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To begin, I’d like to thank you, the reader, for reading this post. The purpose of this review is to inform you about the Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story that is…dodgeball? Yes, that is the question that we must answer. This is a very unique game that I have never played before and I was very skeptical about playing it. But now that I know more about it, my opinion is completely changed.
Who doesn’t remember the classic 1980s movie dodgeball? Well, if you’re a gamer of any generation, you’ll remember a similar game from the 1980s called dodgeball: ACADEMIA. In this game is a funny take on dodgeball, it’s characters, and it’s gameplay. The way you throw this game is very similar to the way you throw regular dodgeball. You can be a jerk and throw it at your opponent. You can push the button and throw it at the opposite team. You can catch it and throw it at your opponent. You can even set it up so that pressing the button will cause you to throw it at your opponent. Over all, it’s an interesting take on the traditional dodgeball
Dodgeball is one of those retro games that never really made it out of the 80s, but it remains a staple of sports-themed Facebook games. Dodgeball Academia is a sport simulation that places you in charge of a nation’s dodgeball team. You can either try to win the dodgeball world cup, or you can use your winnings to upgrade your team’s training facilities. The game is very similar to League of Legends and the gameplay is pretty simple as you just have to toss the balls into the opposing team and hope they don’t manage to get them all.
Dodgeball, in my opinion, is the most well-known sport that does not have professional players or compete in the Olympics. With the exception of a few Kunio-kun spinoffs, we’ve all played it in school and know the rules by heart, the sport doesn’t appear in any form once we graduate from sixth grade. That injustice is finally over, thanks to Pocket Trap, a So Paulo-based company, and Dodgeball Academia, their amazing sports RPG combination.
If only Otto could yell “Hadouken!” throughout these scenes…
Dodgeball Academia is a jumbled mess of inspirations from cartoons, comics, and vintage video games that has resulted in one of the most unusual games I’ve played this year. Please bear with me while I clarify what I’ll write in the next phrase in more detail. This is an arcade-type sports game with a beautiful hand-drawn visual style that reminded me a lot of current Cartoon Network programs, organized like a JRPG (most notably, Pokémon and Paper Mario), obviously inspired by sports manga, and certainly influenced by sports manga. It may seem perplexing and out of place, yet it works like a charm.
You play as Otto, a young boy who has just relocated to the eponymous Dodgeball Academia (a clear reference to the My Hero Academia manga/anime). It’s a beautiful institution where students learn and prepare to become the world’s best dodgeball players. Upon arriving at the school, he meets a slew of completely bizarre and/or endearing characters who fit the typical shonen stereotypes: the enraged and abrasive rival, the badass who is stronger than everyone else for some reason, the statistics-obsessed nerd, and, of course, the ragtag group of misfits who join your team in order to win the school’s annual dodgeball tournament. And that’s only the start of a long series of arcs!
To mimic a contemporary Cartoon Network program like The Amazing World of Gumball, every character in this game is hand-drawn with relatively few frames of animation. These bizarre figures contrast wonderfully with the polygonal surroundings, resulting in an aesthetic style that, although clearly inspired by Paper Mario, seems to be entirely original. All while maintaining a consistent 60 frames per second in both docked and portable mode, whether exploring the overworld or participating in the game’s “fighting portions.”
In titles like Golf Story and the Game Boy Color editions of Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, you tour the eponymous academy as you would a sports school. Interact with classmates, purchase equipment, and improve your abilities by engaging in a few battles with youngsters. The distinction is that a large portion of the fighting portions take place when a rival student spots you from afar, much like when a Pokémon trainer challenges you to a battle. This was a fantastic touch that went well with the concept and setting of Dodgeball Academia.
Mine! Mine! Mine!
The fighting principles are similar to those of a classic dodgeball arcade game. Choose a ball, aim it towards a competitor on the other side of the field (where you can’t step), and hurl it at them. You may also dodge opponent assaults in various ways depending on which character you’re playing at the time, as well as execute a counterattack, which differs per character. If you hit a button at the correct time, Otto can catch a ball without being harmed, and one of his pals, the hyperactive Mina, can kick a ball back at whomever threw it for extra damage. The quicker you load your “Balltimate Meter” with counters and blocks, the faster you’ll be ready to unleash a super powerful (and extremely ludicrous) final assault.
Even better, Dodgeball Academia manages to include RPG elements into the mix without making them seem out of place. You earn experience points for each opponent you beat. When you level up, your strength and HP rise, but you can also boost your stats by wearing other items, such as a pair of gloves that enable you to drain your opponents’ HP everytime you hit them with a dodgeball, for example. There are many sidequests strewn throughout the game, as well as secret bits of “treasure” that may be unlocked by grabbing a dodgeball and throwing it towards a particular “chest” in the overworld.
Err… Wasn’t it just a harmless game of dodgeball that we were playing?
There wasn’t anything about Dodgeball Academia that I didn’t like. The most of my criticisms are minor nitpicks, but I feel compelled to mention them. To begin with, although the game’s music is enjoyable, I was disappointed by the game’s excessively basic sound effects, which seem like they were plucked from a mid-range Game Boy Advance game. Finally, I experienced a few of problems with the controllers’ general responsiveness, particularly when I needed to counter or stop an attack. I swear I hit the button at the correct moment on a few occasions, but the game determined I wasn’t deserving of a block. These problems were never deal-breakers, but I felt compelled to bring them up nonetheless.
You’re doing it wrong if you didn’t read it in a stoner voice.
Dodgeball Academia is not to be missed. On paper, this game seems to be a total disaster, yet it successfully blends arcade-style dodgeball battles with JRPG gameplay and cartoonish graphics to produce something entirely unique. If at all feasible, get this on a portable like the Switch. Because of its “pick up and play” nature, it seemed perfectly at home on the system with its short matches, quick loading times, and plenty of well-paced sidequests. However, you’ll have a fun with Dodgeball Academia no matter where you play it. It’s undoubtedly one of the year’s finest independent games.
Dodgeball Academia’s visual design is a feast for the eyes, with well-crafted polygonal landscapes and 2D, “Saturday morning cartoon” inspired figures.
Dodgeball mechanics that are arcade-like in nature and, for the most part, responsive, combined with RPG components that, unexpectedly, do not seem out of place.
The music more than makes up for the absence of any sort of voice clip and the rather basic sound effects.
Dodgeball Academia is an engrossing and entertaining experience that seems perfectly at home on a portable, thanks to excellent graphics, funny banter, and the fact that it manages to combine an arcade dodgeball gameplay cycle with RPG features.
Final Score: 9.0
Dodgeball Academia is currently available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
The publisher supplied a copy of Dodgeball Academia.
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“Dodgeball Academia” is a game developed by PQube and published by D3 Publisher. The game is an adaptation of a popular manga and anime series (of the same name). The story follows the main character Fujimori who enrolls at the fictional Fujimori Academy in order to be able to play dodgeball and score “the perfect match” as expected from the anime and manga.. Read more about dodgeball academia xbox and let us know what you think.
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