Summer Heat Beach Volleyball
Last winter, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball's sweat-sheened lasses warmed Xbox fans' hearts, leaving envious PS2 owners out in the cold. The good news is that Acclaim has finally found a surrogate to sate your desire--only she's a bit on the homely side. Summer Heat isn't exactly pretty--she has the plastic luster and improbable proportions of a dime-store Barbie knockoff, and the static beaches she frequents appear to be located in Dullsville. Neither is Heat big on extraneous DOA -style fluff like sun worship, slot machines, or shopping sprees-- although she will indulge you with a few unlockable swimsuits and music video clips from her crummy CD collection. But for all the T&A trappings, this gal is actually talented at her titular sport. The controls are simple yet deep--three buttons control bumps, blocks, sets, and spikes--so non-committed players can easily keep the ball bouncing back and forth, and pros who demand precision can perfect their diving saves and smash drops.
When I first booted up Summer Heat, prepared for a bad DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball clone. But what I got was a surprisingly decent game of v-ball that didn't stink like the rotting beached whale carcass I expected. I agree with Paul's assessment of the controls, though most of my matches devolved into playing follow-the-arrow at backcourt while my A.I. partner tore it up in front. Still, if you own a PS2 and want to knock some balls around in the sand, go for it.
Forgoing the teasing filiation of DOA, Summer Heat instead delivers a straightforward sports simulation. Unfortunately, Shawn's all wrong about the control. Heat's mushy scheme relies too heavily on context, making your beach bunny set when you intended an unstoppable spike, and its overbearing interface banishes guesswork (and psych-out strategy) from the game. Still, the virtual volleyball action is fast-paced and fun, with enough unlockable venues, characters, and minigames to keep you indoors all summer, safe from the sunlight that ruins the gamer's trademark pallor.
Download Summer Heat Beach Volleyball
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP