Posted by Marcus Sellars follow him on Twitter
Ultra Hyperball is an action sports party game where you compete in the ultimate sport of Hyperball! In this game you have to keep a ball bouncing on your head this sounds simple right? It definitely starts out simple but it adds new mechanics like tilt controls where you use the Nintendo Switches motion controls to move your character sized to side. I do wish there was a way to change your motion control sensitivity in this game as I personally think that would help the tilt controls to run a little smother. Spring Loaded the developers of this game said they may add this in later down the road but I think generally the motion controls run just fine. You can re-calibrate the tilt controls by pressing L or ZL.
The single player is really funny as it has some great dialogue in which made me laugh quite a lot. It is centered around a seventeen year old boy who works in his parents ramen noodle shop. Jay the young boy however wants to take on the sport of Hyperball and become a professional at it. His parents on the other hand want him to takeover the noodle shop even though his noodles are always dry when he makes dishes. This dialogue happens just before the levels start with a cut-scene. There is never to much text that it becomes tiresome to read as its not before every level normally just the first of each row of levels. You can always skip the text but i liked to read it as it adds a bit of backstory to why Jay is pursuing this unusual career.
You get graded every time you hit the ball so if you hit it just at the right height you get a ‘perfect’ then if you slightly miss time your jump you get a ‘great’ and if you completely time it wrong you get ‘poor’ which in turn decreases your height so you have to get perfects or greats to get it back up. The HD rumble in this game is by far the best use of the feature I’ve seen from any game so far on the Nintendo Switch as it seems so satisfying when you get a ‘perfect’. I try to get perfects because you get a higher score and it just feels so good with the sound effects you get and the HD rumble.
Ultra Hyperball also has such a great art style which definitely suits the game as the characters look really good. I especially like the backgrounds as they are Japanese shops with lots of color and character. In the tilt and run levels you move across the stage but it cuts off at each side and comes onto the other one. So if you hit it to the left of you and it goes off screen it will appear on the right which can get confusing especially with tilt controls. I wish the level scrolled with you as that would completely solve this issue but it isn’t a massive problem at all.
One game mode that i found myself struggling with was team mode as you have to use the Switches touchscreen and control multiple characters at once! This is insanely difficult as you have to keep an eye on all the balls and if you miss one its game over. So I actually had to use multiple people for this game mode as i just couldn’t complete it by myself. All play methods feel really unique and I appreciate the developers used the all the switches features in this game as it keeps the gameplay feeling fresh and different each time you play. This game also has 49 characters to unlock which you get by either getting a certain height or getting gold in a level. Some of these characters are locked behind multiplayer modes which is good as it has an incentive to play the game with your family or friends. I could see for some people if they like just playing by themselves this wouldn’t be good as you cant collect all the players. My friends loved playing this game and we found ourselves getting really competitive as we wanted gold or to unlock a character and if someone messed up we made them do a forfeit which I found was rather funny! I do think this game is best played with friends as it has a battle mode as well as levels so theres endless content really. It supports up to 4 players locally but doesn’t support split Joy-Cons in the grip as the character select screen sees it as two Joy-Cons sideways. It does support the Pro Controller which is my preferred play method. All in all ultra Hyperball is a really unique sports game with a funny single payer but it really shines in the multiplayer. For all these reasons I give Ultra Hyperball a great score of 8/10