Mod Showcase: Dodgeball

Hello. I’m Brickinator and this is another instalment of Mod Showcase; the column that watches back. This time we’ll be taking a peak at Dodgeball, a mod gamemode that combines the ancient arts of dodging things and not dying.

In Dodgeball,  everyone plays as the Pyro. The two teams spawn on opposite sides of a floating court and can only use Flamethrowers. You can’t pass onto the enemy side and if you fall off the edge of the court you scream and disappear into a gaping hole, just like your mum last night.

I have a very patchy memory of my childhood. It’s one of the things about myself I’m most proud of. Nevertheless, I don’t remember having to dodge homing rockets- and occasionally nuclear bombs- being launched into the air during Dodgeball at school. In this version of Dodgeball, you have to avoid missiles that hurl themselves at you, seeking you out like a hobo in a kebab shop. The Pyro then has to airblast it away or, if you’re like me, catch it with your face and be torn into thousands of tiny pieces. When you airblast the rockets, they home onto a member of the enemy team. Each time a rocket is airblasted, it accelerates slightly until it turns into a game of weapons-grade Hot Potato. Although the mode’s called Dodgeball, the missiles are anything but ball-like. Well, I suppose the nuclear missile looks vaguely ball-shaped. When I play a game called Dodgeball, I expect to get to handle some balls. This is false advertising.

Dodgeball combines the excitement of balls with the danger of balls.
Dodgeball combines the excitement of balls with the danger of balls.

Anyway, there are no respawns in Dodgeball so if you get gibbed then you stay gibbed until the next round. Although much of the mod gamemode is removed from the real-life sport, at least they got the part about perma-death accurately. Not that we would want any sport in our TF2; physical activity in a video game is as out of place as a decapitated otter in a chicken salad. Nobody wants that crap. Everybody seems to trash talk on there. Go on, stop trying to act tough when you’re playing a cartoony recreation of a children’s sport. Put your balls where your mouth is.

Just like in the real sport however, there will always be some antagonistic prick ready to taunt you every time you get a face full of plutonium. In my short time playing the game, I received screechy criticism from a number of lowlifes who clearly spend all of their time on it. They’d mastered the art of airblasting, presumably at the cost of any sort of human interaction. I can see them now, slumped in a greasy office chair, drooling all over themselves. The bastards. Send them all to prison. Give them windowless cells and make them crap in buckets.

All in all, Dodgeball was a very strenuous experience for me, kind of like passing a kidney stone or talking to a stranger at a bus stop. It’s a relentless, hard slog and, although I can understand people wanting to master it, it’s not exactly entertaining. It’s so repetitive that it just becomes dull after a short while and ends up having all the entertainment value of a self-inflicted headwound, and after all the frustration of playing Dodgeball, I know what that feels like.

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