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Super Dodge Ball Advance

Super Dodge Ball Advance revives an old classic from the heyday of the NES and gives it a fresh new look and vibrant gameplay, and allows you to take gym class from fifth grade on the road anytime. SDBA lets you pick teams from all over the world to compete against other equally formidable opponents in one-match-stands or lengthy tournaments to decide who will ultimately reign as the king of dodgeball. With nice graphics and addictive gameplay to match, Atlus scores a hit with Super Dodge Ball Advance, a title you have to have if you own the portable gem that is the Game Boy Advance.

As I said before, spectacular graphics mold with superior gameplay to make this game really, really fun to sit down with for a spell. You can pick teams that span the globe and have individual strengths. You can select Canada, the good, average team that’s good for the perennial novice; Holland, which is all about stamina and staying alive for as long as it takes to send all your opponents to heaven (they turn into comical angels when you KO them); or Korea, whose immense power ratings and surprising complimentary agility will have you romping on your adversaries in no time. All teams are fun to play with and can be tweaked to your desire, and the players can even be renamed, but this feature suffers from the old NES curse of four letters to a name only. Still, with all that this game does offer, you won’t be putting it down in a short time.

Sara, your perky assistant in a yellow shirt, guides you through tournaments and exhibitions, helping you sort out your options and offering encouragement when you totally blow away the other team in a match. She’ll be your eyes and ears throughout the game and is not an outstanding feature of the game but is not just totally horrible and annoying either – not bad at all.

The music is minimal, but the sound effects go perfectly with some of your special techniques. Hearing the whoosh of the ball and the distinct smacks of rubber to skin is slightly pleasing, especially when one of your team members goes off and dislocates an enemy’s jaw or sends him reeling in extraterrestrial territory. The control is seamless. You can use it to do just about anything. Using the shoulder buttons, you can make one of your men jump across to the other side of the court and hit a guy while airborne, or you can pass to the people on your team that are flanking the antagonists’ side of the arena. Dashing is an integral part of using your big-time throws, but is easily executed by tapping the forward direction twice. If you want to do something in this game and can think of a way it could be done, then it is possible. The difficulty of this piece, though, does leave a little to be desired. Even the least formulated strategies are enough to beat the big boys on the five-star difficulty end of the scale.

If you have a Game Boy Advance, then you’ll see that every ball thrown in this cart packs a mighty wallop that is irresistible to fans of the elementary school blacktop ballfest. It rehashes memories of you throwing the ball, getting pegged in the face, and cheering your friend when he or she was the last one on the field against a horde of twenty others. But most of all, it’s just plain fun to play. Give this one a whirl today.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in May 2003.

Gentle persuasion

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