Super Dodge Ball

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Super Dodge Ball

Super Dodge Ball - NES - USA.jpg

NES - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Technos Japan, SPS, Atlus
Publisher Technos Japan, CSG Imagesoft, Sharp, Naxat
Published 1987-11-??
Platforms Arcade, NES, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx-16
Genres Action, Fighting, Sports
Themes Action, Cartoon, Science Fiction, Sports
Series Kunio-kun, Super Dodge Ball
Multiplayer Simultaneous versus
Distribution Commercial

Super Dodge Ball is a dodgeball-themed sports video game developed and published by Technos for the arcade in November 1987. It was later ported to the NES on 1988-07-26, Sharp X68000, and PC Engine. It is the first game in the Super Dodge Ball series and part of the Kunio-kun universe.

In the game, you control a team of dodgeball players who are in competition with other teams around the world. With each victory, you travel to a new nation and face an even more difficult team. The NES port adds player stats, special power throws, and alternate play modes.

Personal

Own?Yes. Loose US NES cartridge.
Won?Yes. US NES Normal difficulty / US NES Difficult difficulty.
Finished2024-06-06 / 2024-06-08.

Around 2000, my friend Jason showed me this game while he and I were going through a large collection of NES ROMs. He spoke highly of the game, but I had never even heard of it. The moment I saw the characters, I recognized the art style I knew from River City Ransom, so I was instantly attracted to it. After Jason showed me how to use the super powered throws and the hilarity of the characters being blown across the screen, I was even more interested, however, after trying it for myself, I couldn't really figure out the controls, and, with hundreds of other titles to try, I gave up on it. I saw the game again many years later when my brother bought an old NES at a garage sale and I "borrowed" the cartridge from him indefinitely. I still didn't play it, but, after being reminded about it once more online, I finally decided to try it again. I quickly beat the easy and normal difficulty without ever losing a single player, then took a couple more tries to finish the difficult difficulty. I didn't discover the game was initially an arcade release until I started looking up information about the game for this web page.

Review

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5 6 6 6 7

Best Version: NES

Good

  • The chibi players are drawn in a hilarious fashion, especially the grotesque larger players in the NES port. The background graphics look pretty good too.
  • The game is quite comical. Beaning your opponents in the head and watching them hurled across the screen is quite hilarious. The PC Engine port adds a silly UFO invasion angle to the story which is also funny.
  • The music is pretty good and changes tone to best fit the various locales.
  • You get a lot of control over your players. You can walk, run, jump, throw, pass, duck, catch, intercept, jump-throw, and power throw.
  • The NES port has multiple game modes, and the Famicom port supports 4-player simultaneous bean ball.

Bad

  • There is significant sprite flicker throughout the entire game in the NES port and a quite noticeable graphic glitch where the status bar is drawn in the wrong spot on the screen for a frame. This should have been fixed before the game was shipped.
  • While I love the variety of controls, I kept noticing that sometimes my power throws just didn't work, and I couldn't find any rhyme or reason as to why that was.
  • I found the game to be a bit too easy. Even on the hardest difficulty, I made it all the way to the U.S.S.R. team without losing a single player on my first attempt. I probably spent no more than an hour and a half on the game.
  • Although the Famicom port features simultaneous four-player game play, this feature was removed from the NES localization because four-controller adapters didn't yet exist in the USA. This is a shame because the NES Satellite was released in the USA in 1989, the same year the US NES port was released, and the NES Four Score was released a year later. Had they kept the feature in and just noted in the manual that it requires a four-controller adapter, players would have been able to take advantage of it once the adapters were released.

Ugly

  • The arcade original gives opposing teams additional reserve teammates that your team isn't allowed to have. This makes the game intrinsically unfair, like if a baseball game allowed one team to get five strikes instead of three. This is a poor excuse for added difficulty, and, if the programmers weren't able to write harder AI, they should have done what they did in the NES port, simply give the opposing teams better stats. This feels more like you're just being challenged by a team with better players, a common experience in sporting events.

Media

Documentation

Videos

Longplay - Arcade - Japan.
Longplay - Famicom - Difficult difficulty.
Longplay - NES - Difficult difficulty.
Longplay - PC Engine.
Longplay - Shard X68000 - Standard difficulty.
Game play - Arcade - USA.

Play Online

Famicom, PC Engine, NES

Representation

Strong female character?FailThere are no women.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no women.
Strong person of color character?PassThe game includes playable teams from China, India, Keyna, and Japan.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.

Only the US NES port rightfully picks a country in Africa (Kenya), the other ports have the entirety of the continent of Africa as a team. The NES port also adds India as a team. The arcade and Sharp X68000 ports give the Africans pink skin for some strange reason.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Super Dodge Ball
Japanese (Arcade) 熱血高校ドッジボール部 Nekketsu Koko Dojjiboru-bu Hot-blooded High School Dodgeball Club
Japanese (PC Engine) 熱血高校ドッジボール部 ~PC番外編~ Nekketsu Koko Dojjiboru-bu: PC Bangai Hen Hot-blooded High School Dodgeball Club ~PC Extra Edition~

Links

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