Videoball, quite the oddity in the Indie game world. There is not much else like this aside from Clusterpuck 99. Which I have played and felt it was a below average experience. Citing a lack of online multiplayer support as a major downfall. So, here comes Videoball. There is a host of various options for local matches, 1v1, 2v2, and finally 3v3 game modes for you to play with friends and family. Not forgetting Arcade Mode. Have I mentioned that the game is called Videoball yet? Cause the announcer will remind you the name of the game at every available opportunity. It was funny at first, but very rapidly, descended into tedium that I have not experienced before. That being said, surely there is a fun game here right? Let us continue further then.
Videoball is essentially a game designed for a party of people. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want to pay Videoball alone, would you? The wealth of game arenas and VS modes, means Videoball will have something to offer even those with very few friends. There are 35 arenas to choose from, and you can even select a colour palette to change the look from the game options menu. Speaking of the menu, while we are here, you can only scroll up through the list of options. Down does not exist for some reason. Videoball announcer should have informed me of this oversight.
I get that Videoball is attempting something different, in hope of standing out from the crowd of ever multiplying Indie games. There is a lot after all, which for me is a good thing. Indie developers always seem to be looking for new ways to make their games stand out with different ideas, from the sequel ridden AAA game market. I do think that Videoball will make people take notice, with its simplistic retro feel, and old school music and simple controls. Easy to pick up and play you see. But is Videoball actually any good? Well, yes and no. Do I like it? Not really, but I can see the charm behind it, and why people who will play it, are going to enjoy their time with Videoball.
Visually, it is kept simple as you like. Imagine if Pong had been given a colourful overhaul. Probably not the most fitting analogy but at 1 in the morning, possibly the best I can do. I have no issue with the retro graphics, so long as any graphics are smooth and not tearing all over the place, then all is good. Videoball does not disappoint here.
The music is of the old school variety, and would fit right in on an old Sonic the Hedgehog game with its synthesised music. Again, another positive. So why do I not like Videoball I hear you cry. Well, it boils down to the gameplay. Where Clusterpuck wins over Videoball, is the fast paced action in each match, and Videoball just feels a bit too slow. The fact you have to shoot the ball towards you opponents goal and it moves so slowly, like you are attempting to play with a jelly. This is where the game could do with some improvement. I would be more inclined to not only play Videoball more often, but also award a higher overall score.
I honestly do not think it is a bad game by any means. I personally, am not a fan, but as said before, it gives off a certain charm, wanting you to notice and love it for what it is. Kind of like the mate of yours, who on a night out is the only one left alone while you and all your mates have a lady at your arm. Nothing wrong with him, he is a charming man. But not many people will take notice.
If you are prepared to spend you £7.99, I would highly recommend that you go out and make some friends if like me, you have very few that live nearby. Those of you lucky enough, will have a rather good party game at you disposal. Videoball is not a game to play alone. Oh no. A few drinks and some good friends, with Videoball on the Xbox, and you have the makings of a fun-filled night.
For achievements hunters, be aware that Videoball is a massive grind. You have 2 achievements of 10 hours and 24 hours of playtime, and another for scoring 10,000 touchdown goals. The rest are all quite boring in all honesty, with little creativity. But given what type of game it is, there really isn’t much that could be done to show a creative flair in designing them.
If you like Videoball, then you will invest plenty of hours in to this quirky Indie title which will no doubt receive cult status from hardened Videoball enthusiasts and with a few tweaks here and there, it could be so much more fun. The lack of a fast pace as in Clusterpuck would have likely made me want to invest many, many hours playing “just one more” game. As it is, I will leave that up for you, the reader to decide on how you want to spend your hard-earned cash. You may like it, you may love it even.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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