Review: SpritSphere DX (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: SpritSphere DX (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Some crazy arcade action in a Zelda-like aesthetic.

Developer Eendhoorn and publisher Fabraz (Slime-san) knew they had something special with SpiritSphere DX. Originally released on Steam in early 2017, this DX release is labeled as the ultimate edition of the game. Classified as a sports title, SpiritSphere looks to bring something different to the ever-growing library of Switch indie titles.

For the uninitiated, SpiritSphere DX is a cross between old school Zelda, tennis and air hockey. In regular matches, players control one of the many sprite based characters in one-on-one matches against another character. The objective is to smash a sphere into your opponent’s goal. The sphere can be hit with a basic attack (Y), a powered attack (A) that players can guide after hitting with the joystick, or by simply running into it. Each character also has a dash move (B) and the ability to use a variety of weapons (X) that appear in stages. It’s a simple concept that is easy to pick up and play which makes it accessible to players of all skill types.

On top of the regular matches, players can also play Squash and a Target Mode. Squash has players taking turns at hitting the sphere at the bottom wall in an attempt to get it past their opponent to score a goal. Goals can also be scored when a character interferes with the ball when it’s not their turn. Target Mode has players trying to hit objects in the middle of the stage with the sphere. Hitting these gives time bonuses however if the sphere gets past the the player penalties come in the form of time deductions. The goal is to score as many points as you can before the time runs out. It’s hectic and ended up being a lot more fun than I originally thought it would be. Other modes include a Boss Mode (multiplayer only 1 vs 2 mode with one player as the boss character) and the Hand2Hand (playing in portable mode with two players vertically).

Although the main focus of SpiritSphere is local multiplayer, the game does feature some single player offerings. There is a campaign mode in the game featuring ten stages with varying rule types. It includes an incredibly light story and is clearly not the focal point. Multiplayer is where it’s at with SpiritSphere DX. The more players you have the better. To entice players to spend their hard earned in-game cash, the Sphere Fountain accepts 100 coins at a time in exchange for unlockables. These range from different outfits for the characters to different types of spheres. Duplicate items appear quite often however, making this a little bit frustrating.

Upon first look, it is easy to confuse SpiritSphere DX with an old-school 2D Zelda title. The pixel art is crisp, varied and has numerous nods to Nintendo’s Hyrule adventures of the past. The stages themselves feature callbacks like cuttable grass, iconic pots and even skeletons that look like they’ve come straight out of Zelda. This visual style makes the game stand out as a sports title and shows that Eeendhoorn is attempting to draw in gamers that would usually stay away from the genre.

SpiritSphere DX is a real joy. The game controls great, the graphics are super slick and the fast paced action is enjoyable. While there is some fun to be had with the game in single player, the local multiplayer is the main focus here. If you’re in the market for a party game on Switch, SpiritSphere DX is a great pick up.

Final Score: 8.0

[Review code provided by the publisher]

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