of the more popular 3DO titles released has made it's way to the PlayStation.
Studio 3DO has taken care of the conversion themselves to insure the integrity
of the port and to keep the gameplay intact.
BattleSport is a futuristic sports shoot 'em up fest that has quite
recently become somewhat popular in the home console marketplace. You get to
strap yourself into one of a handful of space age hover type tanks and face off
against the computer or a friend in a no holds barred battle to the finish.
For those of you familiar with the recently released game "BallBlazer
Champions", BattleSport is very similar in nature and raw gameplay, but
vastly different strategies are employed between the too...
Anyway...select your tank, choose you weapons and be prepared to
face-off against some of the most brutal characters this side of the 21st
century...it's time for BattleSport!
is a futuristic first person shooter, waged in hover tanks.
lack of a better word (or words), the graphics in BattleSport are rather raw or
bare-bones. In other words (you knew there would be some!), the graphics get
right to point and don't waste too much time being fancy.
This, at least for me, is not a bad thing. Everything in the game is
clearly definable and crisp...another by-product is the speed...whoa! The
graphics move around at an eye blurring pace and not once is there any
noticeable slowdown! It sometimes becomes hard trying to track the ball or the
other players ship it's so quick, but that's a good thing because it just
increases the overall challenge. Even in two-player split screen mode, the
speed factor stays consistently fast and the graphics lose none of it's detail!
The view is from a first person perspective, so you don't get to see
your own ship while playing, but the enemy ships are clearly defined and easy to
spot. You get a choice of six ships, each modeled differently and all are very
futuristic looking...just not real colorful.
The arenas are also modeled very nicely and vary in appearance from
each other. Overall you get to choose from over 50 playing fields, each with
their own theme and unique challenge. Some stadiums have ramps, others have
objects littered about that you (or the enemy) can hide behind and some are just
barren, with a few pillars thrown in for good measure. Overall, I thought the
arenas were done very well and never did objects in the area become overly
obtrusive or adversely affect the gameplay...so the arena graphics are nice.
Next you have your now standard, futuristic glowing orb that must be
shot into a futuristic "goal". Actually, the orb isn't quite so "standard",
in that you get two types of flavors...One is a glowing bluish white that varies
in size, depending on the playing field and the other looks like a burnt orange
wild berrie (the ones with all of the little bumps on them). The orbs are in
constant motion around the arena, but stand out quite nicely from everything
else, so they are easy to spot.
So I guess there you have it...the graphics are very functional
without a lot of flash. Very good, just not cutting edge.
features some nifty sound effects. Everything is nicely done, from the hover
tank sounds to the sound your tank makes when it gets ripped apart from an enemy
missile. The only problem is that for the most part, they are not
dominating...even when turned up to the maximum settings allowed within the game
menu, most of the sounds play a backseat to the overall game experience. This
for me was rather disappointing, as I enjoy the sound in games almost as much as
the eye-candy and always felt it added to the most important factor of all...the
gameplay. Yes, everything seems to be in there and covered from a sound effects
perspective, it just doesn't add anything to the adrenaline rush of the game...a
The background music is done well enough and fits the mood of the
game, but again...nothing noteworthy that stands out in my mind.
There is also an announcer of sorts that introduces the players and
keeps track of things like the player getting the ball, shields being
re-energized, and getting or missing a goal. The voice never really gets
annoying or obtrusive, but if it's not to your liking you have the option of
turning it off. Crowd noise is also included in this game and adds a nice touch
of realism. Crowd noises can also be toggled on or off from the option control
may be starting to sound a bit repetitive (something every reviewer fears!), but
the gameplay is also rather raw...It's got a "get in there and
score...destroy or be destroyed" feel to it. Now don't get me
wrong...there is a good degree of strategy, cunning and deception required to be
consistently victorious, but the gameplay moves about so quickly it's hard to
think about stuff like that until you give the game some time and discover it's
A typical one player game starts out like so....
You are treated to a very nice opening FMV depicting a typical war
being waged against the two opponents (man, I can't wait until consoles have the
power to actually let you play a game with graphics like these...) in a selected
arena. Press the START button and you are brought to the menu screen where you
have the choice of selecting Instant Action, Instant Action Setup, 1 Player or 2
Player Exhibition or Tournament modes. Instant Action drops you right into the
game with the presets you assigned from the Instant Action Setup screen. This
can be a one or two player game with 3 three minute periods. You can enter you
name, select a tank, choose an opponent, pick an arena or let the console assign
a random one out of the 50 or so playing fields, and finally set the shot clock
to on or off. All of this information is automatically saved to a memory card
slot if a card is present. The best way though to get used to the game is to
begin in 1 Player Exhibition mode. You have all of the options available to you
from the Instant Action mode plus you can now set the time of the periods (from
1 to 9 minutes) or have a score based battle ranging from 1 goal to 99...anyway,
you are presented with a very nice menu interface for all of info being thrown
at you...First up, enter you name...then select your arena. Not only do the
arena's differ from one another, but the ball size and goals are also effected
(a bit more on that later)...next it's on to your opponents. There are six very
mean motha's to choose from...each with their own attributes and abilities. The
menu does a nice job giving you the backgrounds of each and every one of these
social misfits and includes a picture of each deviant. Now it's time to select
a hover tank...each tank is given six attributes; acceleration, top speed,
firepower, armor, cornering and ballhandling. It's usually a good idea to
select a ship to can match up favorable against your opponent, but hey that's
your call...Now you will want to arm your baby with all of the latest technology
before starting the battle. There are no fewer than 26 items to choose from,
ranging from a missile guidance system to a ball guidance system to track your
ball to the goal...pick your upgrades well though, as you are only allowed to
carry three at a time per game. Once you run out, your best bet is to hope a
good power-up is still left on the playing field.
The arena's are a varied lot...as mentioned earlier, some offer
protection and hiding places in the form of debris scattered about and others
are almost wide open. Also to add some spice to the game, the goals vary
greatly from field to field. The goals can be single, double or quad
sided...rotating or stationary, and ground based or hovering...hell, some of the
goals even float in constant motion around the playing field! The orbs also
range in size from small, medium to large. The are also various power-ups
scattered about such as invisibility, health, flight, blind enemy, cash and
double damage to name a few. In the Tournament Mode the cash power-up is an
important one...you need money to buy the upgrades for your ship! Collect that
Movement about the arena's consist of using the directional pad to
move forwards & backwards and to rotate left or right. The buttons are used
to shoot the ball, fire lasers, fire missiles and go to your inventory screen.
Finally the L1/R1 buttons are used to strafe left and right...by holding both
down at once, you can make your tank jump which is needed to shoot at the
Once your actually in there the gameplay gets rather frantic. Some of
your opponents are goal scoring masters while others take great joy in trying to
blast the hell out of your tank and forgoing the issue of scoring. If your ship
explodes, your screen turns red for 3 seconds before your ship is repaired and
dropped back into the arena...this is basically an eternity for the console
controlled enemy to score a goal against you, so do try to not blow up! At the
end of the game you are presented with a nice little screen that shows you all
the vital stats for that game such as shots on goal, amount of times you
destroyed the enemy, number of missiles fired, percentage of hits...and other
good stuff like that.
Tournament mode is basically the same as Exhibition, except that you
start at the bottom of the heap and must claw your way to the top by battling
all of the opponents that the game can throw at you. Arena's are selected for
you, and you are presented with new ships only after you have one a number of
battles. There are also stat tracking for your "Season" of play.
All of this may sound real good, and for the most part it is, but the
game really starts to rock in the two player mode...playing against a friend is
always much more fun and adds a certain intensity not found in the single player
A couple of things could have been done to elevate this game to a must
buy status, and amazingly these things can be taken right from the game "Ballblazer
Champions". In fact if you took the best features of both games, you would
have a clear cut, first rate game here...First, grab the "snap"
feature found in BBC...Pressing a single button would turn your ship in the
direction of the ball or towards the goal when you already had the ball. This
is a nice feature. Next, spice up the graphics...While this doesn't actually
improve the gameplay, it sure does make things look a bit nicer. The graphics
in BBC are among the best in this genre. And lastly...put in an ass-kicking
soundtrack that gets your blood pumping!
arena's, multiple ships to choose from and am assortment of bad people to do
battle with in a futuristic setting...If this kind of stuff appeals to you get
this game...It's challenging and fun to play. It's also a great two player
contest, adding basically unlimited replay value.
is a very well made game. The menu screens are wonderful to navigate and the
gameplay is as intense as anything you'll find in a futuristic sports shooter.
It's one of the games I "go to" when I have friends over. We keep logs
on some of our more interesting games, ship configurations and arena's to play
in. The problem is, as a one player game it gets very little attention from
me...I've already seen everything there is to see, and for me there is very
little to draw me back as a solo participant...
Hell, I heard they are already working a BattleSport 2 game...add some
tunnels, make key walls and debris destructible, throw in some more baddies, add
a "snap" feature, spruce up the graphics and soundtrack and you can
count me in for the sequel mister!