Double D is for Disappointing and Disaster

I, like probably most of America, have very fond memories of playing the game of dodgeball in my youth.  Publisher/developer, Yukes, has made a dodgeball themed Xbox Live Arcade game that crushes all those memories and spits on the ashes.  Recently, Microsoft has made news that it will be deleting under performing games from its Xbox Live Arcade library.  Double D Dodgeball is the exact type of game that will eventually be deleted, and hopefully forgotten from everyone’s minds.  Double D Dodgeball is so unentertaining and crude that most gamers wouldn’t download this game even if it were free.

Double D Dodgeball is described as “fast-paced” and “frenetic”, nothing could be further from the truth.  Dodgeball is excruciatingly slow paced, and controlling your character feels very stiff and unnatural.  The controls seem easy enough to use (and they should be), which makes the game even that much more of a disappointment because the developers somehow managed to muck up what is one of, if not the most important part of gameplay.  To get a short rundown of how to play Double D Dodgeball, the right trigger throws the dodgeball, left trigger sprints, and the analogs control movements.  There are super catches and shots in the game, but pulling them off takes too much practice for a game that plays so horribly.

One annoying control issue I had is you can’t move and aim while charging up a throw, so if you want to throw a ball that doesn‘t move as slow as molasses you‘ll have to stop in your tracks and almost become a sitting duck.  Also, it’s very difficult to catch a ball thrown at you.  I can’t count the number of times I was just slightly out of position and got knocked out of the game even though I felt my character should have made a catch.

Visually, the characters are ugly and look ridiculous.  All the character designs look as if they came from the drawings of a retarded quadriplegic monkey suffering a seizure.  There are a handful of characters to choose from, all with their own attributes, but everything is so lame and uninteresting that you really won’t care which character moves a little quicker or throws a tiny bit faster.

While the different characters in the game are unsightly, compared to the shockingly terrible looking arenas and backgrounds, the characters are beautiful pieces of art.  The arenas are simple to the point of irritation, and the backgrounds are complete eyesores (I‘ve seen better art on restroom walls).  The developers sprinkled in a little bit of variety here and there, for example, you can play with blocks in the map to help provide cover for players, but the game is still unforgivably shallow.

Perhaps the best part of Double D Dodgeball is the rules.  In the game you can either play by Western (U.S.A.) or Eastern (Japan) style rules.  Western rules have hit players being knocked out of the game.  Knocked out players are sent to the sidelines and can only return when an opponent is hit by a throw.  Catching a throw does not knock a player out (although after a catch you will be able to perform a special shot).  Eastern rules have modified arenas with an outfield around the edges of the maps.  Hit players are knocked out and sent to the outfield.  Players in the outfield must hit an opponent to be able to reenter the main playing field.  One player from each team begins in the opponent’s outfield.  Catching a throw does not knock a player out (but again, after a catch you will be able to perform a special shot).

Everything considered, Double D Dodgeball is a waste of a nice idea.  Nothing is done as well as it could have been.  The visuals with their mock retro look, the generic and forgettable music, the almost nonexistent gameplay, and the barely serviceable controls are all borderline pathetic.  Why Microsoft allowed Yukes to put this arcade game on the Xbox 360 is beyond me.  Publisher/developer Yukes should be embarrassed for releasing this sorry excuse of a game.  Save your 800 MS points and buy Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 instead.  Now that I think about it, maybe someone should send Yukes 800 MS points so they can buy Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 themselves, so they can find out what an actual good game on Xbox Live Arcade looks like.

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