IGN Review of Balls of Fury
Rupert Young, how could you? You're billed as the managing director of quality assurance for Balls of Fury, a Wii title based on the movie of the same name, but we wonder if you're even a real person. Surely, you must be a pseudonym. You must! Sir, when it comes to this "game," there is simply no quality to assure, and of that we assure you. Balls of Fury is, in fact, such an awful, putrid title that we would determinedly avoid it as a promotional Flash mini-game on a beer website. You want Wii owners to pay $29.99 for this ludicrously amateur and downright offensive endeavor? Why would we do that when we could sit down and enjoy the still-bad, but far superior
mini-game on the official Balls of Fury website? See? $29.99 saved.
Balls of Fury for Wii, developed by Black Lantern Studios, is a ping pong game about as deep and flashy, so to speak, as the website game linked above. Players use the Wii remote, gesturing to the left or right, up or down, to hit the ball back at opponents. It's a concept that seems perfectly suited to Nintendo's controller, but the execution and the end controls have been so irreversibly botched that there's little fun to be gained. Strike that - no fun. Comedy, yes, for a very short while, but that's about it. In direct contrast to ping pong in Wii Play, which offers direct control, the mechanics in Balls of Fury are so far removed from one-to-one control that you feel like you are pre-selecting shots and not really manipulating the paddle. You can gesture to the left or right more than a second before a returned shot comes your way and your character will still paddle the ball, no problemo. Gestures are merely filling in for buttons. Worse, you can simply shake the Wii remote around like a monkey on crack and you will still successfully volley with opponents for minutes; you may even win matches.
We can keep going. There's no satisfying way to add spin or power with any sense that you have actually influenced the ball with your Wii remote. The collision detection is atrociously broken - balls will fly through character models and disappear off screen. Some special shots are merely violent screen shakes meant to confuse players, and not in a good way. The game's storyline consists of quickly cycled static images from the semi-hit movie - Wii discs store as much data as DVDs, so what gives? Character models only faintly resemble their movie counterparts and animate stiffly and robotically. The in-game environments lack any graphic finesse whatsoever. And the "witty" one-liners are cued so often that players will tire of them in minutes. Don't get us started on the game's rudimentary interface.
The only conclusion we can draw is that players who receive this game as a holiday or birthday gift should know that their parents secretly hate them. No, really, they called and told us.
©2007-10-16, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved