Hot. Sweaty. Passionate. No I’m not talking about ‘the other night’, but rather the intense sport that is Football. It’s a sport that captivates much of the Earth’s population with tens of thousands of fans turning up to most Premier League matches. But what can ‘match’ the intensity of Football? Yes, that’s right…Super Soccer on the SNES.
Don’t tell me you didn’t see that one coming. Okay, so there have been many Football games on consoles over the years. Some remain popular today (FIFA and PES) while others have faded into obscurity (anyone remember ‘This is Football’?). But nothing can rival the immense realism and joy that comes from playing Super Soccer. Not even the modern FIFA games.
I’ll be honest…this game is bad, soooo bad! But for a few reasons it sticks out as an all-time classic. One of those classics that not everyone remembers, but it’s a classic to me and sometimes that is what ‘retro’ is all about right? So let’s get down to business and kick off (they get worse) with what’s so good about Super Soccer on the SNES.
First of all, it has ‘Super’ in the title. SUPER! C’mon anything with Super in the title has to be cool. Think of all those great games with Super in the title – Super Mario, Super Smash Bros, Super Monkey Ball…Superman 64….errr, okay, well the first few. Super Soccer ticks the first box on being a classic by having a great name. The best part is yet to come. Start the game up and you’ll find a world of sleek presentation, superior sound effects and a wonderful music score. Your anticipation is heightened when Super Soccer adorns the TV screen. Actually, at this point I would advise using the WC facilities before wetting yourself with excitement.
Now forget all the other modes (there aren’t many anyway), let’s just get straight into a match. No doubt you’ll want to hang around on the menu screen listening to that awesome soundtrack, but let’s remove temptation out of the way quickly and proceed. Select a team, from the wide variety, and you will instantly recognise players of the era. Once you’ve chosen your team, you can make various changes to your lineup and strategy, such as formation. Not that any of it makes a difference in this game…ohhh nooo.
Upon starting the match you are greeted with lots of colour. This is genuinely a good thing, no room for sarcasm here. In fact, graphically the game is alright – even the crowd are animated. But then it’s all downhill from there on. The view is from one end of the pitch only – so for one half you are shooting away from screen and then naturally the teams swap. This is really bizarre and means some of the animation in the game is awkward. Note the football. For starters, it uses ‘Balloon Physics’. If you kick that ball, it won’t stop! Seriously, you think it is slowing and won’t make it over the touchline, but it ALWAYS does. Then every single time you kick the ball into the air, it inflates. Now, I assume this was an attempt to make the ball seem like it is getting closer…and it works if you are shooting toward the screen…sometimes, but when the ball is kicked sideways or away from you, the ball still inflates to the same size.
The other ridiculous part to this game is the shooting. It’s utterly stupid. There are a couple of spots on the pitch where you are guaranteed to score each time – the goalkeeper doesn’t even dive until the ball is in the net. However, when you shoot from point blank range or from an angle that, in this game, you’d think would be sure to go in…the ball is always saved. And due to the weird angle the game uses, it’s nigh on impossible to score any sort of realistic goal.
The third and final aspect of Super Soccer I want to highlight is the players themselves. Now, unless you do something serious, you barely see the referee – he’s probably in the players’ bar and I don’t blame him the way these guys play. They have obviously adopted the Prison Rules Handbook because their fouls are non-existent in Super Soccer. No way are they ‘shoulder barging’. Most of the time it’s an outright punch to the gut. Get close enough to do that and you’re guaranteed to get the ball. The other thing with this game is that you control the WHOLE team! It seems like it at least. Want to control just one player to intercept the ball? Nope, Super Soccer goes one step further and enables you to control your whole team to attack the player with the ball in an organised manhunt.
You may think that the above points raised are gripes…absolutely not! Those are the exact reasons I love this game! Super Soccer is a bagful of awesome with Jolly Ranchers sweets thrown in. On your own, it kinda sucks, but play it with a mate and Super Soccer is hilarious fun. It’s just enjoyable to get used to how the game works and plays. Once you both know where the ‘sweet spots’ are to ensure a goal, then it’s mad rush to reach or prevent them being reached. For a couple of quid off the net, Super Soccer is a worth addition to your SNES library. Get it and earn the right of being a ‘Super Soccer Representative’.
: – Dedicated to my SNES which has finally bitten the dust after faithfully working for 16 years of my life. It provided me with many years of entertainment. R.I.P. Danny’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) 1992 – 2008 – :