Super Dodge Ball

Super Dodge Ball, originally released in Japan as is a dodgeball-based sports game released for the arcades and the Nintendo Entertainment System developed by Technos. Originally released in Japan as part of the Kunio-kun series, it was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in North America on September 22, 2008 at a cost of 500 Wii Points.

Arcade version

In the arcade version of Super Dodge Ball, the player's team is composed of seven members; the team's captain (a large-sized character) and six smaller sized characters. The captain and three of the other members are constrained to one side of the main court, while the other three stand at the sidelines surrounding the competing team. The objective of the game is to eliminate the members of the opposing team on the other side of the court by throwing the ball against them. Players who are eliminated are turned into a caricature of an angel that flies away to the top of the screen. The team that remains with at least one surviving member wins. If time runs out during a match, then the team with most surviving members wins. The player's life bar represents the number of remaining members, as each character is usually eliminated after taking three or four shots.

The game has two button configuration that change functions depending on the current circumstance. If the player currently has possession of the ball, then the left button will be use for throwing the ball against an opponent, while the right button is used for passing the ball to a nearby teammate. Likewise, if an opponent has possession of the ball, then the left button is used to catch or intercept an opponent's throw, while the right button is to duck an attack. Pressing both buttons simultaneously will cause the player to jump. The player can also dash by pushing the joystick left or right twice, increasing the momentum of an offensive throw. The team's captain has a specialized offensive throw, also known as a "Power Shot", that travels faster and does more damage than a regular offensive throw.

The game begins with a match between Dallas and Chicago to determine who will represent the United States in a worldwide dodgeball tournament. In the single player game, the player will control Dallas, while the computer controls Chicago. If played against a second player, then the first player controls Dallas and the second controls Chicago. The winning team will then compete in the world cup and face against the following regions: England, Iceland, China, Africa (Kenya in later versions) and Japan. The foreign teams have more than four team members playing offense, although only four show up on the main court. If an opposing team loses a member, they will call upon one of their backups to replace the fallen teammate. After defeating Japan, the player's team is awarded with the world cup by a ninja and the game begins a new cycle starting with England.

The Japanese version was released as a spinoff of Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, the Japanese version of Renegade. The Japanese version features an opening sequence which parodies the pre-stage introductions of Kunio-kun which depicts Kunio being struck by a dodgeball thrown by a passing thug and his teammates chasing after said thug. The American teams of Dallas and Chicago were originally the Japanese teams of Nekketsu High School and Hanazono High School, while the final match was actually against U.S. team themselves. The characters' skin tones and hair colors were changed accordingly in the American version to reflect this. The character who awards the trophy to Kunio's team at the end of the game is a thinly-disguised parody of the comic book superhero Superman.

NES version

Technos made several significant changes during the game's conversion to the NES. In this version, all of the teams have six members, the team's captain and five other members, all characters being the same height. This time, only three characters can play inside the main court, rather than four like the arcade version. The player can arrange the positions of their team's members accordingly at the court prior to each match, as each character his own unique set of statistics based on Energy, Throwing Power, Throwing Technique, Ball Break (the amount of curve on the ball's movement), Agility, Catching Technique and Damage Capacity (the amount of damage a player can sustain before losing energy). Instead of eliminating a player after a few shots, each character has his own energy meter which is depleted accordingly to how much damage he sustains from the competitor. If a character runs out of energy, he is eliminated. Additionally each character in the team now has two of their own power shots - one regular power shot and one that is executed during a jumping shot.

There are two additional teams in the NES version that were not in the arcade version: India and the USSR. In the Japanese version, the main team in the single player World Cup Play mode is Nekketsu High School led by Kunio, who faces against the rival Japanese team of Hanazono High School, led by Riki. Team USSR is the penultimate team in the Japanese, followed by Team USA. In the American version, Team Nekketsu becomes Team USA, led by Sam Powers, while Hanazono becomes the rival American team of Pro All-stars Team led by Jack. The penultimate match is against Team Japan, followed by Team USSR. If the player defeats the final team without losing any of his characters, then there will be an additional match against Team Shadow, a clone of the player's team arranged accordingly to how they fought the last team.

In addition to the single player World Cup mode, there is also a Versus Play mode where two players compete against each other as one of the nine teams featured in the World Cup mode set in a generic court. There is also a Bean Ball mode, set in a school background, in which the six members of the main team attempt to eliminate each other until only one remains. The Japanese version allows for up to four players via a multiplayer adapter. Since the multiplayer adapters for the NES were not released in America until 1990, the American version is limited to only one or two players.

Other versions and sequels

Many platforms have received their own versions of Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu in Japan in addition to the arcade and Famicom versions released by Technos.

  • A port of the arcade version was released for the X68000 by SPS on September 1988. The game is a direct conversion of the arcade game with no significant changes other than the presence of loading screens.
  • A PC Engine version of the game, titled , was released by Naxat Soft on March 30, 1990. This version, developed by KID, is based on the arcade game, but features gameplay elements from the Famicom version as well such as individual energy meters for characters and power shots for every character. The game features an original Quest Mode in which Kunio and his team travels the world chasing after alien invaders disguised as dodgeball players. The player can recruit the captains from the rival teams into their own team, replacing one of the generic teammates.
  • A Windows port of the Famicom version was released by BRS Corp. on October 17, 2003, as part of their Ultra 2000 lineup of budget-priced PC games.
  • A PlayStation 2 emulated port of the arcade game was released on January 26, 2006 by Hamster Corp as part of the Ore-tachi Gēsen Zoku lineup.
  • Famicom version of the game is ported to Game Boy Advance as Kunio-kun Nekketsu Collection 1
  • This game is also available on the Wii Virtual Console, where it was released in North America on September 22, 2008.

A number of official sequels to Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu were also released in Japan.

  • for the Game Boy - Released on November 8, 1991. A portable version of the game where instead of foreign teams, the rival teams in the tournament are composed of gangs of punks, robots and other types of characters.
  • for the Super Famicom - Released on August 6, 1993. A sequel to the Famicom version which includes additional features such as interactive stages and an item shop where the player can purchase new power shots and equipments for their characters. The sequel includes all of the foreign teams for the Famicom version and adds Italy, Arab, France, Brazil and Germany to the roster. The player can create up to three custom teams, which are then saved to the game's memory.
  • for the Neo Geo - Released in 1996. This was Technos Japan's final game (released after they went out of business) and was only given a limited distribution in the arcades. The game plays like a combination between the original Super Dodge Ball and a fighting game, in which the main characters can perform special techniques by inputing Street Fighter II-style commands, including super moves. The game features seven playable characters, being the main characters from Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (the Japanese version of Renegade).

While not a Kunio-kun game, Super Dodge Ball Advance for the Game Boy Advance (released as Bakunetsu Dodgeball Fighters in Japan) was developed by Million, a company formed by former Technos Japan employees. The English localization used the same character names that were used in the American NES version of Super Dodge Ball.

Million has released an official Nintendo DS sequel, titled , in Japan, with support for up to 8 players in wireless mode. This version will be published by Arc System Works. A North American version of the game, titled Super Dodgeball Brawlers, is being developed by Aksys Games and planned for an early 2008 release. It features full team customization, such as creating characters like in the GBA River City Ransom remake, and sports near or over 100 specials. The character graphics are unchanged in the American version.


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