Outlaw Volleyball: Remixed PS2 Review

A remix is a reordering or change of things that came before. This game is the remix of Outlaw Volleyball, but sadly DarkZero never bothered to review the original game. Another shocker is that this reviewer has actually never played the original game at all. All of this leads me to believe we should throw that remixed tag away and just review the game on its own merit, because let’s face it, we’re not exactly sure what the game is actually remixing and we don’t want to mislead you in any way. Now let’s get on with what we do know (and in the process try and make a little bit more sense than we did in this paragraph).

We here at DZ might not have ever played a version of Outlaw Volleyball before, but we are familiar with the Outlaw series of games, and we also know what that Outlaw tag on a game means. You see every one of the Outlaw games is a highly over the top experience which excels in pushing the bounds of reason to breaking point, and making little sense whilst doing it. Almost everything about the games are crazy; the characters are crazy, some of the areas of play are crazy, the sound is crazy and, at times, even the gameplay is crazy. Thankfully though, the gameplay is also usually very fun to play, easy to control and to get used to, which makes these OOT game loads of fun to play. Now the only question that remains unanswered is, “Does Outlaw Volleyball: Remixed live up to the Outlaw name?” Let’s find out, shall we?

Most people have played a Volleyball game before for one reason or another. It is not necessarily a sport that a game needed to be recreated in virtual form for, but in the past few years many people have tried, and most volleyball titles have been fun to play. The reason for most volleyball offerings being fun to play comes from the easy core game mechanics they all share, and Outlaw Volleyball: Remixed is no different. You play the game using an oscillating power meter to gauge your serves (similar to all other Volleyball and most tennis titles). You then place where you want the ball to go using targets on the court surface. You can do more powerful spikes if you hold the designated button down for longer. All in all, the gameplay is not too much of a break from the norm; responsive, if a touch forgiving. Hard spikes are too easy to bump, and it’s rare that you’ll be unable to recover from a shot that ends up beyond the back line of the court, which can make for some lengthy volleys.

There are a good number of options to choose from – most of which are open from the first time you play the game (there are also a few good unlockables which we will get to later). On the menu screen there are the options for the exhibition mode (which offers games for up to four players with a high number of different variables to chose which include scoring conditions and the number of points needed to win). There is also random mode for the impatient amongst us, which selects the player for you if you need to just get on with the game as quick as you can. The game limits you to a selection of four different players when you start, although you can unlock many more higher rated players by playing through the game’s single player tour mode. This can take many hours to accomplish (it includes many different sets of games which take place on each of the game’s twelve courts). The game also has a drill mode which is a series of mini games that test the different skills any good Volleyball player should have (more specifically, serving, spiking, bumping, and blocking). Interestingly, these mini-games are a good bit of fun for players and more interesting than you would think them to be at first.

All of the above seems relatively normal, but now come the extreme aspects of the game. Holding R1 will give your character a short burst of speed which we admit is not that extreme (maybe if you shout random words when you’re doing it it may be more fun). More extremeness comes in the form of the high-powered spikes and serves which are accompanied by some nice visual effects. Then there is the most extremely extreme thing that Outlaw Volleyball: Remixed offers the player; fights! Throughout the game you will be given fight tokens and these can be used at anytime to pick a fight with the opposing player. There is also a reason (other than just pure unbridled rage) behind each of the fights as it offers you the chance to take all of the other player’s momentum. The fights themselves though are not very interesting as they are just a timid 2D affair consisting of just a simple punch, a simple kick, and a simple block.

In terms of graphics and audio, the game is just above passable. Some of the courts look okay while one or two of the twelve available look abso-bloody-lutely terrible. The characters themselves look much better, but it seems much more love went into the female characters during the game creation, as some of the male characters look dull in comparison. In comparison to what you may ask? Well most of the girls have decided that it is their duty to wear as little Lycra as is humanly possibly, and be very naughty about the whole thing. The sound is almost just passable. The game commentator (Steve Carell from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) is the game high point as he can be quite funny at times, but some of his jokes can fall flat on their faces at other times. The game’s characters also contribute their fair share of lame one-liners which also share this flat-face ability. The music is a collection of pop-punk, techno, and hip-hop which is ok if you like that sort of thing.

On the whole I am not sure how to rate Outlaw Volleyball: Remixed. I personally am a big fan of the other Outlaw games and loved both the tennis and golf version, but this game did not give me as much of a thrill as the others. There is a good volleyball game at this title’s heart, but everything else about the game feels very half-hearted and the game’s presentation is extremely below par. Maybe we should have picked up the original Outlaw Volleyball instead?

6.3 out of 10

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