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Genre: Action, Sports :: Players: 1 :: Released: 01/12/04

Rollerball Review

Publisher: Digital Bridges :: Developer: Distinctive Studios

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Eventually engaging gameplay with a lot of depth
Training to improve stats
Great graphics and sound

Cons

Controls are tricky to pick up
Game is initially very hard to play and tough to score
Players are pretty weak at first leading to initially low scores

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

92

Graphics

93

Sound

91

Controls

80

Playability

93

Lastability

98

Review Details
Handset Sharp GX20

Anannya Sen ’s Review

Review Date: 07/12/04

Rollerball is a very detailed and lengthy game for your phone. It has the graphics, options and longevity of a SNES game and while it is quite hard to pick up, once you get into it, it??s great fun.


I must admit I never saw the 1970??s original film with James Caan. I did see the 90??s remake with Josh Hartnett and Rebecca Romjin-Stamos (wah wah wah!!). This game is based on the film. You compete in an American Football meets roller skating meets ice hockey type of game where you have to skate around a circular rink and score in your opponents goal. It??s rough, brutal and fun to play.

I did play the original game version on the Atari 1040 STE (a 1 MEG computer!! Those were the days!) which was brilliant. Far and away one of the best games of the ST and although I never beat the top team in the first division, I came very close a few times.

The graphics are pretty slick for the game. There is an intro (a first for a mobile game that I??ve seen) and some music. The menu??s are nicely drawn and in game the graphics and animations are quite good. The screen is split with 2/3 being the playing area and 1/3 being the info. The characters are seen with a top down view and this can be slightly confusing when they are lying flat out on the floor after taking a bruising. The characters skate quite nicely and the bike pick up looks cool. It??s easy to tell who your players are but the slightly smaller playing area makes the game feel a little cramped. The health bar is a mean looking face which turns into a skull and that??s a nice touch. There are also other displays like time left, score, speed etc.

The sound is actually not bad. Not amazing, but there is some sound at least. A nice tune once you are loading the game and in game sound of whistles, thumps and klaxons.

The controls are a little bit tricky. Up and down regulate your speed and you can see your speed via the second bar on the left hand side. Once at top speed, the speed bar to the left of this (the first bar on the left hand side) counts down from red, showing that you can??t maintain top speed for a long period of time. Once this hits zero, your speed will decrease to a middle speed until you can build the bar back up again. The left and right will move your character and this is how you skate and dodge the opposition. There are three keys for either shooting or puching (ie tackling when you don??t have the ball). These are 5, 7 and 9 and I haven??t worked out the difference between them yet. You can pass to your highlighted team mate if you have the ball (they are highlighted with a yellow circle underneath) by pressing # or *. Once you have the ball you have a green cross underneath your player. Lastly to call in bike support which can be done once per quarter, you have to press 3, and then watch the bike come in and pick you up. Once the game is paused, you can change your lineup, formation and sound options easily. There are a lot of controls to learn, but once you get the hang of it, they??re not too bad.

The playability of the game is very taxing at first, but you HAVE to persevere as the game is very rewarding if you do. It??s a football / rugby style game so the objective is simple. There are plenty of options as you can change the formation to several settings, your players have 6 stats each and you can view these and make substitutions. Also, once a week you can visit the gym and train a particular attribute. This is a very useful feature and the only way you??re going to stand a chance of winning the league. You don??t actually do any training, but like the auto train feature in Rocky, your team improves on whatever attribute you have selected. The game itself is quite hard to play as shooting is tough. Each team??s goal is represented by a line of their team colour. You always play orange. There is a circle with smaller circles in the top right hand corner. As you complete more of one full circuit, these smaller circles will turn to green. Once they are all green, you can shoot at the opponents goal once you get near it. This is not always easy as the opposition are very good at taking it off you. Also, although you can pass to your players I find it easier to just dodge the opposition or when desperate, call in the bike and watch the carnage. Once near the goal it??s tough to make the shot, only a few of my players have the shooting stats to score a goal. There is no particular types of goal, unlike football (or soccer to use it??s incorrect name), so when you score, the ball is just shot into the opposition goal. The teams you play against have some good players and block you pretty well. I find the hardest thing is to get the ball back by controlling my players when trying to defend. But I??m getting better. The bike is really useful, but drops you off right outside the goal so you have to shoot pretty quickly. It can be quite frustrating to make a complete circuit and then get tackled.

The game also autosaves your progress and can be autosuspended.

The lastability of the game is where it really succeeds. There seem to be 20+ teams for you to play in the league. With training each week, it shouldn??t be too long before you??re managing a team of pro??s. With all the other options and lineup settings there is a reasonable amount of strategy involved. I found it very tough at first but then fun to play and with a game record of 3 wins, one draw and a loss I??m not doing that badly. The games are not high scoring at the moment (all my wins were 1-0) but hopefully that will change and there are 3 options for the game time played. Even the training mode has challenges (ie make it around the course 3 times without being tackled) so there is plenty to do in the game. With all the options and training available, this a game for you to invest some serious time in which should hopefully pay off. And even though his stats aren??t great, there??s even a player called J. Caan in there! Very nice touch!

Buy the original Rollerball on DVD