Remember back in Junior High when you would have to go to the Gym to play Dodge Ball? And sometimes it would come to a point where you might have been the last one on your team who was still in play and the pressure was on…the adrenaline flowing through and….then you got hit. You were out and then you had that feeling like you let your team down? Well, I can safely say that Architect and BigBox have brought back all those feelings with Smashbox Arena for PlayStation VR and it’s so much fun.
When you first start the game you will have a tutorial that shows you how to play and I highly recommend this first. Then after you finish, there’s a story mode and multiplayer mode. In the lobby, if you look around you will be able to see masks that are lined up. Some are unlocked and others are locked that you will have to keep playing to unlock. When you select multiplayer you can go to a quick match or select different regions, which is a nice touch.
There are three players on each team and the first team to 5 wins. You will need the Move Controllers to move around, catch and shoot the balls in hopes of knocking out the other team. How you move takes a little bit to get used to even after you finish the tutorial, but honestly, that is part of the fun. To turn around you will use the X to turn left and O to turn right. So just keep that in mind while playing. You grab a ball by pulling the trigger button which is also your shooting button. To move across the maps, you will be using the Center button to shoot your beacons out which then will teleport you. But this can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on the heat of the battle.
But all good multiplayer games have Power-Ups, right? Yes…yes they do and some do not disappoint here. From homing rockets to grenades to fireballs to even balls that roll around like a big boulder and you gotta move like you are Indiana Jones. The fun part is the rounds are timed. Why is that a good thing? Well, when it gets to the 30-sec mark a big rocket is placed and if you can get to it in time and be the first one to fire, the other team really has no place to hide.
Audio-wise the 3D audio is top-notch. When balls fly by you, you hear it. And I admit that sometimes when the battles are going on, that it’s hard to concentrate on the audio as it can be an advantage to know where the other team is located. That is not a bad thing, that is just me and concentrating on the fun of the action. The sound has helped me more than will allow it to, but again each person is different and either way, you will be having fun and honestly, that is what I appreciate and the most important thing.
And you will be happy to hear that there are no tracking issues, which when you are playing online with others and shooting and dodging, is a big plus. Now if you happen to get hit and you get this view of the map where it’s like you are a giant as you are waiting for the round to end. This can really help you plan where you might want to be.
With Smashbox Arena, you are getting more than the price of admission. You are getting Dodgeball in VR, no tracking issues, Move Controller Support, Online Multiplayer matches, and most importantly, an awesome and fun game.
And in case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.
Until next time…remember if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.