Soccer Brawl

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 4

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3

If "futuristic" sports are going to happen, should they not have begun by now? I mean, here we are in the year 2004 and not a single robotic football player has joined the NFL, NBA players don't have Flubber attached to their shoes, and soccer players have yet to attach death rays to their arms. What a boring world we live in.

Until then, we can all enjoy the below average "Soccer Brawl." Obviously running on the "Super Sidekicks" engine, here is a game that lets players beat their opponents using lasers and soccer balls to the crotch. With a meager 14 players on the field (including goalies), this is a wide-open field of play in which to destroy (literally) the opposing team.

Each of the 8 teams comes equipped with a "head master," a player that can perform wild super moves to get the ball past the goalie. These shots need to be charged up by holding down the shoot button and every team has a different one. Of course, you'll need to avoid be punched, tackled, shot, or electrocuted by the other players to get it off.

Though it makes the claim of being original by allowing the ball to be knocked against the walls to pass/shoot, even a mild sports fan knows that indoor soccer has been around for decades (and it's arguably more enjoyable than the outdoor game). This does make for a nice gameplay quirk, so all if forgiven for the oversight. Other than these minor changes, this is still pretty much soccer as we know it today, hardly a major change.

Even though you can beat down the other team without penalty, the overall product is butchered by the control scheme. It is almost impossible to know whom you are controlling on defense as the computer makes the decision on which player you control. Random switching is not fun. Then, all of the moves are crammed onto two buttons even though the controller holds four. Two button controls for nine different moves is not fun.

The graphics hardly help things either. The running animation is just hilarious (it look like their running hurdles) and the sprites are void of any real detail. Only the half-time shows, showing cinemas of how the league came to be, are impressive. Most of the sound is relentlessly annoying, featuring an over the top announcer who doesn't shut up and a forgettable soundtrack.

I still think if sports will undergo a massive change, it should be like "Cyberball." Nothing beats a player exploding while carrying the ball. "Soccer Brawl" on the other hand doesn't feature anything of the sort and after you strip away the un-innovative futuristic aspects, this is just a bad soccer game. Stick with the "Super Sidekicks" series.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 31, 2004 08:08 AM