VC Weekly 283

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins

A couple of Technos titles this time, one of which is new for Europe. Anyway enough from me and on with the games!
Available for download this week we have...     

Double Dragon
Super Dodge Ball


Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Technos Japan Corp
Released: 1988
System: NES

Fighting games on the NES don't get much better than this classic, ok so brush the predictable plot aside which revolves around  a good guy who's girl gets kidnapped by some bad guys and now he must go and rescue her; as thats not what you're here for, plots like this only serve as an excuse for the true nature of the game which is to take to the street and use your hands and feet against thugs who you must beat, simple really.

Your adventure will take you through buildings, across streets, and even to such exotic locations such as Jungles and Temples as you take on the role of Jimmy Lee and must use your martial arts skills and a variety of weapons such as baseball bats, knives and whips to eradicate your enemies.


Certain objects can be interacted with such as barrels and boxes which can be picked up and used as player-to-person projectiles adding a nice bit of variety into the standard fighting fray. At the end of each level you will face a beefed up boss character which gradually get more difficult as the game progresses, overall though the difficulty level isn't too bad.

Other than that the visuals, animation and audio all hold up very nicely for the hardware they were ported to, it might not be quite as good as the arcade version but it's damned close enough. The main game can be completed relatively quickly but there is always the addition of a VS cpu or  player mode which adds a bit more longevity, essentially though it's just a really nice game to play every now and then.

Verdict : A fun fighter with a fantastic formula.


Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Technos Japan Corp
Released: 1988
System: NES

If you've ever enjoyed River City Ransom then you'll probably be pleased to know that the characters from that title also feature in Super Dodge Ball being that they are both from the Kunio series of games which are infamous for overdoing things, they have a distinctive style which almost makes the characters look like toys which fits in well with the feel of the game anyway. Definitely brining home the brutality of Dodgeball as a sport in this title you actually have the ability to not just throw the ball but pummel it as hard into your opponents head as is inhumanly possible, this is very much the main selling point as other examples of this genre are seen as being quite tame by comparison.

Lots of fun with minimum fuss should be the slogan here as essentially that's what it is, you have a two teams of six against each other with the main objective being to eradicate the opposition via hitting them with the ball, how hard can that be? Well it transpires that just like in other Kunio titles each character has their own stats to consider as they can make all the difference on the court as variables including Agility, Ball Break, Energy, Power plus technique will all have an effect on the proceedings so it's important to choose wisely at the start.

Controls are pretty simple which certainly helps that all important element of accessibility but that's not to say that your moves are limited as you have quite the array at your disposal in addition to the standard throws/passes you get two power shots per character which involve running/jumping while using your 'shoot' button, they are all different as well in addition to being comically overdone because who wouldn't want to knock their opponent literally one lap around the world? There's a solid selection of modes to choose from too so you get your standard Tournament along with two-player Versus but perhaps the most bizarre is the 'Bean Ball' mode where you simply have a 'team' of six characters, one ball and you just have to hit/dodge as if your virtual life depends on it - which it does - this can definitely be a lot of fun while being a welcome break from the standard game.


The visuals are rather striking for a NES title as there is a lot of detail crammed onto the screen at any one time, for a sports title this certainly seems to push the system to its limits which is so refreshing to see when you compare it to say a lot of Nintendo's own efforts only which mostly seemed to look 'functional' at best, the characters actually have... well, 'character' as well thanks to the beautifaully overdone Kunio style which works very well indeed. Audio is well executed featuring some wonderful 'pumped-up' 8-bit chip tunes which really accentuate the high-octane nature of the sport in addition to featuring some decent sound effects too which are the sprnkles on top of a rather
crazily iced cake.

Super Dodge Ball is most certainly a decent alternative sports title for those who simply like games within the genre which don't take themselves too seriously, have a little bit of strategy but most of all are just fun to pick up, play and have an absolute blast. It won't be the best sports game that you've ever played but it will provide you with a decent few hours of enjoyment especially if you play it in two-player mode along with a fair few laughs in the process, what more could you want from such a title?

Verdict : Hits the ball out of the court and all the way around the world in terms of fun.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

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