The question at this point: What sports game won’t Nintendo make? By this point they have tried Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, and my beloved Golf, but not some of the bigger hitters like Football (10-Yard Fight is not their game) or Basketball. And yet, here we are with Volleyball. And not even Beach Volleyball, in this one the whole team has come out to play. Design wise the game offers plenty to help welcome the player into the world of Volleyball. Control wise, it forgot that less means more for these 2 button games. I applauded PRO WRESTLING for it’s ability to make the world of wrestling feel alive and Volleyball continues that trend. 3 Referees, fans that turn their heads to catch the action, a live scoreboard, this game really thought it all through. Unfortunately, the game was too hard to have any fun with it. A lot of assumptions were made by the development team that seem bizarre considering how easy Nintendo made playing something like Golf. The difficulty is high, but a lot of this also boils down to frustration. More often than not the biggest thing I’m trying to wrap my head around while playing is who I am controlling. And why on earth do all the girls constantly thrust their hips?
Volleyball is a valiant attempt at simulating yet another sport, but its execution is lackluster. Nintendo and its third party developers still struggle with giving the player enough information when a 3rd navigational direction is introduced, leading to some pretty sorry displays of athleticism on the screen. Even if you were never good at sports, you probably never missed a bump or set because you had it all lined up, but you end up actually being a good 3 feet to the left or right. Yet here we are.
Volleyball also suffers from an overcomplication of controls. When you try to fit too many commands onto 2 buttons and a D-pad, you're going to have a bad time. The game also inexplicably relegates some arguably essential quality of life features to the practice mode. So I'm not quite sure what they were thinking.
Volleyball has some neat presentational flourishes, and if you can get into a groove, I'm sure you could have a pretty good time. But Unfortunately, I don't think this game is a refined enough package to recommend to anyone.
This is not a pick up and play game. There is a lot to learn and even after learning it, it’s still not very intuitive or smooth to control. It’s not exactly clear which characters you are controlling and there are a lot of unnecessarily complex button combinations. I think this was an attempt at a simulation that became a little too complicated and just doesn’t work very well.