NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 box art
System: PS3, X360, Wii, PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Fun Labs 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 25, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-14 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Most of the events in tournament mode are capture the flag affairs requiring 2, 3, 5, or 7 man teams. In these matches, your team can reach victory by stealing the other team’s flag and returning it to your team’s base. This can be achieved by eliminating all of your foes then going for the flag, or if you’re feeling lucky you can also just make a mad dash for the flag at any point.

NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot

This typically results in failure but the ability to cheat can make it a fairly viable option. Whenever you are tagged with a paintball, a swinging bar appears on your screen. As the bar swivels, stopping it in its small green area will result in wiping the paint splatter off and continuing with the game. Once you’ve mastered stopping this meter it can become incredibly cheap, especially since failing only results in your elimination which would have happened anyway. I do find it fairly odd that the game seemingly encourages the player to cheat because of this, considering all of its warnings against doing so in its loading tips.

Before every match, players are also able to set their team’s overall strategy. There are a few preset strategies for each arena such as a spread formation or having your entire team overload a specific side. However, where things truly get interesting is in building your own strategy for each match. Here you can place each of your teammates behind specific cover and instruct them in which direction you want them to fire. This is an invaluable option that adds quite a bit of strategy and enjoyment to the game’s fairly repetitive matches.

The repetitive nature of the game’s events is easily NPPL’s biggest drawback. No matter which type of match you are playing and which characters, equipment, and strategy you are using, you are essentially doing the same thing each and every time. Run to cover, peek out, shoot, proceed to the next point of cover, and repeat. Each match also only takes a minute or two to complete, so fatigue can set in rather quickly. Even with the ability to create your own play fields, alter your strategies, and play online with up to fourteen players, the experience falls flat relatively fast.

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In the end, NPPL could be a decent package for many paintball enthusiasts but doesn’t include enough variety to satisfy most players. The game looks good, plays well except for a few issues with more complex maneuvers, and accurately recreates a realistic paintball experience. The ability to customize your strategy, team, gear, and even create your own play fields are great but only serve as a minor distraction from the game’s completely repetitive matches. Playing online with human opponents adds a bit of longevity to the experience but ultimately NPPL just gets monotonous far too quickly.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.9
Graphics
Some stiff animations and blocky shadows detract from an otherwise good looking game. Still, you’ll find some nice lighting and paint splatter effects throughout.
2.7
Control
Leaning, snapping, running, and aiming all work well but quite a few troublesome issues arise when trying to jump, crouch, and slide into cover.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music fits the game well but the serious lack of tracks makes repeatedly listening to the few included ones rather painful after only an hour or so.
2.3
Play Value
This game gets repetitive extremely fast, even with the ability to play online and make your own play fields.
2.4
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Official NPPL layouts: Play over 35 tournaments in official NPPL and Millennium field locations and layouts including Huntington Beach, Commander's Cup, Toulouse, Malaga, and play the intense woodsball levels!
  • Official equipment: Use over 110 pieces of officially licensed gear, including JT Sports, Tippmann, Spyder, Smart Parts, and many more, with upgradeable and unlockable markers, barrels, hoppers, and protective gear.
  • Unbelievable realism: It's the most technologically advanced paintball A.I. ever, with realistic ballistics and physics attributes applied to bunkers and paintball trajectories, and 3-D graphics modeled using the same technology used for Call of Duty weaponry. The player movements have been motion-captured from professional paintball athletes and include running, shooting, diving, sliding, and more.
  • Multiplayer: Challenge your friends with up to fourteen players online over Xbox LIVE®, with voice capability. Take your fields online and show your friends who's the real paintball champ.
  • Game features: Use the Breakout Planner to set your team's breakout strategy and firing lanes. Use the Field Creator to design your very own unique field layouts. Experience the unique situational and position-based player attributes, all in the game's Career, Quickplay, Multiplayer, Tutorial, and Training modes.
  • Paintball at its best: Noted paintball player Bob Long and the San Diego Dynasty performed an in-depth design consultation for the game. And there are more than forty useful, real-world paintball tips from the pros!


  • Screenshots / Images
    NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 screenshot - click to enlarge

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