In the late 1990s, the games went through a phase that was among my favorites. Extreme sports have excited Midway, EA BIG, Activision (and apparently every other zongok company in the world) by releasing more arcade-style sports titles. The NFL Blitz , SSX , big games like NHL Hitz and Tony Hawk Pro Skater were all the rage. The goal was to take a typical sports game, take a step towards realism and push the boundaries of what you can do to create an immersive gaming experience. We’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the genre lately, and with it a new game for Nintendo Switch called Street Power Soccer, a hardcore game that defies the laws of physics and is based on urban street soccer. Will this be a points game with the players or will the ball stay flat on the pavement?
There are actually two main styles of football. You have your main sport super professional FIFA/FIFA World Cup and then you have city football, which focuses much more on the style of what players can do with the ball than just scoring goals. Street Power Soccer takes an urban sport already cool enough to watch in general, and fills it with this high-level physical challenge to make it a unique game.
There is a lot to learn about this game, and there are several modes you can participate in. I was greeted with a put together video of professional player Sean Garnier giving me the instructions I needed to play matches, panna, tricks and freestyle modes. He’s also very knowledgeable about the history and nuances of the sport, and you’ll find that you have to watch many of his instructional videos before you can play anything. I was under the impression that these tutorials might have been too long, but it was still nice to see cheap products here.
Urban football is usually played 3-on-3, roughly. Instead of large stadiums, you play on a barge at the quay or in a small parking lot in the city. They are rare and look more like slot machines like the Mario Strikers , which was once offered. The game is frantic, fast-paced and requires reactive maneuvers, both to win the ball and to outplay your opponents, while trying to win the game by scoring the most goals. Once I got into the game and played standard matches, I enjoyed taunting my opponents with fancy footwork and filling up my atypical power meter to take mega shots at a goal that looked pretty sweet. The scenery and players are all very nice, and the accompaniment of solid urban soundtrack rhythms really fits the thematic purpose of this game.
Now I would like to say that the gameplay was as smooth and perfect as the Mario Strikers game, but I encountered some technical glitches. The transitions between character animations were often unglamorous, and fluid movement was constantly observed. While many animations are still pretty cool in terms of footwork or special moves, the game doesn’t handle cut scenes well, which ultimately makes it difficult.
The main single-player mode is Become King, in which you have many events from the different game modes/disciplines. The complexity increases pretty quickly though, and what I found frustrating was that the rules for winning a particular event weren’t always clear to me, even during the game. Since many games depend on trick completion and not just goal count, it can be a bit annoying since there are no notifications or tracking during the game to let you know if you’ve reached your goal count or not.
This main game mode really combines all the other modes available, so you can always go play each mode separately if you want. Panna is fancy footwork and the equivalent of a dance or a rap fight, but with a football. I found it to be a normal mode, but it was difficult to fully understand the procedure each time. Honestly, I felt more likely to win than any specific skill I practiced. The focus mode is excellent. You have to set angles and speeds to try and cover some of the target elements or score baskets with your ball on the course. It’s actually quite complicated, but it’s a good distraction from the usual game modes. In another mode, play on the floorDance Dance Revolution in a mini-game style to perform footwork moves and score big points. In fact, I found this mode quite brutal and awkward and I couldn’t get into the rhythm.
Street Power Soccer also offers a multiplayer mode, but in several days of trying it out, I was never able to play a game online, which was disappointing. So I couldn’t try my hand at street football against other people.
The other notable entry in this title is personalization. You can select any of these professionals, but you can also customize their clothing, the ball you use, etc. The money needed to unlock these items is very hard to come by, and can really only be obtained by completing the challenge’s objectives, which I found a little cranky for the small cash rewards they would give. If you want the best equipment, this seems like a long way to go, as the opportunities to make money are limited.
For me, Street Power Soccer pushes me to bring a lot to table soccer. He’s trying to be a jack-of-all-trades in this niche sport, but it seemed to me that he was struggling to shine in one place. I would like some of the main games to be more fluid and finely tuned to be closer to games like Mario Strikers , but until I see another one of these games, it will have to do for those who want to play football in the arcade genre.
Overview of street football
- Charts – 6/10
- Sound – 5/10
- Gameplay – 5.5/10
- Late Call – 6/10
Final thoughts : MEDIOCR
Street Power Soccer attempts to bring arcade-centric urban soccer to the Nintendo Switch platform. While the game does a great job of creating the visual and sound themes of the genre, the gameplay is mostly clunky, and many of the game modes seem clunky and too focused on the mini-game. I also encountered a complete lack of neat animation that made it look like a standard football was broken, and even in the home menu my character would randomly step out of his blank animation to take a T position. For a $49.99 game, this one lacks finesse and depth.
Alex has been involved in the gaming industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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