Pirates Vs. Ninjas Dodgeball

Common Sense Media says

Agressive, knockout dodgeball with zany characters falters.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In the game, you knock out opponents at any cost. Also, in the text-based story, a pirate father schemes against his daughter.

Violence

There's a lot of cartoon violence shown as hitting and knocking characters out with the dodgeball and with weapons. Some animated blood is shown.

Sex

The characters make suggestive comments while verbally flirting. The pirate daughter has a crush on a ninja and daydreams about him. Nothing lewd is shown.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters, like the pirates, occasionally use alcohol and tobacco in the story mode. But neither are touted as good things.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game has cartoon violence with some animated blood shown, that some of the pirate characters use alcohol and tobacco, and that there is flirting.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's it about?

Zombies have always been popular in horror-based games. Recently, you've seen them in more casual games like Plants vs. Zombies. Now, they appear in a dodgeball game called PIRATES VS. NINJAS DODGEBALL. It's a game which pits the yo-ho-ho-ers against zombies (as well as ninjas, mushroom men, and vampires) in a story, that's, well, confusing. Essentially, the ninjas, zombies, and mushroom men are threatening the pirates' existence. As to why they all end up playing dodgeball is never explained.

When playing dodgeball, the controls are fairly straightforward. You move in the direction of your opponent. Once a blue halo surrounds them, you flick your Wii remote to throw the ball at a zombie, ninja, or robot. You sometimes can approach your enemy and whack at them with your sword via a flick of the Wiimote as well. And you can catch a ball aimed at you or dive out of the way. If you dare, you can play via multiplayer, with up to four friends. There is no online capability, though. You can go at it in two ways: traditional dodgeball or 'dodgebrawl' which allows you to move anywhere on the court, as well as punch, slash, and use powerups.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

All of this sounds pretty cool -- in theory. In practice, the game will frustrate many because the controls and camera angles need work. The script tries to be funny, but isn't. It also has grammatical and punctuation errors and needs editing. While the game appears in 3D, you have no sense of depth due to the birdseye view you're given of the game.

Additionally, the controls need some serious work. Sometimes, you press 'A' to catch a ball and it doesn't work. The alacrity with which you throw a ball doesn't seem to matter, either. In the Wii version, if you flick the remote slowly or quickly, you get the same result as far as velocity goes. And sometimes, your console-controlled teammate will throw a ball at you! With six more months of effort this could have been a compelling game: it has the beginnings of fairly unique characterization, story, and game design. As it stands now, however, it's maddening, frustrating, and disappointing.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about which of the characters you like

  • best. Which ones move more quickly and which is slowest? If you had the chance to

  • play dodgeball with pirates, ninjas, mushroom men, vampires, or zombies, which

  • would it be and why?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Southpeak Interactive
Release date:May 13, 2009
Genre:Sports
ESRB rating:E10+ for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Use of Tobacco (Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360)

This review of Pirates Vs. Ninjas Dodgeball was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old Written bycoolkat June 1, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

great

my parents think the blood is unnessery but my parents play it with me every once in a while my brother plays with me all the time

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