SUPER DODGEBALL / Technos / NES


Super Dodgeball is one of Technos' many spin-off sports games of the Kunio series, which effectively began with River City Ransom, even though the arcade and NES game Renegade was really the first canonically.

Anyway, this game is about teh dodgeball. Teams of six guys take each other on, with three on the main playfield, and three surrounding the opponent's side. Your primary moves are B to huck the ball and A to either pass or block/duck an incoming throw, but you can also dash by tapping the direction twice and jump by mushing A+B together. Players also have a variety of "super throws" that are set off under different conditions - some might require you to simply run within a certain distance of the boundary line, or do a dashing jump prior to throwing.

There's admittedly little strategy to the game given this simple suite of moves, but there's still just enough depth to be satisfying. The guys who surround your side of the playfield can't do running or super throws, so they can't hit you for much damage, but they can be maddening in passing the ball amongst themselves trying to catch one of your group facing away from them. It's extremely satisfying to snatch one of their throws out of the air while jumping, then take off and take your RAGE out on some hapless dood standing around on the other side of the field. Likewise, there's some great moments when you catch an opponent's throw, then quickly run and nail them in the back while they scramble to get back in a defensive position. And nothing beats knocking a foe out when, as they get back to their feet panting heavily after having been plowed by a super throw, your guy who plays the back of their field nails them in the back of the head while they are defenseless.

There's three modes of play to choose from. In World Cup, you play as the U.S.A. running a gauntlet of other world teams on your way to a penultimate showdown with Mother Russia. Unfortunately, you can't play as the other national teams in World Cup, even though you can in Versus mode with a second player. If you get the Japanese version, however, you can play as Japan instead, and possibly the other regional releases changed your team as well. The final mode of play is Bean Ball, where the U.S.A. (or whichever for your version) team has a six-man free-for-all with no boundaries, where the last man standing wins it all.

Perhaps the one real weakness of the game is that the hardware couldn't quite handle twelve active sprites of this size, so there can be some pretty bad flicker at times and even a touch of slowdown.

Versus Mode is where the game really shines, and it's advisable to only get this if you have a second player readily available, as one-player mode gets boring kind of fast with the lack of team selection and the computer's general predictableness and ineptitude.

Videos :

Gameplay Video
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