It is very difficult to make school attractive. Person I tried it, and Lego Harry Potter made his best shot, but overall just I never want to go to school. Dodgeball Academia takes on him early on, but compelling gameplay could have pulled him off the brink of enforced educational apathy. Sadly, it just isn’t pretty there.
However, points for effort. Dodgeball Academia is a fantastic looking game, with a wonderful cartoon style that constantly impresses with its cleverly animated and animated little ornaments while still feeling responsive, the way a game absolutely needs. We think the characters and the world have a more than Cartoon Network vibe. OK KO series, to the point that we wonder if the show’s creators might need to have a little word.
So what is the story? The protagonist Otto dodges his way through eight narrative episodes, driving balls into opponents’ faces for all he’s worth. You’ll explore the Dodgeball Academy grounds, gathering your team, leveling them up, and giving them accessories – the usual adornments from role-playing games. Unfortunately, all of this is accompanied by a metric ton of endless dialogue, to the point that we start skipping cutscenes after the first few hours. If you like, we are embarrassed, but we challenge almost any player not to do the same considering the relative banality of the situations and the sheer amount of downtime where you’re simply tapping one speech bubble after another. Yes, it is an RPG and dialogue is to be expected, but surely this could have been handled in a more elegant way than here. We just wanted to get to the next cross section, the next dodgeball game.
It seems prudent at this point, then, to review the actual dodgeball game offered in a game completely based on it. It is a bit complicated, unfortunately. Look, while the games themselves are fast and really fun, you are going to play a lot of them and most of the time they are played exactly the same. The basic mechanisms are moving, throwing and catching, and each of them responds; you throw a ball with the ‘Y’ button (holding it down to charge a more powerful effort) and catch incoming balls with a timely touch of ‘A’. The timing for the latter is not demanding in the least and with a little practice you should find the vast majority of battles exceptionally easy.
The game also offers you “Balltimate” moves that are much more powerful and spectacular hits, but not really. need them. Variety is instilled in back-and-forth play with enemies using different tactics, as well as dodgeball courts mixed in with obstacles (or frozen solids), but overall the matches are still a lot, undeniably enjoyable to an extent, but lacking in fluent and almost criminally basic. The pace of combat does not change enough for our liking and reducing the health of your opponents is too simple.
There are modifiers available to make the game more difficult or surprisingly even easier, which is a nice concession to accessibility. It is worth mentioning that there is also a local multiplayer game here; naturally it’s more fun than fighting the computer, but overall it’s still simplistic and slow paced, Windjammers is there on the eShop so … play that for better version similar gameplay.
The map, the space in which other players challenge you (more like the trainer fights in Pokemon games) is very impressive and well laid out. There are item chests and side quests to discover, and getting around is a breeze thanks to both the minimap and a completely fast movement that sees you pressing the ‘A’ button rhythmically to quickly roll towards your destination. Unfortunately, however, the minimap does not work inside buildings, some of which are quite large and confusing.
Aesthetically, Dodgeball Academia is an absolute treat – we’ve talked about strong character designs, but it’s beautiful to see everywhere. With 60fps fluidity and a burst of color, the game world is at its strongest and is the reason we kept going even when we had grown weary of replay. We would go so far as to say that it is one of the most compelling Switch games we’ve seen, such is its fidelity, consistency, and strength of design. The music is fantastic too, with lively and addictive worms layered on every battle.
It’s true that Dodgeball Academia comes together in a pretty compelling way, but we’re critical of the standalone elements that make up this package. You may find yourself stuck in the story, which could potentially make up for your other shortcomings, but we find you a bit throwaway. It is clear that love has been poured into this adventure and it is absolutely magnificent to see and hear; We just wish that the core sport is more enjoyable to play and that the dialogue is not so endless. You might like this game more if you get hooked on the grind, so to speak, battles end quickly and leveling up is always fun, but overall, if you’re not willing to get by with sheer aesthetics, you might want to dodge this one.