“An arcade, sports title?! Surely my favorite author, Kyle Durant, and my favorite site, Pure PlayStation, will be the one to review this? We can totally trust his opinion on anything sports wise after all.”
Why yes nice person on the internet that only exists in my head. When I first saw the PlayStation 4 trailer for Disco Dodgeball Remix, I claimed dibs faster than Chris Harding finding time away from his family. Plus, this athletic game involves dodgeball. An activity I actually enjoyed in PE class while I was a kid. No cowering or whimpering from me as I avoided and threw balls with wicked glee. Do feel free to make a joke at my expense based on that last line. REGARDLESS! Does this three-year old title deserve to be on your PS4 dashboard or wait and hope another dodgeball game actually releases?
There’s no comprehensive and emotional plot to Disco Dodgeball Remix so let’s nip that in the butt right now. Why would you want that in this type of game anyway? The core premise behind this title is Jetsons-like robots duel it out in more than ten different arenas with the clear, rubber balls. The typical rule sets apply like if you’re hit by a ball you’re out/lose a life and if you catch someone else’s throw the person who threw it is out/loses a life. There’s no line to worry about as the game design handles similarly to Mario Kart’s battle mode and all throughout the arena you can platform, jump, and boost your way to domination and/or safety. The only big difference is you have to scavenge for balls to throw around the level. To sum up all of this just remember the five D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and…Dodge.
- Developer: Zen Studios
- Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
- Price: €14.99
Most notably there’s an arcade mode where you have a set number of lives and have to defeat ever-increasing waves and difficulties of enemies. The farther you go the more XP and rewards you earn. The experience you acquire will unlock special items depending on the numbered level you reach. The straight out game rewards include cosmetic items and chests to open. Surprisingly, the customization is pretty deep for Disco Dodgeball Remix as you can deck out your robot many different hats, glasses, masks, body types and colors, wheels, victory and defeat expressions, throwing trails, decals, and fire colors when you go on a killstreak. For the latter think of NBA Jam’s “He’s on fire!” stichk. You can also craft random components you get into other random items as well.
Alongside basic training, there is actually an in-depth challenge mode. There’s an option for the ever-present Horde Mode among video games, Juggernaut which makes you invincible as to only focus on points, Air Raid on the other hand gives you jetpacks and homing dodgeballs, Fugitive that puts a spin on the activity and requires you to grab a ball and hold it as long as possible, Duck Hunter only focuses on long-distance knockouts, Pinball where victory can only come off ricochet shots, and Teamwork is all about assists that lead to knockouts. Last but not least is the Time Trial mode. This one actually focuses on racing around the levels in a lap based fashion. Needless to say this isn’t a generic dodgeball game with only one course of action. The developers certainly deserve praise for the uniqueness that this title can bring.
With that being said I feel that most of Disco Dodgeball Remix’s fun will still come from the local and online multiplayer matches. Sadly and as usual for early review copies, I had no luck finding people online and none of my friends were cool enough to play this with me (read: Kyle has no friends). Still when I played a multiplayer match with bots it was still good fun. The fact that multiplayer games have power-ups you can pick up on the map definitely helped the enjoyment factor. Throughout all of these gameplay possibilities the maps and sounds can get kind of samey. Not to say the graphics and soundtrack are bad, but the same light show, just in different colors, with the same retro-like house music can make things blend a bit. So much so that I could only play this game for so long. Again I fully expect playing against other people will remedy this problem somewhat.
A few notable design issues I had were with the movement and boost systems. As a whole the entire experience can feel kind of slow compared to how fast you want to move. It doesn’t help that your boost meter (controlled by L1) depletes incredibly quickly and acts more like a strategy play rather than a “catch up with the opponent” tactic. The jump button features a similar dilemma. Most of the time, for me anyway, it felt useless and unneeded unless I had a jetpack equipped. However, when you look past these simple annoyances the in-your-face gameplay mixed with arcade sound effects will bring a smile to your face.
Disco Dodgeball Remix PS4 Review
Disco Dodgeball Remix never tries to be something it’s not. The offline modes are rather diverse and fun for a time, but I can guarantee that the online matches will be where most people want to visit. The game is a nice blend of arcade staples and something that easily overshadows the minute design problems. This could have easily been a cheap game put together with glue and tape. Instead there’s a dose of fun to be had at any given time. Disco Dodgeball won’t remap the arcade sports world, but again it never tries to be something it isn’t.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.
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