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Next Level Gaming
It's summertime (in Maryland we can say finally), it's warm, and the beaches are full. And you know what that means! That's right, it's time to put up the net, lather on the suntan lotion, grab your favorite pair of shades and hit the sands for some Beach Volleyball! For over a year now I have been pining for the very game that I am about to review for you now. From the twisted minds of Hypnotix, makers of Outlaw Golf, and once again brought to us by Simon and Schuster; welcome to the zany courts of Outlaw Volleyball.
Outlaw Golf is easily one of the most underrated sports games on the Xbox, and anyone smart enough to have picked it up is surely very curious about how developer Hypnotix followed up with Outlaw Volleyball. The good news is that the same style of wacky humor and solid gameplay have been successfully translated into another sport. The bad news is that said gameplay isn?t quite as deep this time?but that?s OK. These are two vastly different sports, so it?s not quite the downer it appears to be.
Game Over Online
First there were sports games, accurate simulations that attempted to recreate a sport on a console or a PC. Along with teams, players and stadiums, each league was truthfully presented for players. Next came extreme sports games, titles that covered “fringe” sports (to some people) like skateboarding or surfing. While some of these focused on the mechanics behind an activity, others reveled in the outrageous nature of their game’s personas. But what if you made a title that was more Springer than sport, more over the top than contained by obscure rules and more sexual than some rap videos? Seems to me like you’d have the latest evolution of sports, one that I’d have to call “Sex-treme sports”. Simon and Schuster’s Outlaw Golf started to explore this new territory, but their follow up, Outlaw Volleyball, redefines the genre, making it all its own.
Kleinere Unstimmigkeiten wie die hin und wieder etwas zu träge reagierende Steuerung und die sich schnell wiederholenden Zwischensequenzen sind zwar störend, können aber den Spielspaß sowohl im Einzelspieler-Modus als auch bei Xbox Live-Duellen nicht ernsthaft in Gefahr bringen. Grafisch insgesamt zwar nicht so opulent wie der Volleyball-Ableger der DOA-Serie, hat Hypnotix ein ansehnliches Spiel entwickelt, bei dem nur die Kampfsequenzen und die mangelnde Animationsvielfalt während der Ballwechsel aus dem Rahmen fallen und deutlich die Grafikwertung drücken. Spielerisch durchdacht, mit einigen coolen Volleyball-Varianten versehen und dank der ausgeflippten Charaktere und ihrer durchgeknallten Eigenheiten auch immer wieder für einen Lacher gut, kann man guten Gewissens feststellen, dass nach langer Zeit nun auch die Xbox endlich ein Volleyball-Spiel bekommen hat, das den Namen verdient und auch über längere Zeit Spaß machen kann.
XBox Solution (XBS)
Outlaw Volleyball is a good game, well done and a lot better in my opinion than
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball in terms of a solid volleyball game for
Xbox, however can become stale when in the wrong company.
Simon & Schuster Interactive, with development help from Hypnotix, have gone ahead and made a worthwhile franchise out of their "Outlaw" series of over-the-top sports games. Last year, Outlaw Golf grabbed many a dollar from weekend duffers who could appreciate the lighter side of the game through OG's twisted humor. Now with Outlaw Volleyball we all get to see how well the formula applies to volleyball. Just like it's golf predecessor, OV brings a solid, not spectacular volleyball gameplay engine and jams it together with a ton of personality and humor designed to make the whole thing a guilty but irreverent pleasure. The addition of head to head play over Xbox Live is a huge bonus and meshes nicely with all of the game's offline components. It doesn't have the same aesthetic value as Tecmo's DOAX Beach Volleyball but OV might be the most functional volleyball title out there on any system.
Lately, video game volleyball has spiked its way into our collective gamer radar. From Beach Spikers to Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball, this once overshadowed sport has become a somewhat serious player, though mostly for the wrong reasons.
Video Game Talk
While not a terrible game, I wouldn’t recommend Outlaw Volleyball as a purchase. If you are having a bunch of friends over for a night of beer, gambling and gaming then this would be a great rental.
Though Simon & Schuster is a relatively new player in the field of console games, the publisher has already made a name for itself with Outlaw Golf, a surprisingly well-done golf simulation with some sleazy humor and a ham-fisted fighting system tacked onto it. In hopes of expanding the Outlaw name into a full-on brand, S&S has now brought Outlaw Volleyball to the Xbox, complete with online play via Xbox Live. Beach volleyball definitely seems like a more appropriate sport for the brand of tawdry high jinks that Outlaw Golf was aiming for, though much like in that game, the 'attitude' here isn't nearly as well executed as the actual meat of the game. This may be the cause of some annoyance among players simply looking for a good game of volleyball, but it will be less important to the particular crowd that Outlaw Volleyball is targeting.
Retro-gamers love nothing more than to talk about the genesis of the hobby in the late '70s and early '80s, when every new game seemed to invent a new genre, but the simple truth is that the games industry has been plagued with a lack of originality ever since Nolan Bushnell ripped off the Magnavox Odyssey and called it Pong. Imitations, licenses, and sequels have dominated from the start, which makes the handful of truly innovative games released each year that much sweeter for jaded bastards like myself.
Game Freaks 365
All in all, this title is not worth even looking at.
Outlaw Volleyball a un aspect positif, son mode championnat long et ses règles de jeu variées. Le problème c'est que tout le reste est mauvais. En plus d'un gameplay simpliste et de matches lents n'offrant aucune excitation, le jeu en rajoute une couche en exhibant des graphismes qui en dehors des cinématiques aguicheuses, semblent surgir d'un lointain passé.
The Video Game Critic
The loud-mouthed, wisecracking announcer is a complete jerk, and I had to shut him off almost immediately. The volleyball courts are set in unappealing places including a prison and a sewer. Wacky extra "features" like exploding balls, dynamite, and one-on-one fights do nothing but bog down the action. Although the packaging refers to the humor as "mature", in fact it's anything but! When all is said and done, Outlaw Volleyball is fair, but it's really no better than any of the other volleyball games on the market.