Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball

In a world of epic clashes like Godzilla vs. King Kong, Aliens vs. Predator, and The Jetsons meet The Flintstones, here’s another one for the ages: Pirates vs. Ninjas. Two great tastes that can’t go wrong together are headed to Xbox Live courtesy developer, Blazing Lizard for a little multiplayer free-form dodgeball with a minimal amount of lines, borders and rules.

There’s a minute story mode, but the focus is clearly on multiplayer, from one-on-one or up to 4 vs. 4. Be you a scurvy bilge rat or stealthy assassin, your primary objective is to get to the ball and hurl it into your opponents face as quickly and as forcibly as possible to whittle their life bar down to zero.

You’ll each get a sword with which to melee your path to the ball, stun opponents and swat shots back for a nifty counter move. And what would dodgeball be without the dodge? Luckily, the right analog stick provides the proper support for getting the hell out of the way. Plus each player has a jump shot, a homing shot and an advanced power shot exclusive to your character.

To sweeten the deal, what the hell, Zombies and Robots will also be represented, along with an unannounced new team to be revealed later. Every team will have up to four player types, each with a special ability all their own. For instance, when our Stamina meter was full we pulled off an earth-shattering ground-pound with one pirate, while another called in his trusty parrot to bring him the ball from anywhere on the map. A robot had a slick-dash hover move, and the zombie character burrowed underground and shot up a giant tentacle to slam opponents into the dirt.

Skeletons and cyborgs aside, each team also has a home field map to call its own. The Pirates have the aptly title Booty Island, the Robots have a level lovingly inspired by Tron and the Ninjas have a pretty little map where you’ll carve out snow trenches with your every step. The maps are simple enough to encompass four players on a single screen, so even those not online can join in the dodgeball merriment, provided they have four friends and controllers handy.

Mar 12, 2008