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Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball is a simple competitive sports game that twists the traditional rules of dodgeball to create a more fast paced version. The characters in the game, primarily pirates and ninja, are a result of the classic Internet meme of "Who would win in a fight, Pirates or Ninja?". Published by GameCock Media, Pirates vs. Ninjas was released on Xbox Live Arcade on September 3, 2008, and is set for a future release on Nintendo Wii. The Wii version will presumably include more options, as the limited release of the XBLA edition could not possibly be translated to a full retail release. It is expected in the first quarter of 2009.
There are three main modes of play, each for up to four players, either locally or online. Most game types centre around the basic idea that the first team to run out of all its health will lose the game, and there is little variation between them. Throwing, catching and deflecting balls are performed with the face buttons, with a basic dodge function on the right stick. Balls are picked up automatically when a character is near them. If a thrown ball is caught, the thrower loses health while the the catcher regains some. If a ball deflects it has a chance of hitting the original thrower, but they can also either catch it or deflect it yet again, leading to some volleyball- or tennis-like rallies between teams. Each individual character has a special ability, for instance one of the Ninjas can become temporarily invisible. Additionally, characters can attack with weapons when not in possession of a ball in order to put opponents off.
The team list includes Pirates, Ninja, Robots and Zombies, with other teams being made available as downloadable content in the future. Each team has four playable characters with their special ability:
- Fernando Consuela - Fernando throws a large Bomb at his opponents. Anyone caught in the explosion will be stunned.
- Gerard "Uncle" Murphy - Gerard calls out his pet Parrot, Pollyanna, to steal the ball from an opponent.
- Samantha Crescent - Samantha blows a kiss and if the projectile heart hits an opponent they will be charmed temporarily, causing them to switch sides and fight for the pirates.
- Robert Crescent - Robert jumps up in the air, does some spins and flips and lands squarely on his peg-leg. This causes the ground to crack sending out a shockwave that knocks down anyone caught in it.
- Pachinko-X - Pachinko channels his mysterious powers to teleport the ball directly into hands.
- Minoru Suzuki - Minoru throws out a trio of shurikens. If anyone is hit they will be stunned temporarily.
- Kasumi Yamamoto - Kasumi headbutts her opponent causing them to be temporarily stunned.
- Hideki Miyamoto - Hideki’s suit is able to cloak giving himself temporary invulnerability to attacks.
- Jaws McGee - Jaws burrows into the ground when he wants to quickly move around an arena. He can dig out at a moment’s notice to surprise the enemy.
- Forrest “Bones” MacAroy - Forrest throws one of his bones at his opponents, that if hit, will temporarily stun them.
- Ol' Ben Greazer - Ol’ Ben summons his zombified dog, Chester, to recover the ball when it’s in play. Chester will race to the ball, grab it, and return to his master.
- Miss Jenni - Jenni has built in jetpacks that can lift her off the ground and out of range of melee attacks.
- JD109 - Shoots a ray at opponents that will temporarily freeze them upon impact.
- Rhonda Naildriver - Rhonda turns on her high beams stunning opponents that get caught in their massive light.
- Clayton Boltmaster - Clayton takes his powerful wrench and slams it to the ground causing a major shockwave extending 8 meters out from the impact point.