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Soccer Superstars Review: Just for Kicks

Gamevil has been a consistent producer on the App Store with many quality titles.  Above Zenonia and Hyrbid Eternal Whisper, I would have to say Baseball Superstars has been my favorite game from then.  It featured a ton of content along with endless fun, and the cartoony atmosphere was just wonderful.

So when they announced Soccer Superstar as their next sports title, I was more than intrigued, as I haven’t exactly encountered “arcade” soccer before.  Sure, there’s been arcade baseball, basketball (somewhat), hockey, and all that great stuff.  Soccer was something totally new to me, and I was eager to try it out and see what this bright-colored soccer game was all about.

Likes

Colors: I would usually put the graphics and artwork part here, and that’s all fine and dandy, but the colors were what really stood out to me.  And when I say stood out, I mean it literally.  The somewhat bright green grass along the vibrant blues and oranges really stood out to me as one thing: colorful.  I think Gamevil did a solid work of putting the right hues in the right places, and I don’t really have much to complain about.

Dramatic mode: I honestly think this gameplay mode is something that only really works in a game such as this.  The dramatic mode is a gameplay mode in which you have to accomplish certain missions, such as tying the score with 1 minute left in the game, or scoring and beating the team with only a few seconds left.  Each mission is well-varied, and this is probably one of the more intriguing modes of the batch.

Content: Content is going to be just like any other soccer game.  You have the season mode, exhibition, cup, and league, along with the dramatic mode.  All of that should last around 40 hours of gameplay, maybe even more.  It depends on how much replay value you put on soccer games, as I tend to play the cup and season mode a lot.

Dislikes

Menu and UI: What can I say… the in-game pause button was way too small; it didn’t register with my taps.  The main menu configuration was very sluggish, and it was also very clunky.  Most of the buttons were also very small, and the text was somewhat difficult to read.  This seems to be a problem with most Gamevil games, and it should be something they should start focusing on.  This is Game #7 or so and about one to one and a half years into it, I would think they would have learned their lesson.  Apparently not.

Control sensitivity: I find myself constantly pressing the pass or shoot button multiple times, and it still won’t register.  Sure, you see the blue or red power bar underneath your character, but they don’t seem to want to execute your commands.  I even changed the menu option from semi-auto to manual, and I still see players moving around on their own, not passing the ball when I tell them to, and not shooting the ball when I’m right in front of the goal.  You have to admit, it does start to get a little frustrating after a few hours.

Graphical glitches: Sometimes I’ll see players rapidly moving left and right, and while it’s not a huge problem, it’s something worth mentioning.

Player switching: I may be wrong, but I can’t seem to find an option to switch players on the field.  It automatically switches players to whoever is closest to the ball, and while that’s all handy dandy, it would be nice to include a button to switch players manually.  Along with that, the automatic switching sometimes goes a bit overboard, and there will be times when the switching goes between three players in a matter of milliseconds.  You’ll see the “P” (which means that’s your guy) sign moving rapidly throughout the screen.

Music: This seems to be an option that should be in there from the get go.  I want to listen to my iPod music, and I don’t want to be listening to Soccer Superstar tunes all the time.  This is something that should have been implemented from launch, and right now, I don’t even see options for in-game iPod playlists.

Soccer Superstars is a fun, fun game that I enjoy.  They got that part of the game down, but once it comes to the technical stuff, the game seems to fall apart.  Graphical glitches, player switching annoyances, menu and UI issues… the whole list is right above me.  And it’s not like they’re small issues, such as the controls being too intolerant.  While I’m sure Gamevil will update the game to improve the overall experience, for now, I’d say it’s worth a look for people drooling for another soccer experience.  For those just looking for a casual, quick fix, Soccer Superstars is still one to two updates away from being the game to beat.

Soccer Superstars was developed by Gamevil, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99.




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