XBLA Review: Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball

How to kill a Ninja…throw a dodgeball at him?

Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball transforms the innocent childhood game of dodgeball into a vindictive, heart-thumping battle between outlandish groups of characters including ninjas, pirates, zombies, and robots! Use a red rubber ball to tag opponents out of the game, and utilize a variety of weapons, including ninja and pirate swords, to harm enemies along the way. Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball features different arenas with unique gameplay challenges, from sandy beaches and snow capped forests to a spooky graveyard.

  • Presentation: The game was developed using Infyrno™, Blazing Lizard’s next-gen proprietary game engine. The colorful art style, theme, and gameplay are suited for all age groups.
  • Multiplayer: Multiplayer games include four players locally or eight players online via Xbox LIVE®, and four-player co-op modes.
  • Teams: There are four teams of characters to choose from (Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies, and Robots).
  • Battlegrounds: The large, incredibly detailed arenas allow for teams to roam freely instead of being restricted to sides of a court.
  • Combat action: Characters are equipped with combat moves and unique special abilities help make Blazing Lizard’s rendition of Dodgeball a fun action-packed experience.

    Dodgeball as a videogame has the potential to either be really fun or really annoying, unfortunately it’s the latter. There isn’t really a problem with the controls; although they are a little slow to respond at times…the main problem with Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball is that you see all the game has to offer within an hour of playing. The story basically can be done in that time and tends to re-use the same few levels over and over, it just seems unacceptable for a game that costs 800 Microsoft Points, if it were 400 then I might be more forgiving.The most fun you’ll get out of PVND is through online multiplayer, the AI in the main game are fairly idiotic so it’s best to play with people online, the full achievement list is below:

    Dish Best Served Cold 5 Successfully counter a shot in Story Mode

    There’s Always a Catch 5 Catch a ball in Story Mode.

    Neo 5 Dodge a powershot in Story Mode.

    First! 5 Win a match in Story Mode.

    Plunder that Booty 15 Beat Pirates Story Mode.

    Chuck rules! 15 Beat Ninjas Story Mode.

    28 Minutes Later 20 Beat Zombies Story Mode.

    Reboot25 Beat Robots Story Mode.

    Addicted 30 Win 20 Ranked Matches.

    Just Getting Started 10 Win a Ranked Match.

    Ball Hugger 30 Catch 20 balls in Ranked Matches.

    Untouchable 35 Counter 30 shots in Ranked Matches.

    The game hardly pushes the 360 far in terms of its graphics with simplistic character models and stages that disappoint. It would have been nice if they had a customisation option for your character, but there’s no point in hoping for these small things that never happen. PVND is very limited with its gameplay, design and overall presentation. The lack of things to do after the short story and online play is astonishing, there’s pretty much nothing left to do.

    The Verdict

    Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball doesn’t seem worth its hefty 800 Microsoft Points price tag. It lacks replay value, is incredibly short with content and lacks any real charm or fun. Why not settle the Pirate/Ninja debate over a proper game instead of throwing dodgeballs?