Balls and Bikinis
When it comes to volleyball games on the PS2, there aren’t too many games to choose from, which is why Take Two and developer Hypnotix are working on Outlaw Volleyball Remixed. Essentially a remake of 2003’s Outlaw Volleyball for the Xbox, Outlaw Volleyball Remixed will add some extra content, but it otherwise keeps the trademark over-the-top action the same. Outlaw Volleyball Remixed has a wealth of gameplay options. For a straightforward game, you can choose exhibition mode, which lets you select from a variety of gameplay options, including scoring conditions and the number of points needed to win. There will also be exotic gameplay modes, including random play, in which your characters are selected for you at random, and finally tour mode, which you can play to unlock new characters and options.
Needless to say, it wouldn’t be an Outlaw game without the cast of wacky characters and the exotic settings. Outlaw Volleyball Remixed will add a new court (an aircraft carrier that also appears in the upcoming Outlaw Tennis) as well as a new unlockable character named Trixie. The PS2 version will also have new loading screens with tips and tutorials to help sharpen your game. The core mechanics of the volleyball game are pretty cut-and-dried, using an oscillating power meter to gauge your serves, using targets on the court surface to show where the ball is heading, and giving your spikes more power the longer you hold the button. In all, the gameplay is responsive, if a touch forgiving. Hard spikes are too easy to bump, and it’s rare that you’ll be unable to recover from a shot that ends up beyond the back line of the court - which can make for some lengthy volleys.
The characters still retain their near-toxic levels of naughty, men’s magazine-style sex appeal, but the character models feel more mechanical now, especially since everyone shares the exact same canned animations out on the court. The female characters are voluptuous to an idealized extreme and clad in the minimum amount of skintight lycra that the law will allow. The bawdy hi-jinks remain the same, and your characters will taunt and flirt and even fight with one another. The fight mode is similar to that of a fighting game, and you can punch and kick an opponent to the ground. You’ll actually want to choose your opponent carefully, because you can pick fights in order to try to steal the other player’s momentum. Succeed, and you’ll perform better when spiking and serving. Definitely a game for a group of male flat-mates, and despite the obvious benefits - actually remains a decent volleyball game with some amusing twists.