Table of Contents

Page 1 - Renegade / River City Ransom
Page 2 - Other Fighting Games
Page 3 - Dodgeball
Page 4 - Other Sports Part 1
Page 5 - Other Sports Part 2

Super Dodge Ball - Arcade / NES / PC Engine / X68000 / Playstation 2 /G ameboy Advance (1989)


American NES Cover

Super Dodge Ball NES

Super Dodge Ball NES

Super Dodgeball is the beginning of the Kunio sports line, taking the gym class favorite to new levels of craziness. The object is merely to pound the hell out of your opponents by running and slinging the ball of them as hard as you can. If you time it right, you can catch the ball before it hits you and send it flying back. Certain characters also have super moves - some throws will blow past the enemy then boomerang back, while others will send out multiballs to anhillate your foes. Super Dodgeball became most notable for its over-the-top violence, as getting hit by a powerful attack would send you flying dozens of feet into the air and around the screen. And losing all of your power didn't just mean you were out of the game - no, it KILLED you, as departed characters escape the mortal coil by turning into an angel. You can play as various teams from around the world, with the final match warping you to another dimension where you play against your doppelgangers. Totally crazy, indeed, but massively fun.

There are also minor differences between the American and Japanese versions. The main characters are the Japanese team in the Famicom version, while they're switched to American for the NES version. As a result, the order of the levels is somewhat different.

There were a few ports of Super Dodgeball, though us Westerners are most familiar with the NES version, featuring three on three matches. Unfortunately, it's marred by tons and tons and TONS of slowdown, and ungodly amounts of flicker. The choppiness certainly doesn't help when you're trying to grab a ball that's careening straight towards your head. Still, the gameplay was so fun that most of never minded back in the NES days. Today, we can see how much smoother the other versions were. The Japanese arcade and PC Engine versions has cutscenes between levels, including an intro where some random jerkass pelts Kunio in the back of the head, then takes off. The matches are four-on-four this time, with one absurdly large character and three smaller ones on each side. Characters on the sidelines can also through the ball at opponents for damage - in the NES game, it would just stun them. Still, the character sprites seem a little bizarre, as the NES game is more consistent with look of the rest of the series, but it's nothing major. The X68000 port is pretty much an exact arcade port. Much like Renegade, Super Dodge Ball was also released for the Playstation 2 under the "Oretachi Game Center" series. The original Famicom version was also brought to the Gameboy Advance in the Kunio-Kun Nekketsu Collection Vol. 1 in 2005.

Super Dodge Ball NES

Super Dodge Ball Arcade

Screenshot Comparisons

NES

Arcade

PC Engine

Kunio-Kun no Dodge Ball Da Yo: Zenin Shuugo - Super Famicom (1993)


Japanese Cover

Kunio-Kun no Dodge Ball - Zenin Shuugo

Kunio-Kun no Dodge Ball - Zenin Shuugo

The first true seqel to Super Dodge Ball, "Zenin Shugo" (All-Member Gathering, very loosely translated) adds an incredible amount of customization options to the game - unfortunately, they're all buried in extremely cumbersome menus that are confusing even if you know the language. While the graphics are a step above its predecessor, the gameplay is approximately as choppy as the NES version, which is a real let down after the smoothness of the arcade and PC Engine games.

Kunio-Kun no Dodge Ball - Zenin Shuugo

Super Dodge Ball / Kunio no Nekketsu Toukyuu Densetsu - Neo Geo (1996)


Arcade Flyer

Super Dodge Ball Neo Geo

Super Dodge Ball Neo Geo

Super Dodge Ball for the Neo Geo was one of the last titles published by Technos before they closed their doors. It takes its cues from other SNK fighting games, delivering incredibly large characters, a camera that scales in and out a la Samurai Shodown, and screen-shaking tremors whenever you knock an enemy to the ground. The gameplay itself isn't radically different than its predecessors, but it now moves at a lightning-fast pace. Taking a note from King of Fighters, there's a power gauge that can be filled up by holding down the A and B buttons or by taking damage. Special attacks are executed with fighting game-style joystick motions. The art style is significantly different from other games in the series, with a stylized manga geel - although Kunio and Riki are present, the rest of the characters are a bizarre mix of Japanese schoolgirls, balding musclemen, and a huge ugly man-woman thing, most of whom are based off of bosses from the original Renegade/Nekketsu Kouha arcade game. So obviously, there are no more international teams. The setting is in a theme park, which makes for lots of crazy stages, one of which features hopping lowriders in the background.

Combined with the fantastic graphics and an awesomely rocking soundtrack, the Neo Geo Super Dodgeball is perhaps the best of the series gameplay-wise, even if it lacks the customization and options compared to the other entries.

Super Dodge Ball Neo Geo

Super Dodge Ball Neo Geo

Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu Kyouteki! Toukyuu Senshi no Maki - Gameboy (1991)


Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball

Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball

Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball

The Dodgeball game on the Gameboy could have been great, if it where not for the unresponsive controls, especially with the directions. Holding down a direction while attempting to go to another one will make the character go into the direction he was going. The game has an story mode, a versus mode, and a bean ball mode. The bean ball mode is a little abusive, since the CPU tends to go only against you. Good thing the Gameboy controls are the same as the NES version, so you should have no problems playing the game. The game in Story Mode will indicate the character with the ball, and the targetted opponent, by having that character flicker, and that is the only flickering in the game. There is slowdown in the game, but only when the ball is not in the hands of a player or opponent.

Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball

Super Dodge Ball Advance / Dodgeball Fighters - Gameboy Advance (2000)


American Cover

Japanese Cover

Super Dodge Ball GBA

After Technos went out of business, their intelectual properties were transferred to a development team called Million, who went on to create this game, Super Dodgeball Advance, as well as Double Dragon Advance. Super Dodge Ball Advance was a Gameboy Advance launch title, and it attempts to distance itself from its lineage by removing the Kunio characters and art style. It does look a little bizzare, being that the squat chaps have been replaced by lanky dorks with silly haircuts and the inclusion of a jailbait-y manager is a little weird. But Million did a pretty job of replicating the fun of the previous titles.

While the gameplay is pretty much the same as the original NES game (other than the new graphics and a few new special moves), it doesn't have any of the slowdown or flickering, making it much preferable to the original. The portable format makes it excellent for quick games too.

Super Dodge Ball GBA

Super Dodge Ball GBA

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers - Nintendo DS (2008)


American Cover

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers for the DS brings Kunio and pals back into the game, which is a welcome change from the doofuses in Super Dodge Ball Advance. Taking a cue from River City Ransom, you earn cash after each successful match, which can be used to buy power-ups at a store. Bits of debris will also occasionally fall onto the playing field (including huge vending machines) which can be chucked at the other team. There's also a team-wide special ability that you can activate once your pwoer bar is filled up, which occurs over the course of the match. Unfortunately, the method to execute the super attacks has changed - you need to run (and count) five steps before you throw the ball, otherwise your attack will be unsuccessful. As a result, they're much harder to pull off. Additionally, the game speed seems to have taken a hit. The North American version is a bit faster than the Japanese release, but it still feels too slow.

In addition to the standard Tournament and Versus modes, there's also a free for all Brawl mode, allowing eight players to run around a field without boundaries, grabbing the ball and chucking it at each other. Shallow but fun. Overall, it's kind of a one step forward, three steps back deal compared to the GBA game. At least it offers wireless multiplayer, which the GBA game was sorely lacking, even though the DS one lacks WiFi play over the internet.

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers

Super Dodge Ball Brawlers

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