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  20 Second Review: Outlaw Volleyball
On 08/02/03 by Turner 'Bulldog' Hopkinson

Developer: Simon & Schuster
Publisher: Hypnotix
Release Date: 07/09/03
ESRB: M
Official Site: www.hypnotix.com/pages/games_outlaw_volleyball.html
Platform(s): Xbox Exclusive
Tested On: Xbox

Gameplay
:: pc ::Simply put I wasn't really expecting much from this game as prior experiences with volleyball games could best be summed up as disappointing. Again, simply put, Outlaw Volleyball is the one bright spot out of all those games and without doubt the best done and most addicting volleyball title I've ever had the pleasure of playing. There are a slew of different well implemented modes including sixteen drills that add a nifty role-playing facet to your characters. Unlock and complete gradually advancing drills and you'll be able to put new points into each characters different values including power, offense, defense, etc. A tour mode is also included and offers countless hours of thoroughly fun gameplay mixed up by several different "mini-modes" such as Hot Potato and Casino rules. Sometimes you might only have to win two seven point games or maybe only one twenty-one point game, but the variety creates a slick varying environment. Per the "Outlaw" series name (think along the lines of Outlaw golf) you can also fight. In all actuality this isn't simply a senseless addition to dumb down the genre but instead a simplistic fighting engine that directly affects each teams momentum. Also worthy of noting is the support of multiplayer through Live!. The addition of this allows you to do battle against three other pals (or foes) online. This is something no other volleyball game offers and by itself is a major coup for developer Hyptonix.

Graphics
:: pc ::Again, surprisingly good. There are various different characters and each one is well rendered. You can also change the clothing on each and every model and as you progress you'll be able to unlock more outfits. The environments are well designed and there are quite a few different venues (more than all but one volleyball game out there) to play on. Ranging from water based in the sewers to the rooftops of the projects to actually being in prison the developer has been very creative in where you'll be able to slap volleyballs over a net. Overall, I give the graphics high marks in terms of all games available for the Xbox and by far the best in volleyball games.

Sound
:: pc ::I must admit I was thoroughly satisfied with both the quality of the sound effects and the musical score. By trade I normally do not enjoy music of the punk genre but with a solid mixture of both punk and what would traditionally be considered "underground" hip-hop I found myself truly enjoying the music. There isn't really too much to say in regards to the sound effects but it is about what you would expect from a volleyball game. Voice-overs are more than mildly amusing and depending on what characters you play with you'll be privy to a slew of immature, yet witty, phrases. The announcer plainly put kicked ass for the first five hours of gameplay but eventually I grew weary of everything he said becoming repetitive so I turned the announcer off and cranked up the music instead.

In a Word: Awesome.

Word to the Publisher: You have picked up on a game that I feel was definately considered an underdog by competition. However, through superb gameplay and graphics with some great sound to boot the game is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played on the Xbox.

Full Reviews:
  • GameSpot
  • GameSpy
  • IGN
Final Score: 85%
#1 - Anon@202.123.145.66 - 10/19/03 @ 01:04 AM EST
very sexy


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