We're looking for new writers to join us!

First Impression - NPPL: Championship Paintball 2009

by: Ben Berry -
More On: Blog
From time to time when you agree to review a game, the PR firm slips another game in the envelope with the one you're reviewing. They usually do this to get a game that hasn't gotten a lot of notice in front of a few more people. And they don't even ask you to review it. They're just hoping you'll give it a look and if you like it, you'll mention it on the site. I know this is part of the "inside baseball" some readers don't care about. But every once in a while the game they slip in the envelope is better than the one you actually agree to review. For some in the gaming public, NPPL: Championship Paintball 2009 would be one of those games.

NPPL 2009 is a product of FUN Labs and Activision. It is to paintball what all the WWE games are to wrestling, giving the player the opportunity to take the place of his or her favorite professional paintballer, and compete in tournaments across the globe. While paintball doesn't have anywhere near the following that wrestling does, it's a decent first person shooter, at least in short bursts.

This game has a lot going for it. You can play in exhibition mode where you're just joining a team and going out to shoot the crap out of your opponent, against the AI. You can do the same against human opponents in online games over Xbox Live. When you are playing in career mode, you take over the management of a team, and aside from running around shooting up opponents, you're also responsible for picking your teammates, setting active lineups, and purchasing equipment upgrades for your team paid for by winning tournaments.

This isnt to say the game is all-together perfect. For one thing, it's a single player game locally. Games like this are a lot more fun in a multiplayer format, and while Xbox Live works for this, I've found short team matches are better for local multiplayer. That's the other major flaw I've found so far. Many of the individual matches are over in like a minute or two tops. The battles are occasionally intense, but they are incredibly short. While the matches are fun while they last, a full tournament takes only a few minutes to complete.

I'm still playing my way through, and I'm hoping the courses get more complex and the battles longer, but right now it seems like a fun game that might be good for paintball players looking for a way to play when there's two feet of snow outside, or FPS junkies looking for a fix when they don't have long to play.