Video games have been trying to emulate and replicate sports for years. There are the more generic entries of the Fifa and NFL games and then there are the cookier ones like Rocket League and Mario Power Tennis. Most of them in some way or another take an already established sport and turn it into a video game, but Videoball does something a bit different. It takes elements of sports games and bundles them together in a cool new package.
The basics of Videoball are: knock the ball over the line on your opponent’s side of the screen. Simple enough. Yes, but there are a plenty of way this can be accomplished. Firstly, you each play as your own triangle that can shoot. Hold down the shoot button long enough and you will charge up a bigger shot. Hold it down even longer and you’ll shoot a super attack that will rocket the ball across the screen. Hold it down even longer than that and you make a square block? Yes indeed. These can be used to block the ball from your goal, lock opponents out of getting control of the ball or simply by accident because you held down the button too long.
And that brings us to what Videoball is really all about. Timing. When should you press the advantage? When should you stop charging that shot? When do you give up shooting the ball and instead go after your opposition directly? Oh, yes that’s right you can forgo trying to get the ball around you opponent and simply blast them out-of-the-way with some well-aimed shots. Like I said it all comes down to timing.
But Videoball doesn’t stop there. It has plenty of other nuances that make it super addictive and amazingly deep. Say an opponent manages to get a smash on the ball and it is rocketing across the screen. All you need to do it land a single hit on it to redirect its trajectory elsewhere. That elsewhere might be in the top wall or perhaps it could be straight into the enemy goal. Anticipating and understanding the geometry in play is also extremely important. How it the ball going to bounce? Are you really going to make that trick shot?
Split second decisions combine with swift teamwork will see you through a match of Videoball, but there is more to the game than just multiplayer matches. Videoball has it’s own arcade mode filled with its own challenges. This section of the game is also an excellent way to get to grips with the many possibilities within each Videoball game. It is definitely best to practice on a multiball stage before tackling it online.
Videoball’s simplistic design is pleasant and when a match starts to speed up with multiple players and balls whizzing around the screen like an eclectic game of air hockey the game never slows down or ever misses a beat. The music fits in nicely, but if you have a personal soundtrack at hand then some of your own sweet tunes work just as nicely.
What Videoball boils down to is another brilliant local multiplayer game to add to the steadily growing list alongside the likes of Towerfall and Nidhogg. Sure it works nicely online by yourself, but you miss out the collective elation at amazing goals and the tension of close saves. In the end though Videoball achieves its aim of being a sport. So take my advice and grab some of your buddies, set up a local tournament and enjoy some of most fun you can have on a sofa in front of a TV.
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