Super Sidekicks

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Soccer isn't exactly the most well loved sport here in the states. We seem to prefer football....well, our breed of football. Not that "other" football. Though the name football does make more sense for the real football, doesn't it? I mean for their football, not our football. It wouldn't make sense to call our football football because their football uses the feet. Alas, we do. Oh, this Super Sidekicks thing? Yeah, it's pretty nifty football. Err, soccer.

Super Sidekicks is one of those early sports games that concentrates on one thing: Having fun. There's no need to manage teams, substitute players, worry about salaries, or any of that stuff. You've got 2 teams, 2 buttons, and some great speed. It's hardly realistic, but it's instantly playable by even those who either: A. Never played a video game, or B: Those who know little about the sport itself.

Teams from around the globe are selectable and you can take them into either tournaments or exhibitions. Another player can also join either mode for some frantic multi-player action. Controls are never more complicated then pass and shoot. This does cause some problems when it comes to switching players as it's done automatically, but with a little patience, you'll get used to it. The view of the field is somewhat limited and some sort of radar may have helped, but an arrow is always above the controlling player to signify where the teams top player is located. These minor issues will only affect those not patient enough to take the time to adjust.

Animated sprites are the order of the day, and although limited in their animation routines, it certainly eclipses any other consoles soccer games released during the time period. The celebration sequences are still spectacular with massive sprites (insanely detailed ones at that) running for a victory lap. The crowd is fairly lifeless and the on field sound effects are hardly realistic (sounds like a cannon going off when the ball is kicked), but the graphics are strong enough to immerse players.

Die-hard soccer fanatics will most likely be disappointed with the games complete lack of depth, but it's hardly meant to be an accurate simulation of the sport. It's an arcade style sports game because, well, it's an arcade game. Scoring goals is also a bit ridiculous at times and it seems the only way to score is to knock the goalie down, regain control, and blast one into the mesh. Whether or not you can live with these design decisions is entirely up to your interest in the sport itself.

The only truly disheartening problem with the game is that later games in the series did it so much better. The ability to switch your player with the C button in the sequel was by far the best thing that could've happened to the series. This isn't a Geo classic, but there's certainly some fun to be had if your not looking for a simulation. At least look at this way: The only "football" game the Geo ever had was Football Frenzy, hardly a Madden killer. This is one of the few times I've enjoyed football more than football.


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Last updated: Sunday, March 28, 2004 07:13 AM