Let’s get my main gripe out of the way early lest it taint your opinion on what is actually an addictively fun game to play. Matchmaking is painfully slow and connection to the servers seemed a little unstable at times, I can’t categorically say it was the fault of the game, but if this happens to you too I had some luck with closing the application down and restarting it.
I’d recommend fumbling your way through the two short tutorials when getting started with Disc Jam. It does a decent enough job at showing you the basics while still leaving you with a steep enough learning curve that at first can seem rather bewildering.
The special moves seem impossible to pull off at first, and many points are scored via pure luck and/or an opponent mistake. Those you stick out this initial period are rewarded amply with an increased feeling of mastery, and very quickly you develop your own playing style and skillset which you can pull out of the locker at will.
Doubles is easily the most fun to play and getting a good group is a thing of beauty and worth keeping hold of for as long as possible. This desire is pronounced further by the sheer length of time it takes to wait for three extra people to make up the Ultimate Frisbee Foursome.
Luckily in the wait to find a group you can do various other things like ‘spinning’ for new quirky additions to your favourite characters. Such as new poses, clothes and gamer tags.
This is a great feature which adds an extra dimension to gameplay and gives the player a sense of achievement in the process. Offline, one can create their perfect persona but offline you find yourself bereft of all these options except the standard attire. The ability to turn your throwing disc of choice into an alien space arc or even a spare tyre is a particular highlight.
But if doubles is your thing be prepared to wait it out, and it would be handy to have some other things to occupy your mind during the waits. Homework due in? Catching up on social media? You get the idea…
So far I’ve had a little luck jumping over the pond to play with my Yank counterparts in US East. Those guys sure know how to bring their A – Game!
The wait for singles seems a lot smaller however, so if you get sick of waiting and want a more fast paced game then you can hone your skills as a 1v1 PvP machine.
There is something distinctly satisfying about beating an opponent 1v1. And finding yourself on the losing edge can quickly stir in you the need for disc shaped Federer style beat down!
Handily the boys Jay and Tim have done a wonderful job.
There is a handy rematch option which can ramp the enjoyment factor up 5X if you find an opponent who you are evenly matched with, and 10X if you find the rarest of things a doubles group who you are perfectly balanced with. There is something magical about seeing four players sprint, dive, duck and roll around the screen. In an epic interplay of reaction time, tactical know-how and thinking on your feet in real-time.
The concept is not unlike Tennis in that players attempt to hit an object over the net into the opponent’s area. However, the twist of throwing a frisbee instead of a ball adds an unexpected element to the game. The end result ends up being a cross between ultimate frisbee and air-hockey! A most peculiar mixture to be sure. However, one which if I was to not not be unkind I would have to say is very enjoyable.
The minor gripes stop this game from being a solid 9/10, chief amongst them is that the player base isn’t up there yet with the big games.
If the unthinkable happens and the hundreds of thousand PS4 PSN Plus members take the game into their hearts then the result may well be the biggest cult classic since the days of NBA Jam circa, PS One fame! When the ridiculous jumps, wacky characters and straight up addictive PvP gameplay had many a young boy hundled around his gaming device schooling his mates on the finer arts of how to pull off a triple lateral spinning double handed dunk with Shaquille O’Neal and co!
Overall: a solid 8 / 10 gaming experience. And one that would be worth a punt at £7.99 or something like that. The fact that it’s free in the month of March with a PSN membership is a major win!