ULTRAAAAA COMBOOOOOOO! Wait…wrong game, just had to get that out of my system. Have you ever been at a picnic with one hell of a badminton game going on and thought, “man, this would be a lot more entertaining if we used our heads instead of rackets.” So then a couple other party goers are down to try it out. Suddenly you are on top of the world, world champ at Hyperball, the game you invented at that fateful picnic just weeks ago. You are signing endorsements left and right, promoting your now nationally professional sport. What comes next you might be asking? A video game of course!
While that may not be the official premise of Ultra Hyperball, the actual game is just as goofy and fun. The sport I described is pretty much what you are in store for. Players take control of one of many characters, and take part in a variety of Hyperball events. Hyperball is a sport of finesse and timing, both of which require using your head. No, literally. Participants in the game of Hyperball must hit a ball, similar in look to that of a birdie in badminton, with their head! Thankfully they get to wear a helmet, but it is still a funny premise. You must time your hits effectively to make the best contact, with hopes of going higher and higher with each hit. It can be as simple as that, or as difficult as having to tilt your controller to run side to side to keep up with the balls movements. The variety of modes can all be explored while experiencing a light story mode, which makes the progression feel a bit more rewarding.
The standard mode is the best at easing you into the playstyle, allowing you to get a feel of the controls and the response of the ball. Practice enough and you will begin to start timing your hits more effectively, resulting in more perfect hits and higher altitudes. In this mode, the goal is to get to certain height within a limited amount of hits (this is the goal in many cases.) The second mode you are introduced to is team mode, where you manage multiple contestants at once. This is done using the Switch’s intuitive touch screen, which allows you to press a button under each competitor to jump. The next two modes are very similar, just with varied controls. In “TILT”, you must follow the path of the ball by tilting your Switch or controller, while in “RUN” you must chase it with the analog stick. The rest of the modes are all played in multiplayer, which is a great addition to have in the lineup. In each co-op mode you must reach a goal together (standard, tilt, and run are all present), while the other multiplayer mode is a competitive one. This exclusive multiplayer mode is “BATTLE”, where players race to reach a certain height.
All of these modes add a great variety to the game, and so does the great lineup of characters. While the characters have no unique stats or anything like that, they do have unique looks. The characters are wacky, and all excessively different. Kung-fu masters, suit wearing dogs, robots and more are all present, all of which can be unlocked by earning medals over the course of your career. It keeps the life and character of the game alive, all decked out in retro bit styled graphics. Its colorful and lively look are a great representation of the character this game has.
Ultra Hyperball is a simple yet enjoyable title. I like the presence it has as a whole, offering a casual title that allows you to grow your skills over time and progress as you see fit. There is variety in both its modes as well as its characters, which is always a great characteristic in a budget title. It may not be the most exhilarating or rewarding experience, but it is a fun one. Ultra Hyperball is a solid title that will test your reflexes and make you use your head in one of the most out-there sports in gaming history.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of this review.
Final Score: 7/10
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