Holy fucking cuntwaffles is this a bad game. Mr Scrambles told me it was an “Absolute hog of a game” which isn’t exactly selling it, but you know. Nothing is as bad as Sonic Adventure.
Ostensibly, BALLZ is a tournament fighter so you punch and kick things until they are dead. The gimmick, because all fighters need a gimmick, comes in the title. Spot it? Well, there are actually two…
Firstly, BALLZ is in 3D. Not too bad, bit of an easy one to spot but I thought I’d test you on your observational skills..
And secondly, BALLZ is made up of, well… balls. Your characters are literally a string of balls it means the character design is a lot like Mr. DNA from Jurassic Park but with all charisma and fun stripped down to well, a series of balls loosely connected together. Can you imagine how pleased some game dev was when he emerged from is cannabis induced stupor with BALLZ!!! written on his bong water soaked notepad in Sharpie pen scribbles, and a voicemail from his manager wanting a report the next day on his “brilliant game idea”.
Both of those gimmicks are pretty terrible. If we look at the 3D to start with, you have the blindingly obvious issue of, BALLZ being a SNES game. You know, that 16bit sprite powerhouse that has some of the best game graphics of the age and certainly retains it’s graphical charm after all these years. Well, BALLZ is a clunky slow PowerPoint of a game. The game is about as optometrist as a Windows ME machine trying to play Crysis and at times feels like I could hand draw each frame of animation quicker than the game can process them.
As for the BALLZ themselves? Well who hear knows anything about 3D design? Let me give a brief lecture on Polygon Efficiency.
SPHERES ARE NOT AN EFFICIENT SHAPE TO MODEL WITH!
Here endeth the lesson. I did computer animation for games for a Masters degree, I don’t claim to be good at it but literally on day 1 we were taught that spherical objects are the least efficient way to design in 3d. Here we have a game where every single character is made of 30-40 spheres, it is no wonder the game chugs more than a Chad at a pool party.
Pressing up rather than jumping will run you upwards, you can literally run around your opponent and run out the clock. This is preferable because figuring out what is going on in the combat is a serious clusterfuck. When I fought the “Clown” character I couldn’t get within striking distance without serpentining around him, running in for a punch and then back to serpentining.
This also exposed a bigger issue regarding the hitboxes. I honestly couldn’t tell if I was hitting the enemy. I would punch or kick and feel like I am a good 5ft away from hitting the other blob dude but they’d lose health, that or when they throw a fireball (just a ball) it takes health away. I COULDN’T TELL. Either my punch landing 5ft away or their ball throwing took health away. Its fucking bonk man. BONK.
Fucking sex moans… That is the soundtrack for the title screen. Sex Moans and the sound of a guy nutting all over a blowup doll. Don’t believe me? Go listen on YouTube. My imagination will often take me to weird places, but Jesus H. Chirst. Sex Noises.
The in-fight music is perfectly serviceable, nothing to write home and not as good as the Killer Instinct OST, but certainly not as terrible as the sex moan title theme music.
Ok, so there is a positive here… And it isn’tin the actual character models as they are uniformely shit. But the stage background manage to convey what the hideous blob monster is. Without the backgrouns you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are supposed to be.
- Boomer: A clown from the circus.
- Bruiser: A bodybuilder.
- Crusher: A rhinoceros .
- Divine: A ballerina dancer, the only female fighter.
- Kronk: A caveman
- Tsunami: A sumo wrestler.
- Turbo: He blows (as strongly as a hurricane).
- Yoko: A monkey…
Plus some bosses, but they fucking suck harder than Megan Fox’s acting ability.
Ballz is so bad Sonic Adventure might no longer be used as my stick to beat things with
Pros: There aren’t any
Cons: Fucking sex noises. BALLZ is balls
Back in the Day:
BALLZ actually scored relatively well in that is scored 6-7 out of 10s with critics describing it as original and interesting, and praised it’s sense of humour.
Apparently the 3DO version is better, but 4 people and their dog bought a 3DO so fuck trying that version.
Also Available on: Sega Genesis, 3DO
Oh yeah, pictures of the game. In case you care. I don’t, you might…