Games You Should Have Played: Super Dodge Ball

The Nintendo Entertainment System is known for its classic, pantheon level games like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Castlevania.  Beloved by all, these games need no advocates.

Some games, on the other hand, need – and deserve – more help. Super Dodge Ball is one of those games.

Super Dodge Ball is brought to us by Technos Japan Corporation, an offshoot of the better-known Data East.  Despite an impressive lineup, Technos Japan never got the same kind of praise that was lavished upon bigger companies like Capcom, Konami, or Tecmo.  They do boast a number of impressive games, such as Double Dragon, Super Spike V’Ball, the epic River City Ransom, and Super Dodge Ball.

Those of us who loved playing dodge ball in gym class and who miss pegging slow and/or fat kids with rubber balls only have video games to fall back on these days.  Fortunately, this dodge ball video game is incredibly satisfying.

For the main game, Technos has invented their own version of dodge ball.  I’d explain it, but it’s easier just to show you:

So the point of this version of dodge ball, which is played on an international level, is to drill the people on the other team until they die.  That’s pretty awesome.  I’d love to be a part of the governing body of the International Dodge Ball Federation, just to hang out with the kind of badasses who come up with rules like that.  I’m guessing that the IDBF Board is made up of Charles Bronson, Samuel L. Jackson, General George Patton, and Dutch Schaefer.

So in the main game, you play death ball against a poorly named “All-Star” team from New York, followed by the national teams of England, India, Iceland (who plays on a frozen pond), China, Kenya (who obnoxiously plays on loose dirt), Japan, and the Soviet Union.  Then, if you’re really awesome, you get to play against your own evil shadows, which doesn’t seem like it would be sanctioned by the IDBF, but those motherfuckers are crazy, so who knows?

The best part of Super Dodge Ball is the power throws.  If you sprint and then time your throw right, your player will throw the ball in some crazy way that makes is change shape and/or direction, making it harder to avoid and more likely to do higher damage.  The ball flashes and looks like a frisbee or a football or more than one ball or a tiny ball or something equally weird, but it sometimes fucks people so hard that they fly around the world, which is totally awesome.

Being an awesome sports game, Super Dodge Ball obviously includes a two-player option, wherein each player selects any of the teams from “World Cup” play, and they play a match on some random grass stadium.  It’s exactly what you’d think it would be, and I will kick your ass in it if you’d like, because I’m awesome.

There’s also a third mode, Bean Ball, that can be one- or two-player.  Bean Ball is complete fucking pandemonium, a no-holds barred, every-man-for-himself death-fest in which every player on regular Team USA is trying to kill every other player with a dodge ball.  Check it:

Totally awesome.  This mode is quite a bit harder than the regular mode because you’re so often out of good defensive position, but the craziness makes it a lot of fun.

So, with two completely different game modes, two multiplayer modes, and lots of team, this is a pretty robust NES title with a lot of replay value.  If you haven’t played it yet, you’re a jerk.  You Should Have.

Score: 9.4/10

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