|System: X360, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Blazing Lizard||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SouthPeak Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
When playing solo, you have but a very small selection of options. There's the Exhibition mode, which offers two different types of gameplay - Dodge Brawl and Dodgeball - but after running each mode through its paces, we found no discernable differences between the two. There is also, of course, the story mode, and finally a challenge mode. The Challenge mode is merely more of the same with specific match rules ranging from "no melee attacks," "defeat all enemies solo," etc.
In addition to the single-player options, you can choose to challenge a friend locally. You can expect the gameplay here to be exactly the same as what's offered in the Exhibition mode, and if you didn't take to playing solo, chances are you won't find the multiplayer to be any more entertaining. The gameplay is clumsy, unbalanced, and repetitious. Little thought appears to have gone into the construction of stages or the elements therein. Additionally, there is no online interactivity whatsoever.
If the story is trite and the gameplay is a bust, the visuals in Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball is the icing on this bitter tart. Barely a step above the fidelity of an N64 title, the look of this game is, quite simply, poor. The character design and style are fitting for what the developers seem to be going for, but in execution, the game is a mess of bland and blocky textures that come together to make featureless and boring stages. The aural complements are almost equally unremarkable, and there's really little reason to invest your time and money into this game; the publishers don't appear to have invested much of their own efforts into it, and you shouldn't either.
When all is said and done, it seems the battle will rage on between the pirate and ninja camps. As for Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball, no one comes out a winner with this game. Were it a $10 WiiWare title, we'd still have to give it a thumbs down. There's almost no focus, there's little reward for your time and money, and the production exhibits an extreme lack of care. To add insult to injury, the game is being sold as a $30 retail product, and well, that's just not an investment anyone deserves to lose on.
CCC Freelance Writer