keep them in view to know what is going on, what type of enemy power-up is deterring your team, and what sort of interaction is needed to fulfil a beat.
Once you are done with the campaign mode, you can try out their Multiplayer Mode. Invite a friend over and go head to head with them as many times as you please, with the teams of your choice. Choose any of the supporters you see fit, given that you have unlocked them from the campaign mode, and finally have that satisfaction of thrashing a real opponent rather than an NPC controlled team. Sadly there isn’t an online multiplayer option for the game.
A quirky and colourful game like Super Dodgeball Beats deserves a healthy attention from gamers alike. The fast-paced rhythm-action keeps the players glued to the controller from start to finish, while the players are greeted with engaging comic book style animations and pop-ups. Fans of this genre of the game will surely find this interesting and worth the playthrough. Although the Campaign Mode did bring sort of a story mode vibe to it, I do feel like the story generated in the game was more of an afterthought rather than being the main attraction of the game. I would have liked to have more insight into the Sigma Nerd Squad, and how they materialized before the arrival of their dodgeball passion. Also, more background story visually on the opposing teams would have been a nice addition to the game. Online Multiplayer was the biggest missing component in this game. By being able to compete with players online and giving the ability to rank up scoreboards/rankings globally, the game would have made more of an impact.
- Visually beautiful and interesting game
- Fast-paced, challenging gameplay, intuitive power-up usage
- great couch multiplayer option
- Very short campaign mode
- No online multiplayer support
- Very little insight to in-game characters