Spike Volleyball – Ah volleyball, such an interesting sport. Yet not a very popular genre for video game developers to develop a game around. I still recall my first volleyball game. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Ah that was a nice one. Of course, I only played it for those amazing… Assets. As well as how curvaceous those… that ball… looked. Okay never mind! I’m just saying, you rarely see a game like this, yet black sheep studios promised us a new and exhilarating experience. So of course, after seeing the trailer for it, my interests were peaked. Would it really succeed in its attempt, or fail? Since this is still a genre where the groundworks are still not set in stone for. So, all you sports enthusiasts out there, I’m sure you’re all raring to know how it went, right? Let’s grab our favorite drink and something to nibble on because trust me, I never believed I’d rank a game like this the score it did… Let us explore, Spike Volleyball!
What is Good?
- Soundtrack: Yes yes yes, this soundtrack just brings back memories of FIFA for some reason. Those in-between moments at half time, or when you were in the menu deciding on what to do? You know, that peppy music in the background? They have it as well! With some decent tracks to accompany you you’ll at least have some nice tunes to help you run through this wonderful train wreck of a game. Unfortunately, this was the only good thing I discovered here…
- Move along: … What? Nothing to see here lads, move along towards the next section. You don’t want to miss that section, it has proof about what people are playing in hell for an eternity as punishment.
What is Bad?
- Who took their brain?: The AI is never-present. Most of the times the enemy AI will just do the same attack, over and over. Towards the same location as well! Their serve? Same spot as well. Unless the game forcibly puts them on a different starting spot. But then again, the same old will happen. They take a spot to serve towards and then just keep on banging on that spot until you drop the ball. Your friendly team players aren’t better though. Sometimes they’ll just stand still. Not moving at all, and if you accidentally pressed for them to receive the ball? Tough cookies. He or she’ll run at the final moment, mostly resulting in a dropped ball. I mean, what?? Did they not test this like, at all?
- Graphics: My first thought when I saw the models? Is this 2001? Because these bland and soulless muppets looked like they came from the olden times. The courts look somewhat okay. Though they have such a glossy look? That I was surprised that my guys just didn’t slide all over the place. Oh, and don’t get me started on the people in the tribunes… You get the attendance value at every match. When you see numbers like 12000 and up, you would expect a lot more then maybe around a hundred or so static sprites that look like they were 2D placed in a 3D world.
- Glitchy mess: Yeah… This game has 99 problems and sadly a glitch is more then one of them. For instance? Your replay camera. When you score a point, you’ll most likely get a quick replay of your or their point. In slow-mo. No problem with that, it could give us some nice views actually! I would applau… wait, what was that? Did my guy just hit the ball, with more than half a meter of space in between his hand and the ball? How did he even hit the ball? What is this? Am I playing with airbenders or something? Not only that, as I mentioned before, at times my guys just would clip into each other, sticking them in place until, by some unholy magic, it would thrust them forward, propelling them with the speed of light to the spot they should be standing on. Of course, way too late to catch that cursed ball… I mean come on. Where is my quality control!
- QTE Sports? No thank you!: If there is one thing that gets my pistons revving, then it’s bloody QTE events. They’re never wanted, they come out of nowhere. And if you aren’t expecting it? It results in a failed first attempt most of the times. Well worry not my amigos! Because this game doesn’t just throw it at you out of nowhere. Oh no no no, this game is built around QTE. You serve with X. In that time, you decide where your shot needs to go and away it goes. Okay, so they caught it, defend! Wait, another batch of buttons? Okay press A… Yay! Okay so now I can go and intercept… Wait, why does every player have a button assigned to it? I thought with an annoyed face. Yes… You thought right, you press the assigned button, they’ll serve the ball to him and you’ll get the choice to either a hard strike or a drop shot… in QTE form ofcourse! Graaah…
- Pricing!: At the end of the day I hadn’t even looked up what price this game was selling for. I laughed and thought wow for a 40-euro game this is bad. Yeah… You can imagine how appalled I was when I noticed the 60-euro price tag. My reaction? Basically the “no” meme guy. You know, the one that says no, points at his computer while still saying no and walks away? Yup, that was me. This price is basically one big joke as well as a giant middle finger towards every hard-working gamer out there.
Spike Volleyball – 10/100
Woof… This was a chore to get through. Other than a nice soundtrack, nothing memorable or noteworthy was to be found in this game. Black Sheep Studios should’ve shelved this idea and just started anew because what they delivered was absolutely not worth it. If they’d shipped this to us at a price of 10 euro and called is QuickTime Sports, then sure. It could pass for a semi bad joke of a game. But alas this is a full price ranged mistake that I am sorry to say is not worth it in its current state. Now if they would knock down the price and do some major overhauling on the animations and ai? It could pass for maybe around 25 a 30ish euros. So yeah, this is Spike Volleyball… Now, if you’d excuse me? I got to drop shot this off of my hard drive now.