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Power Spike Pro Beach Volleyball is a decent beach volleyball game from French developer Carapace that has all the bells and whistles and official endorsement of a sport association, but unfortunately none of the charm or personality of EA's classic Kings of the Beach.
Power Spike features beach pro star Gabby Reece (Olympic gold medalist) along with 45 other fully licensed male and female volleyball players from the Federation of International Volleyball. Special moves such as digging, spinning, setting, blocking, and spiking are all included in the game, as are real-world beach courses that span the globe. In addition to exhibition and tournament play, you can practice different moves in practice mode. The interface is easy to learn: one key handles most actions, including serving, setting, spiking and bumping, while other keys let you pull blocks and power spikes. There are 3 difficulty levels: amateur, advanced, and pro. The computer at pro level plays a mean game of volleyball, so you must have good reflexes and precision to win at this level.
While it is a good game that simulates a sport that has not seen many computer adaptations, Power Spike ultimately lacks variety and longevity to maintain anyone's interest for long. The action boils down to bump, set, spike, defend if necessary, and repeat ad nauseum. The controls, while easy to learn, don't allow for enough control over the players to really involve you in the game, because it limits you only to determine the "trigger point" for a spike or other moves. Whether your player dives, stands, and rolls is entirely determined by the computer. In contrast to the memorable different playing styles and personalities of the opponents in Kings of the Beach, the computer-controlled teams in Power Spike all look like clones of each other.
Overall, Power Spike is a competent game that ultimately offers low replay or long-term play value due to its bland treatment of the sport. Worth a look if you are interested in a beach volleyball game (which is very few and far between) with modern pizzazz. But for sheer playability and fun, you would be better off replaying EA's Kings of the Beach.
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Power Spike Pro Beach Volleyball screenshot
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