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OS Scores Explained Disc Jam Overview (PS4)
Pros
Addictive gameplay, easy to learn, very competitive.
Cons
Only one arena and four characters to choose from, online connectivity a bit sketchy, no stats or record keeping.
Bottom Line
Disc Jam features simplistic, yet addictive and competitive gameplay.
6.5
out of 10
Disc Jam REVIEW

Disc Jam Review (PS4)

On the heels of the massive success that is Rocket League comes High Horse Entertainment’s Disc Jam. A quick pick-up-and-play match-style game between two players (or two teams) with basic controls, simple rules and a whole lot of fun. It features gameplay that is addicting, but after playing the game for a little over a week, one has to wonder if there is enough here to keep people coming back.

Gameplay

Disc Jam is to volleyball what Rocket League is to soccer. Each game features two players (or two teams of two), a net, some walls and a disc. You score points by sending the disc flying into your opponent’s back wall -- think of it as a net -- or if your opponent lets it hit the floor on their side. Once you hit 50 points you win the set, and you need to win two of the three sets in order to win the match.

There are three basic throws: X for a hard throw, Square for a lob, and L2/R2 for curves. You can, of course, use the left thumb stick to modify and aim your throws. When the disc is thrown your way, you catch it simply by being in position and cutting it off before it hits the back wall. If you’re too far away and won’t be able to get there in time, use the Square button to rush over and make the stop just in time.

If you want something more devastating than a catch, instead of just letting it come to you, tap a throw button as soon as you catch it to send it back over to your opponent at a much higher speed. And if you have enough time, stand under a lobbed disc to charge up and use a special throw. There are three in the game, but you can only assign one to your character at a time, so pick your favorite.

After a few matches, you’ll have the basics down and move on to strategies: knowing when to lob vs. using a straight throw, understanding how to use the walls to your advantage, and things of that sort. After dozens of matches I’m still refining the way I play, which is impressive, given the simplicity of the gameplay controls.

The game features four unique characters, although one has to think more could be added down the line. Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some characters are really strong while lacking speed, while the speed demons don’t have much power. Controls are the same no matter the character, but each person’s Square-button "slide" defense is a tad different.

Presentation

This game doesn’t feature a lot of bells and whistles, but the presentation is perfectly fine for this type of game. The main menu is very straight forward, so don’t worry about getting lost in a web of clunky menus. You can easily find your way to starting a new match, customizing your character or taking a turn at the prize machine (more on that later).

During gameplay, you’ll find a scoreboard at the top that shows the score of the current game as well as the set score. The graphics and effects are definitely on the cartoony side, which is absolutely appropriate for this game. It’s fun to sling a disc right past your opponent, score and then hear the siren go off as your opponent goes flying across the screen.

Online

The importance of online is critical here because there is no single-player mode whatsoever in the game. There is, however, a LAN option. My online experience has been a mixed bag so far. Once I am connected, I’ve maybe had maybe three to five matches that featured any lag, and of those, only one or two were noticeably bad. I’ve played dozens of matches so far, so this is pretty impressive.

The problem, however, is connecting to a match. It was quite painful the first few days, but the developers did confirm they were experiencing server issues and that they were working to get them corrected. Ever since then, it’s been much, much better. Still, it does take a bit longer than I’d like to connect to a match. Suffice to say, two-player matches connect quicker than four-player matches. All that said, the improvement has been noticeable, so there’s plenty of reason for optimism going forward.

Lasting Appeal

To me, this is the big question with Disc Jam. Everything still feels relatively fresh. Is there enough right now to keep players engaged? The lack of any single-player mode isn’t a huge deal, but then you better come correct with some other features to keep coming back for more.

Currently, the only offering is the prize machine. You earn points in game based on how well you play, and after you accumulate 1,000 points, you get to pull the lever and out comes new taunts, outfits and more. It’s a cute little novelty, but very bare bones and certainly nothing that will ensure return players.

Now, some of you might say, “Who cares if there are no other features! I’m here for the gameplay, baby! I just want to go out and dominate and see how my record stacks up against the best Disc Jammers across the planet.” To which I say, “You can’t.”

Because, currently, there are no stats or record keeping of any kind whatsoever. And I’m not even talking about tracking “super throws” or “killer saves” or anything like that. You don’t even get a wins-losses tally, much less a leaderboard. To be fair, the developers have stated that ranked play will come down the line, along with additional game modes and maps, and all for free. With no current ETA for implementation, it’ll be interesting to see if players stick around long enough to enjoy these promised updates.

Final Thoughts

Disc Jam is in an interesting place. It has the solid foundation for a classic game in the same vein of Rocket League. The characters are fun, the gameplay is competitive and addicting, and it keeps bringing you back for more.

But it’s hard it ignore what’s not there. The arena doesn’t feel stale to me yet, but after a few weeks of gameplay, I imagine it would or could. And without any record keeping, there’s really no sense of continued accomplishment.

It reminds me of watching your favorite professional sports team in the preseason. Yes, I’m happy that basketball is back. And yes, I’m really happy that my team looks great out there. But now that we’re halfway through the preseason, I’m ready to fast forward to the regular season. It’s time for the games to count.

That’s not to say I’m giving up on Disc Jam until more features are released. Quite the opposite, in fact. The gameplay has me hooked in a way that I don’t see myself putting this one down for a long time.

Score: 6.5 (Above Average)

 


Member Comments
# 1 snc237 @ 03/20/17 05:41 PM
wanna play it for Xbox. Damn you PS4 lol
 
# 2 oneamongthefence @ 03/26/17 07:05 PM
This game is addictive. Easy to learn hard to master. Hopefully features are added because this a good foundation to build upon. The only issue is user base. It sometimes takes a while to get into a match.

Sent from my LGAS992 using Operation Sports mobile app
 
# 3 Bigg Cee @ 03/28/17 09:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneamongthefence
This game is addictive. Easy to learn hard to master. Hopefully features are added because this a good foundation to build upon. The only issue is user base. It sometimes takes a while to get into a match.

Sent from my LGAS992 using Operation Sports mobile app
This game is going no we're without a Win/Lose leaderboard. I love the gameplay and thinking of different ways to outsmart your opponent, but all that won't matter if we don't get a leaderboard soon. Nothing worse then playing for nothing, even if leaderboards are a waste. I just want to know how good or bad I've been.

Weekly wins and overall wins would be great for this game on a competitive level. I'm surprised they never added it in during launch.
 
# 4 oneamongthefence @ 03/28/17 09:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Cee
This game is going no we're without a Win/Lose leaderboard. I love the gameplay and thinking of different ways to outsmart your opponent, but all that won't matter if we don't get a leaderboard soon. Nothing worse then playing for nothing, even if leaderboards are a waste. I just want to know how good or bad I've been.

Weekly wins and overall wins would be great for this game on a competitive level. I'm surprised they never added it in during launch.
We do get a bunch of pointless unlockables for playing though.

Sent from my LGAS992 using Operation Sports mobile app
 
# 5 Bigg Cee @ 04/02/17 12:40 AM
This game is so dead!
 
# 6 bcruise @ 04/03/17 11:55 PM
Just HAD to go and add stat tracking and skill based matchmaking the same night Persona came out, didn't you?!

Oh well....will definitely be trying this out in the next few days when I can squeeze it in - this is what I've been waiting for to get back into the game. Fortunately it's a very quick pick up and play type of game.
 
# 7 countryboy @ 04/04/17 12:00 PM
I like it!

Hope the new update makes finding a match easier/quicker.
 
# 8 Bigg Cee @ 04/04/17 06:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryboy
I like it!

Hope the new update makes finding a match easier/quicker.
no it won't. The game is just dead in general. There's no community at all for this game...sure u might find a match here and there but overall it's dead and night time is pretty much impossible.

I want this game to succeed so bad because it really is fun stuff and once DLC comes out it should get better, but as it stands right now the game is a ghost town on PS4. Sucks!
 
# 9 nuttyrich @ 08/15/17 01:58 AM
Wow something so simple as a win/loss... I mean that's as basic as you can get.

It's a shame because from the reviews and what I've seen on youtube, this game could of found a nice Niche, especially if released when there's a LULL in the sports world!

Maybe another developer can take it over???

If the game sucked, that would be fine dead in the water, but seems to have good potential.
 

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