This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.
We don’t see volleyball games in the field often (horrible pun, I know), and I sometimes wonder why such an enjoyable sport is ignored. Thankfully, Unfinished Pixel is here to save the scene and bless us with their latest title: Super Volley Blast! Did it meet the needs of the unfulfilled fanbase though? Let’s find out!
Immediately upon launching the game, I was met with a simple and minimalistic menu with beautiful UI and suitable soundtrack: I knew I was in for a fun game. Although, there were things I didn’t like about the menu, like how there weren’t any controls on the screen to help you navigate. The items weren’t well organized too, as the main mode and the tutorial should be at the top, followed by the arcade and secondary modes, instead of the contrary.
So, I tried playing a quick match after going through the tutorial (which, by the way, is pretty well-made), and it turned out that I wasn’t wrong about this being fun! Just looking at the game, it feels refreshing and not at-all intense: I was relieved that for once I would be playing a game that doesn’t make me feel competitive or doesn’t require a lot of concentration, it’s soothing. This was thanks to the beautiful graphics Super Volley Blast! has. Its almost-flat, cartoonish art style mixed just well with its vibe, which allowed different choices of level and character designs. One thing that annoyed me is that there is no scoreboard. Instead, the developers chose to write the score on the side of the field, with every team’s points next to its side. This is a good idea, but it was badly implemented, as it’s very tiring to the eyes in most courts due to the flat white color it has. Other than that, there weren’t any inconsistencies or visual problems, so the game stands strong on the graphics aspect.
Super Volley Blast!’s gameplay is actually just normal volley, despite what the name implies. Of course, you can set settings to your matches like number of sets, difficulty, etc. but that’s just like any sports game, and I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed. The only thing that’s a little out-of-the-ordinary, is needing to time your jump and hit just right to hit a powerful shot, but then again, this is just normal volley. Actually, I was pretty impressed with how the developers were able to stick to the sport’s rules, like the 4-hit limit, prohibited out-of-net shots, etc. Although, the story mode isn’t good, it’s just the cliché of a duo team that starts from the bottom and climbs their way to the top by defeating different opponents that escalate in difficulty as you play. What I liked though, is the variety of characters in the game, and the ability to even design your own, using the avatar editor. The title also offers complexity in gameplay, as two matches can never end in the same way, despite the characters not having any stats or advantages on others. Story mode is not the only mode you can play too, there’s tournaments, quick match, and the best of all: Super Blast.
This is the most fun mode in the game. Super Blast gives you the option to add some twists to your regular volley match: Chicken Ball, Bomb Ball, Icy floor, Bad -player- shape, and Max 3 Hits. You can try them one by one, or you can mix them up to spice up the game like I did! I think this mode should be implemented in the main story mode which looks very mediocre in comparison. I mean, just imagine playing a world’s championship final with a chicken ball, how rad would that be?!
Honestly, Super Volley Blast didn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe it’s enough for the fanbase of the sport, but I think the developers could have done better because the game clearly has potential to grow, and that’s proven by the fact that it has good modes, it’s fun, it allows you to play with friends, and especially its good art. I think the Super Blast mode should be the main mode or at least merged with the story mode, because otherwise the name of the game doesn’t mean anything.