OddBallers in the test - dodgeball spectacle looking for a player

OddBallers in the test - dodgeball spectacle looking for a player

Video games have the ability to combine an epic story with an immersive experience like no other medium. The biggest productions now have budgets that are otherwise only known from Hollywood. On the other hand, there are games that are purely entertainment-oriented, designed to provide a healthy mix of fun and challenge for a game night with friends. A sophisticated plot or a magnificent look are rarely found here. OddBallers is a game of that category. Here, Ubisoft has adopted the easy-to-understand dodgeball principle and tried to take it to the extreme with the help of a silly look and one or two gameplay twists. We'll take a look below to see whether we succeeded.

Most of you probably know from physical education classes how dodgeball works: Two teams face off against each other neighboring squares and with a ball, an attempt is made to eliminate the members of the opposing team by throwing them off. If a player is hit by the ball (and then cannot catch it), he must leave the field. However, this does not mean that he is completely eliminated, but positions himself somewhere around the opposing field and can still actively intervene in the game with the ball. OddBallers works in a similar way. Here, however, the set of rules only serves as a basis for all sorts of absurd modifications.

The scramble takes place on small fields in different environments

© Ubisoft Entertainment

Because the "odd" in the title of the game is no coincidence. In this pure multiplayer title, you'll also be blasting balls and whatever else you can get your hands on. The whole thing happens within the framework of smaller mini-games in which you have to compete one after the other within a game round. The games are designed to be beginner-friendly, so they come with clear instructions and simple rules, but almost always involve some projectiles, regardless of the actual task. There is also the classic "Last Man Standing", but in other mini-games you can also catch chickens and fish or practice playing wind instruments. The latter game works, for example, in such a way that at the beginning of the round there is an instrument in the middle of the small playing field. The task is to keep the golden tin ringing for a profitable period of time. After the countdown is over, everyone rushes at the instrument, only to then reach for the projectiles to prevent the trumpeter from winning.

So Most of the mini-games are presented in a fun and chaotic way or something like that – certain similarities to the big Mario Party series cannot be denied at one point or another. Winning a mini-game is rewarded with points, and the runner-up often doesn't go away empty-handed either. Once a player has reached a certain number of points, one more game must be won in order to complete the entire game round and be allowed to lift the earned trophy. Such a game round can be adapted in many ways. So you can decide how many points are basically needed and which mini-games you want to play at all. In an online lobby, you can decide to start in a 4- or 6-player mode.

However, the latter is to be considered highly theoretical. Because OddBallers' biggest problem seems to be the number of players. During my test period, searches for a running game or an open lobby always yielded no results. It was only when I created a room myself that a lost soul rarely joined it. And all this despite the crossplay function. The remaining open spaces can always be filled with opponents controlled by the computer, but that shouldn't be the aim - especially since the AI ​​players are usually not very good and therefore act more as a log and a millstone, especially in team games.

After the end of the game, the decisive goal can be seen again in slow motion

© Ubisoft Entertainment

Again, a nice detail is that that your character is not faceless, but can be individualized according to your wishes or equipped with various fashionable accessories. You can choose between a character that is remotely reminiscent of a human or the Rabbids, which are now firmly part of the Ubisoft universe. You can give them different outfits including hats and gloves, which is also recommended, because a conspicuous appearance makes it much easier to distinguish them in busy game rounds. Additional costumes can also be unlocked as the game progresses. A “loyalty pass” is available for this, which acts like a classic season pass. By playing you get experience points, which sooner or later allow you to level up, which is provided with appropriate rewards. Basically, such a motivational stimulus is certainly common nowadays for pure multiplayer games, but it nevertheless seems a bit out of place here and inflates the main menu, which is already not very intuitively designed.

Not much On the other hand, I understand a problem that probably arises from the publication of the game on several platforms: The key assignments for diving/dodging and for grabbing/throwing are explained in reversed text overlays and in all mini-game explanations. Yes, the A button has traditionally been on the right side of Nintendo controllers and the B button is on the bottom, and yes, Xbox controllers are the other way around. But one should be able to assume that this fact is also known to Ubisoft. Luckily, that's nothing that couldn't be fixed with a simple update, but it's a pity, and it's still a hindrance, especially for a successful start.

Powered by Blogger.