Super Dodgeball Beats
Switch version tested
Review code provided
The rhythm game genre has, in my opinion, grown a little stale over the years. Well, Super Dodgeball Beats is looking to freshen it up a bit. Does it succeed? Let’s find out, shall we?
Okay, just to get it out of the way, the story is nearly non-existent, but what were you expecting from a rhythm game? Basically, three friends are goofing off in class (possibly detention?) when a guy in a sleeveless shirt, gym shorts, and sandals kicks in the door and simply asks “Dodgeball?” The kids’ faces light up, but before they can answer, he drags them off to the school gym where he dons an oversized cat mask and, with the help of a guy in an oversized dog mask, teaches them how to play dodgeball… with a twist!
This is where the tutorial comes in. Your four characters (the three friends and a support character) take up the right side of the screen. As a circle closes in on a certain character, you hit the button represented by the character as it overlaps with another circle. Depending on how close the circles are when you hit the button, you’ll be graded good, early, late, or miss. There are also hold notes (hold the button until the meter fills) and slide notes (push the analogue stick in the direction from one teammate to another).
There’s a bar at the top of the screen with a dodgeball in the middle “neutral” area. As you hit more beats, the ball moves to your side of the bar. When the song ends, if the ball is on your side of the bar, you win. At the end of the match, you’re given a letter grade and depending on it, you fill so much of an “unlock” bar. Once you fill said bar, you unlock a new power-up or one of two extra support characters. There’s plenty to unlock, so if you’re the completionist type, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this game.
You start off in league play, where you score points for every game you win. At the end of the league, the best 8 teams are put into a tournament to determine who wins the trophy. Once you reach the tournament, the “neutral” area disappears, so it’s win or lose. Beat all of the others and you win, unlocking the next difficulty. And man, oh man, do the songs get harder from thereon. I mean brutally hard. You’ll likely find yourself restarting songs several times trying to win and make it to the finals.
The music, as to be expected, is excellent. The rival teams are full of an array of charming and crazy characters: dancing versions of the Power Rangers, a group of barely alive geriatric rebels, a Tengu Warrior, a gang of Japanese lucky cats, and even a giant dragon in a top-hat and manacle appropriately named Sir Goldzilla Pemberton. I absolutely love the characters. They’re probably my favourite aspect of the entire game.
Super Dodgeball Beats definitely breathes new life into a genre that is starting to lose it’s luster. Between the amazing soundtrack, the wonderfully charming characters, and the myriad of unlockables, it warrants the $12.99 (£11.99) price tag. If you’re looking for a challenging new rhythm game, Super Dodgeball Beats is definitely the game for you. 3-2-1-DODGEBALL!
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 12/09/2019
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Sports, Music, Party
Developer: FinalBoss Games
Publisher: PlayStack Ltd
Download link: eShop