A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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?
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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.