Championship Paintball 2009 Xbox 360 review

Is playing with paint on an Xbox fun, or like watching the stuff dry? Michael finds out...

NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 features multiple game modes, officially licensed gear, and authentic tournament locations and field layouts from the NPPL, the Millennium European Paintball Series, and the XPSL. Players can perfect their skills as they progress from Amateur to Pro in career mode and take on the best paintball teams in the world, or get online if you prefer adrenaline cutthroat multiplayer action. I can’t really tell you any more than that as its pretty straightforward from here.

There are different game modes here such as the quick Exhibition mode that lets you to set up a 1-on-1, up to a 7-on-7 match. There’s an online match section and an online multiplayer game mode if you’re on X-box Live. You start by putting yourself in one of five teams such as the Psycho Rivals, Last Silence, Search & Destroy, Dark Illusion and The Coalition (I went for Psycho Rivals, myself). Then you select members of your team and work your way up by playing in various games in places such as USA and the UK amongst others.

This game started off quite good in Quick Play mode, I had no idea what I was doing, but I gave it a shot, but eventually I found the whole experience rather boring and monotonous because you just go through an almost neverending cycle of games and when you do actually manage to win any matches, there is no celebration or excitement, just a “Yeah, awesome” by your player and that’s it. I felt cheated; the introduction lied to me…. badly.

I thought I’d try the Career mode…my goodness, I wished I hadn’t!

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Let me tell you about Career mode, shall I? It is considerably like watching paint dry, boring and time consuming. You actually feel like you’re in a trance as you weave in and out of the areas, looking for, and shooting the other team and hunting for their flag to capture. Once you’re bored, even shooting your own team-mates isn’t satisfying. All you have to really do is leg it (AKA Sprint) to your rival’s flag and leg it (AKA Sprint) back to win each game. WOW! My life is so much better now… NOT.

As in every aspect of the different game play modes, the other team (once you have captured their flag) just seem to ‘vanish’ into thin air and don’t give chase to shoot you and get it back. I was shouting to my team to “Cover me,” and “Let’s go,” but they had already gone and just ignored me and looked to be chatting with one another when I got back to the base. Had I done something wrong? Had I insulted one of the team member’s mum? You tell me. It was a very uninspiring and lonely experience.

This isn’t a very good game graphically either. The characters look very unnatural, unrealistic and like shop room dummies. They ignore every command you give them and the look on their faces back at base seems to be saying, “You don’t belong here, boy.” It seemed to me that they all knew something I didn’t, and I felt as though at any minute the X-Files theme would be heard in the background.

The only thing that seemed to save it for me was the choice between the different types of arenas and the woodland areas. As an example, in the woodland areas you could run around and hide behind trains, trees and other things and it really made me feel like I was in a real paintball game, well, as real as it could be. But even then I got bored pretty quickly.

Also, I found that the background music DROVE ME MAD, its rock music constantly with the ‘odd’ hip hop track thrown in to catch you off guard. I found going into the options screen and turning the music OFF did me the world of good. Why DO game developers INSIST on ROCK MUSIC in their games?

In a nutshell then? Activision… where did it all go wrong, guys?

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If you’re a paintball enthusiast then you may be better off playing the actual game for real, as this game doesn’t deliver, but if you’re not into paintball in any shape or form, then steer clear of this title.


2 out of 5