Ocean Beach Volley – Ocean (1989)

003I have played a fair few games in my time, but in all honesty, nothing has really stood out for me as far as amazing sports games go. However there is always a first time and this particular title for one reason or another stuck with me during my childhood and I couldn’t stop playing it. I think the first thing that struck me as particularly amazing was the intro, a lovely big Ocean logo with catchy music playing, then a huge golden trophy slowly appears on the screen. Loading up the game for this alone was worth it!

As we all know, Ocean was a big name in the video game industry back in the eighties and nineties and although a lot of games by Ocean were rushed released, (Yes, there are some bad Ocean titles too, Lethal Weapon and Total Recall come to mind) Ocean Beach Volley, for me, was something special.

Ocean Beach Volley is a 2 on 2 game of Beach Volley, go figure..
‘Well that sounds pretty boring!’ I hear you shout, and why would I put this in my top five?
For me (As old games go) this is a very addictive sports title, and one of the best looking on the Amiga. Ocean have a knack of creating polished good looking games and the graphics certainly do not disappoint. Sprites are big and cartoony and the various backdrops depicting each country you visit are really nice.

Welcome to London!
There are eight different countries to play against including France, Russia and Egypt, you start the game in your home country London England. You need to score 7 points to win a match. Your player has three basic moves, bump, set and smash. Bump is a move using both forearms to deflect a smash from your opponent, Set is used for setting up the shot for a smash shot, and smash is a move you can use if you are serving or if you want to slam the ball over the net really hard at close range.

You control both players on your team, whatever player you are in control of at the time will be shown by a big hand pointing downwards above you and a blue cursor will show where the ball is going to land, but in my experience this isn’t always accurate and sometimes the cursor shows up after it’s too late, making the game more difficult than it should be. Every match is played against the clock and when you’re close to running out of time, the music changes to faster rock’n’roll style to let you know you must hurry if you want to win that quarter million!

If I have one grudge regarding Ocean Beach Volley, it would be that it’s very difficult to get any further than level 3, (if your lucky) Yes that’s right, there seems to be an issue within the game, where every level has the same difficulty, even the first level! The CPU Players show no mercy and you will have to really concentrate and try your very hardest to beat them if you want to win the trophy. The game also has a 2 player option if you get bored with the CPU players awesomeness and you would prefer to play a friend who is less competitive.

Overall Ocean Beach Volley is a great sports game on the Amiga that will provide hours of fun and entertainment. (and frustration!)

Enjoy Life, be kind to others.

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