|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Virtual Toys||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Virtual Toys||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 14, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As it stands, each level gives you five rounds with about ten pattern assembly challenges for each. Obstacles rear their ugly heads, make things difficult or stressful, the round ends, the next begins, and then the level is over. There are no power-ups (in a confusing contradiction to multiplayer, which does have them) to, say, destroy some of the obstacles, slow down time or fire off a volley of pre-targeted balls, and the combo multipliers are all but impossible to keep going because of the egregious nature of some of the barrier objects you have to contend with (which only count for points anyway).
Because of this lack of new mechanics, the entire structure of the game becomes tedious very quickly. Obstacles are much less an interesting challenge to navigate than they are flat-out annoying, which makes creating patterns under increasingly tight time limits an exercise in stress and annoyance rather than any kind of competitive enjoyment. The bonus level breaks aren't much better, either. A bunch of metallic discs dart, float, and shoot across the sky as you shoot them. It won't keep your interest for long.
SpaceBall does manage to do a few things right, however. Virtual Toys really nail a good outer space aesthetic rife with meteors, exploding colors, and the like (and done up in surprisingly good graphics for a WiiWare title), and the techno soundtrack is both catchy and very well done (almost as good as the chiptunes in the Bit.Trip series). Multiplayer is also fun, if only for a few minutes. Finally, there are more level packs that the dev team is planning to release as DLC in the future-whether or not they have any new tricks (besides different obstacles) remains to be seen. For now, approach this one with caution.
CCC Freelance Writer