Darkstar’s BlurBall Review
Blazing Forge Games’ BlurBall a visually stunning pong clone for Xbox Live Indie games. Now if you’ve read my other reviews you already know I’m partial to paddle games such as Pong and Breakout style games. So playing this indie game came with a lot of excitement. The electric orange and neon blue tables was a very alluring draw. So Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what this game is all about.
It is Pong in the truest sense. There is no story mode, no preset matches just pong on 7 tables. On the largest table you can have up to 16 balls bouncing at once and up to 24 paddles. You will never control more than one paddle yourself though. Although you can set up each paddle to the four local players and set the rest to the computer to control as well as pick the paddles for each player and computer.
Now let’s get to the gritty aspect of this game. The more times you use your paddle to repel the balls the more damage they take causing the paddle to deteriorate. I have not seen what occurs when your paddle is completely destroyed, but it does get smaller if you primarily use the edge of your paddle. Now the paddle choices are so abundant that it is downright ridiculous. With over 100 different paddles and so many different sizes and shapes that you can down right cause some interesting ricochets from them. The saddest part is that doesn’t even matter. More times than I can count on two hands in less than 10 games have I witness the ball ricochet back at me for no apparent reason. I will go into that more later.
Now 3 of the tables are not much different than your standard pong table of old just different sizes. The rest are where the fun interesting tables are, and I say this earnestly why aren’t there more. There really should be more or maybe that is just my greed. It does have a cheats section that when you put in a code which you can get by going to http://www.blurball.com/ the first released is Bounce which changes the sound effect of the balls as they bounce off the walls and paddles.
Now on to the bad aspects of this game.
The first of which may just be my issue, but it is that every match except for a rematch you must go through the long and painful steps of picking the table, how many balls, how many it takes to win, how many minutes till time runs out, as well as selecting which spot you will put your paddle, and any other players paddles as well as picking said paddle from over 100 choices then you must pick where the cpu paddles will be if you need them as well as the paddle they will use. There must be at least one paddle on the orange side as well as the blue side. This may seem a simple task to set this up, but to have to do this between each match becomes extremely tiresome very quickly. So make your matches to last some time, otherwise you’ll spend more time setting up each match than you will playing them.
The second thing I have issue with, and this is something I really have an issue with, is the physics. I wonder if there is any physics at all. When you hit the ball into a straight horizontal wall you rightly expect the ball to continue going the same direction at the opposite angle it hit the wall. Since this is how all paddle games are, you come to expect this. Far too often did I find this not to be true here. I could come up with no reason why the ball would bounce back at me but it did with regularity. I actually had to be used to watching not only all the balls coming my way, but also the ones I sent away in case it came back without reason. I will say this definitely upped the challenge of the game.
The last issue was an issue that my partner in playing this game had. They found it incredibly hard to see the balls on the playing field. I didn’t have this same issue so I won’t take this into my rating, but I felt it should be said.
All in all I still enjoyed this game.
Final Score: 3/5