Copyright/Publisher: MAD, Release Year: 1988,
Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1
Futuresports have taken a turn for the worse. Vectorball is such a game played in
a long rectangular arena over a contoured pitch. Two robots fight over a puck-like
ball and guide it into the opponent's goal.
You first select whether the droids are under computer or human control -
effectively, one-player, two-player or demo modes - then the type of pitch, and
duration of matches (three, five, or seven minutes). The friction level is finally
chosen, which determines your maximum speed and ease of slope climb.
The Hills, The Ditches, Wave City and Megamix are the four courses, and are made
up of variety hills and dips. Your robot is steered around this area, and the ball
collected on contact; when in possession, it is fired in whichever direction you
are facing. Each tournament is played through four matches, all on different pitches.
This is like A 'n' F's Xeno, only with slopes, and nigh on zero playability. The
pitches and droids are all very high-tech looking, but robot control is very
difficult, and the contours make things a lot worse.
No matter what friction level, you whizz all over the shop, waggling the joystick
in a vain attempt to score a goal. Ball possession is no guarantee of progress, as
a shot spits the ball a feeble distance ahead of you, to be picked up by your
To call Vectorball frustrating is a big understatement, and its visual novelties
are just a pain.
The 3D playing area is nicely drawn, with effective contour patterns, and the movement
across them is quite realistic. But (and this is a big but), the game itself is
It's virtually impossible to gain any control over your drone
and the feeling of helplessness is driven home as your opponent scores goal after
goal when all you can do is sit and watch.
Another aspect that doesn't help any,
is the unbelievable amount of delays. If you want futuristic ball sport, dig out
Ballblazer - don't even consider this.