|The world tour has you creating a two woman team using an impressive array of hairstyles, faces, sunglasses and outfits. After creating your team you will then be thrown into a series of tournaments. Where as in the arcade mode your players are selected for you, in the world tour mode you will only have control of one player while the computer controls the second player. When starting out the computer controlled player is terrible and non-effective in anything that she does. So you will loose your first few games but at the same time you will build experience points that can be applied to your partner's different skills, such as serving, blocking and returning. You will also be asked to praise and encourage your partner based on her performance through the game. Your team work rate will rise and fall depending on how your partner reacts to your input. This may sound quite bizarre but it is also quite satisfying to see you partner start from the level of a useless ass and advance to possibly surpass your own skill level. |
In versus mode, you're given the choice of playing a regular match or three different mini games. Beach Flags has you smashing the A button, Commodore 64 track and field style, in order to sprint down the beach to grab the flag before your opponent does. Beach Countdown features a bomb with a burning fuse instead of volleyball. Players must volley the bomb back and forth until the fuse runs out or one of the teams drops the bomb. Beach PK is a basic spike and return competition. With the support for up to four players, a regular match can prove very entertaining but the mini games aren't really that much fun.
Beach Spikers is graphically fantastic, the player models look great and their animation is very natural and convincing. The lighting has been implemented very well giving sharp definitions to all the shadows on the court. Another nice touch is the sand; the nicely raked court will show depressions from the impact of the players as the match progresses. Another thing worth mentioning is the camera, Beach Spikers features a dynamic camera that constantly moves around the court to give the perspective on the action and most of the time it does a great job and it completely eliminates any back court perspective issues that tend to bug most tennis games. Occasionally though you will not be able to see your side of the court at all, this will force you to use the mini map at the bottom of the screen.
The worst thing about Beach Spikers is the sound and typical to quite a lot of Sega's titles the sound track features too many synthesisers and crappy electric guitars although, the sound track is not as bad as the wailing sound track from Daytona.
The in-games sounds are generally good, although when you hit the ball at full power the noise is slightly hollow sounding. The worst aspect of the in games sound is the announcer who announces each menu item you select and in game he will comment on every single shot, with only a handful of phrases at his disposal this can become rather irritating. The only way to shut up the announcer is to turn off all the in game sounds effects there is no way to just isolate the announcer, which is unfortunate.
Women's beach volleyball does not sound like an interesting game, if you saw this title on the shelf of your local store and didn't know anything about it you would probably stay well clear, but you would be wrong to. AM2 has been able to translate the sport into something that's loads of fun to play, I would even go as far as saying it is almost as enjoyable to play as Virtua Tennis. Beach Spikers is enjoyable enough to warrant the attention of any player looking for some fun and fast arcade action. Great!
8.5 Out of 10