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Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition

Make your spinning, sizzling way along the road as fast as you can without falling through the gaps. Simple? Few will be good or fast enough to complete all 20 stunning 3D levels, but everyone can enjoy the 2-player battle mode - smack your opponent's ball around in the race to the line! Can YOU find your way to the top of the global online score table?

Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition is at its best a two-player racing game that will allow players to smash around each other's ball while speeding toward the finish line. One of my favorite arcade games ever, Panic Park, sports a number of mini-games fashioned in this manner, and while Blazin' Balls doesn't have the physicality of that awesome Namco machine -- literally ramming the swivel sticks and one's body into the opponent to knock him or her off course -- it sports the same wonderful and fun "being a jerk" gameplay. I get a kick out of these sorts of harassment focused games, and Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition is good fun when played against another player.

Against a single player, however, and the game struggles to entertain. Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition offers 20 short courses to race across while trying to not fall off the tracks. The ball controls easily enough, gaining speed by holding up on the analog stick and jumping with the A-button, used to avoid certain pits and certain lane effects. Colored sections of the track influence the ball in some manner: cyan lanes will switch the ball's controls (left is right and vice versa), red paths slow the ball down, and so on. Yellow areas will distort and warp the screen, messing with the player's focus but doing nothing to the control. It's a neat effect but seems more like a nuisance than an interesting obstacle to overcome during play.

The basic gameplay leaves Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition without much to offer players for fun. There just aren't enough levels, and the game already feels repetitive due to the lack of variety in goals and design. It's just too simple, at least going from the demo, and there's not much to the racing here. There are coins to collect throughout the levels for points and earn extra lives, but I don't see that being a push for most people into playing the game or adding necessary depth. The presentation may be excellent with solid graphics, nice video tutorial, and the split screen 2-player mode, but the excitement in the title doesn't carry over to the gameplay, leaving behind a well made but fairly ho-hum game.

Blazin' Balls Xtreme Edition has the makings of a great drinking game, and I can see people enjoying the fights which will break out as players send others over the edge, pushing and shoving to the point where no one will cross the finish line. Unfortunately for myself and anyone not playing in such settings, Blazin' Balls just feels like a neutered AudioSurf, possessing all the speed and color of the PC hit but short on its innovation, depth, or fun.

★★★☆☆
November 05, 2010
October 16, 2010 | 80 points
Developer | Video | Download

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