Published By: Tower Studios, Developed by: Vivid Games/Bitmap Brothers, Genre: Futuristic Sports, Release Date: Oct 4, 2011, Rating: E 10+, Systems: PsP, PS3, Iphone, MAC, Android.
Presentation – Have you ever watched a sci-fi movie or show in recent years and they have a “made up” sport? Those sports you saw on Mad Max and Battlestar Galactica (new) Speedball 2 Evolution is very similar. Its a made up futuristic team based sport that pits teams against each other for cash and prizes. This Minis title really pulls off the sci-fi vibe with its opening cutscene. Speedball 2 Evolution is a handheld game at heart but it plays big in my opinion. There are levels of content and gameplay in this game. The visual and sound presentation were really good. And most important the game ran smooth and was fun to play.
The main menu featured Career, Quick Match, Challenges, Trophy Room and Options. The Trophy Room is really neat as it houses many in game stats. You can see your Career Records, Career Achievements, Challenge Records, Global Achievements. You can check your Prizes and Career Earnings. I was kinda blown away with how much stat tracking is involved with this Minis game. The controls are split between “With Ball” and Without Ball”. With Ball (Dual Shock 3) D-pad/ LS-controls player, Square-shoot, Circle-hi pass, X-pass. Without Ball: Triangle-jump, Square-jump, Circle- hard tackle, X-tackle (hold for hard tackle). The controls were solid and responsive while playing with the Dual Shock 3.
The menus in Speedball 2 Evolution are really slick looking and streamlined. The navigation was easy despite having many menus to dabble with.
Visuals – Speedball 2 Evolution features a top down view of the field with players scattered about. The visuals were good featuring good details on players as and decent animations. The stadium was vibrant with colors and details (hashes marked on the field). The stadiums all had a unique doom sci-fi presentation with sound designs to match. This game looks good enough for you as a gamer to not get bored or distracted while having fun at the same time. Its more a credit to the art team of Speedball 2 Evolution than anything.
Sound – Layered sound design. You can hear the concession workers in the stands yelling “icecream” as he tries to sells it to spectators. The music is decent featuring a generic sci-fi tune. The crowd’s sounds believable and changed over the course of the match. Although not much commentary in game there is some play by play when you do something big like score a goal.
Gameplay – You start out playing Career by picking your team name which you can create yourself. Then you pick your team logo. You can choose to skip or play the tutorial. I decided to play it. The tutorial teaches you basic things like passing the ball and tackling. The way you play Speedball is by holding the ball in your hands passing it upfield (running on occasion) and hopefully throw the ball into the players goal. If your on defense you slide tackle to take the ball away. Well that is how i played at least. It worked pretty well in the tournaments i played.
You can see each individual player face on your team while you check their stats. They look tough, sorta like cyber criminals. The bulk of this cyber sci-fi Football game is mostly using your hands to catch and throw the ball to teammates on offense. You can throw balls high to teamates and they or you can jump in the air to catch the ball. The latter works good when your playing strong opponents. The scoring i still don’t get. Some goals are 15 points others are less and some are larger. You can score points without ever putting the ball into your opponents goal. Goalies play a role in Speedball 2. Bad goalies let you score easy while great goalies makes it a pain to score. You really have to get creative on offense to score against tough goalies.
The most important and obvious point i can take away from the game’s gameplay is that its fun and addictive. It takes a bunch of little things to make a game fun and addictive (basically everything listed above). Speedball 2 Evolution may be cheesy and a bit generic with its sport idea but i really enjoyed it.
Replayability – There are quite a bit of replay value with Speedball Evolution 2. The Career mode features many tournaments and matches. There are plenty of unlocks, trophies and money to earn. The matches themselves may not last long but there are many variables to play matches.
Final Verdict – Wow a another really good Playstation Minis game. Speedball Evolution might not be “new” or “cool” but its a fun addicting sci-fi sports game that has plenty of replay value. Thnaks for reading.