Hands-on preview / Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball

While Gamecock was eager to show That VideoGame Blog their big guns during a recent visit to the publisher’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, the company was also ready to show some of its other upcoming games, one of them being the upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade title Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball.

Those looking for a dose of the classic Super Dodge Ball with HD graphics and robust online features may be at a loss, since Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball is a very different game than the Super Nintedo little gem. Nontheless, the game has enough nifty features to become an Xbox LIVE Arcade gem on its own.

As the name implies, the game is meant to finally put an end to the pirates vs. ninjas argument and pits the two groups against each other in dodge ball matches. The game also features zombies and robots, for good measure, and supports four players in local matches and up to eight over Xbox LIVE.

Originally, the game was to be released with only the free-for-all, hectic dodge ball matches, but after testing it, developer Blazing Lizard decided to delay the game and include regular rules. The incursion of regular rules to the game was definitely worth the extra wait. These rules were supposed to be released later as an add-on, but while the fantasy rules are fun (how about crossing the opposing team line and creating havoc with crazy special moves while your teammates annihilate the rest of the team?), I was definitely a bit overwhelmed with the lack of the proper rules.

The version of the game available at Gamecock was nearly finalized, and the frame rate and graphics were very solid. The game has a cartoonish feel to it that blends well with the over-the-top characters and special moves, like zombies ability to send a zombie dog to fetch a loose ball, among others.

The time spent with the game was very limited, but it was enough to get the sense that it will be a solid Xbox LIVE Arcade game, with six arenas, four types of teams and a robust set of online features. Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball is set to be released this summer.

[See also: Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball gallery]