I’m not really a fan of anime games. They often try to be a little on the perverted side and I do try to steer as far away from them as possible, but there are always a couple that catch my eye. One such game was Super Dodgeball Beats, which I liked the sound of due to the fact that you get to play dodgeball, and I haven’t really played a good dodgeball game since Stikbold.
Rhythm is a d…odgeball player?
In Super Dodgeball Beats, you are part of a four-person team, facing off against another four-person team at a simple game of dodgeball. Instead of the traditional gameplay of dodgeball of lobbing a ball at someones face, you have to try to react to the onscreen prompts that surround your players in good timing, in order to score ‘points’, which are displayed as a sort of health bar at the top of the pitch. Once the game ends, whoever has the larger bar wins, and they whip out four balls and slam them into their opponents faces.
As you might imagine from that, the gameplay is pretty limited to the rhythmic actions you need to perform on the pitch, but you do also get the ability to disrupt your opponents play by unleashing some pretty fun spells on them, which really can impact their play – but it can also impact your own, as your opponents will have access to the same powerups you do. This does give a bit more to the game than a simple timing game, as you have to try to disrupt your opponents, try to not be too distracted by whatever they throw at you, and also manage to get all the timings correct for everything that you need to do. It’s surprisingly difficult, and I even lost a couple of the first few matches while I got used to playing it!
One thing that I will say about anime games is that they always employ some brilliant artists, and Super Dodgeball Beats is no different. The game offers some extremely high quality characters, pitches and even transitions between screens. Almost everything in the game is incredibly well polished and easy on the eye, which can get fairly distracting as you play, because there are a lot of details dotted around.
I’m not really a fan of rhythm games, but I did give Super Dodgeball Beats a fair crack of the whip. Unfortunately, it got boring pretty quickly. There are various mascots you can unlock to vary up gameplay, and the different powerups are cool, but there isn’t a whole lot of variety in gameplay. Hit the buttons at the right time, or hold them or whatever. It’s fun at first, and is definitely challenging with all the power ups the opponent can use, but it’s not exciting fun that you could play for hours on end.
One of the things that could extend your play time with Super Dodgeball Beats is the fact it has multiplayer – but sadly only local multiplayer. It feels like they’ve put too much effort in to only make this game couch co-op, and while I agree that there definitely needs to be more couch co-op games out there, omitting online play is not a way to do it. It makes it so that once you’ve completed, or got bored with the main championship, all you have the game for is to gather dust while you wait for your friends to turn up.
The Final Word
Super Dodgeball Beats is fine. The music is good, visuals are tip top and the mechanics are polished. It’s just dull. It gets pretty old, quickly, and without an online multiplayer option, it’s not really worth the money. If you’re determined to win the championship and rise up through each of the leagues, you’ll probably squeeze out a good few hours of gameplay, but I don’t see this being the game that attracts people who aren’t fond of the genre to it.