The 3v3 competitive sporting experience is rapidly becoming the rage in video games. Think of it as the "Rocket League" effect. Once Psyonix's sports game hit the heights of popularity, other developers were bound to try their hand at the same idea. The latest developer is the team at Pathea Games, which recently introduced its competitive sports title, Super Buckyball Tournament.
How to describe Super Buckyball Tournament? Well, look at the aforementioned Rocket League. Replace rocket-powered cars with futuristic cybernetic people. There you go! The rest of the premise is roughly the same idea. There are three characters on each team and the idea is to control and shoot a ball in the opponent's goal.
After playing a couple of games, it's worth noting that if Super Buckyball Tournament is aiming to be a Rocket League homage, it's doing well at that so far. The games approach that same level of frantic, the strategic element is the same, and there are different opportunities for trick shots. Those trick shots can largely come from the individual characters and their specific abilities. And it's worth learning those abilities and how they can affect the game. Players can score goals for one point, but if they can score with an Ultimate ability, that goal will count for two points. Nobody's ever truly out of it in Super Buckyball Tournament.
As fun as the game can be, there are a lot of rough patches. The passing system has a high learning curve to it, as it's easy to just lob the ball aimlessly to nothing in particular. Turnovers are plentiful if you're just starting out. A detailed tutorial system would be a big help down the road.
There also aren't a lot of details regarding the game's items. Over the course of the game, players can pick up items and use them to potentially swing the game. For example, there are lightning bolts that can recharge the player's acceleration meter, as well as an ice wall item that can be used to either slow opposing players or stop an incoming shot on goal.
The only other complaint with Super Buckyball Tournament is that the presentation is noticeably bare bones at the moment. It looks like there are a number of assets that are missing, which is to be expected for a game this early in development. But with no music, messy menus, and even stability issues, the game could certainly use a few coats of polish before a wide release.
There's potential in Super Buckyball Tournament. With some fresh assets, a round of polish, and a stronger tutorial system, this could certainly work as the poor man's Rocket League. I certainly had fun with it, so Pathea Games has got that part of Psyonix's formula down, if nothing else. Super Buckyball Tournament's full release is coming soon.