Women's Volleyball Championship - hands-on

The summer Olympics are coming up. Bet you didn’t know that, huh? It’s cool - ‘cause Agetec’s got you covered by spiking Women’s Volleyball Championship into your face this August on the PS2. Featuring a slew of easily digestible gameplay modes and Olympic teams, WVC is poised to be a viable alternative to the big name franchise sport sims (read: Madden) hitting late summer.

Above:Brown goesballs out in Women's Championship Volleyball

We sat down with an unfinished version of WVC to demo the mechanics, which don’t require more than a game or two to get used to, yet will take hours to master. Serves are performed with two distinct power gauges. The first gauge represents how hard you want to serve. Once the meter fills to your desired power level, you press X and the server tosses the ball in the air. As the ball drops, a circle retracts around it. You want to hit the ball just as the circle perfectly outlines it – similarly to DS music-rhythm game, Elite Beat Agents. It’s actually super simple as we scored three points off of our serve.

The other in-game mechanics like sets, bumps and spikes are performed similarly to the Elite Beat timed attacks, yet require other button presses depending on what move you’re performing (e.g. Square for sets). Blocks are handled similarly as well. Don’t worry – it’s actually pretty easy to pull off these moves, but the opponent AI ramps up steeply based on team and difficulty level. It’s a good thing the controls felt accessible because the last thing you want to do is wrestle your gamepad while hyper intelligent Amazonian women are wiping the floor with you.

In addition to your standard Season, Exhibition and Championship modes, there’s a pretty robust Create Team mode available. By having access to a number of “training” cards, you can select which cards to use in hopes of upgrading your players. Be warned, though, because some of the cards can actually injure your player. It’s an interesting idea and makes customization pretty in-depth.

Above:We hopeCreate Team mode will let you choose the color of your team's knee-high socks

Although there aren’t any licensed players, both Home and Away jerseys are represented. Also, the visuals aren’t so easy on the eyes considering it’s for the PS2. We hope there will be some smoothing out by the time the game ships. Other than that, Women’s Volleyball Championship is shaping up nicely. We’ll have a full review in the coming months.

Jun 16, 2008