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Nintendo's Super Soccer was the very first football game I played. Made in 1991, for both the PC and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, SS was not a particularly popular game. Mainly down to only a small audience as gamers were a smaller minority at the time, preferring fantasy or original gameplay. Even if it did garner more sales, I doubt the reception would be very favourable. This is because the game is far too light hearted and arcade like to take seriously. I still find myself playing it every so often just to relive those tough games, 8bit music and blocky graphics. Upon starting the game you get two choices - EXHIBITION & TOURNAMENT. Exhibition allows for one off games against the computer, with a friend or both. The Tournament however has NEW GAME and CONTINUE options. The new game starts a tournament, you choose your team then play every team, starting with the lowest rated.. poor Belgium. The continue option is like a cheap version of saving. Instead of actually storing your information when you win a match, you are given a long winded code of directional symbols, which you must punch in again to continue. When you manage to defeat the final team, just as you are celebrating your cup win, a fat referee strolls over, kicks a ball in your face and challenges your team to face his 'The Nintendo Team'. Then when you beat those punks you get the credit role and some cheesy illustrations of footballers. TEAMS & PLAYERS Germany, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, England, Cameroon, Romania, Republic of Ireland, France, United States, Japan, Colombia, Yugoslavia (now divided), Uruguay and Belgium make up the teams in descending order of difficulty (The Germans being the toughest because of their 1990 World Cup victory). The stats that make teams better are the rather vague metres of attack, defence and running. The team members have stereotypical 'common' native names depending on the country (Brazil has Fabio, England has James and Germany has Hans). The team members also have no distinctive appearance or features besides their number and are either white, black or tan. However some seem to be faster than others with stronger kicking ability. When fouled, they lie on the ground with an '+' on their face, when its half time they all walk off the pitch in a line and can jump when prompted.. an unusual addition. CONTROLS Off the ball, you use the directional pad to move players, ALL players close to the ball. Start pauses the game, B is a sliding tackle and Y a standing shove tackle. On the ball, B is shoot, Y is pass, R & L switch the highlighted player in line for a pass. When the ball is free in the air, it becomes a free for all and almost all the buttons can be used to head or volley the ball. When shooting, you can hold a diagonal position on the D-pad to give it curve. During penalties you can hold and charge up your shot to make it faster, with no chance of missing the target as it is solely down to the goalkeeper to save it. As the keeper you can stay planted, crouch, dive high/medium/low in either direction. Its all about timing but when mastered, penalties become a cinch to save. Free/goal/corner kicks and throw ins on the other hand usually end up going straight to the opposition as you maneuver a line of red and yellow orbs in your favoured direction. Controlling the keeper when threatened is rather difficult as he is slow and unresponsive at times (run to the edge of your box and prepare to be tackled). You can only make substitutions when a player is injured or at half time, though this barely makes any difference. MATCHES To start, you choose your teams formation from a list of about 10, your starting line up then choose the half length, the default being 5 minutes. The chances of fouling a player are slim, at times random but normally only attributed to the shove tackle. The ref trudges on, looks at the incident, and issues either a yellow or red. When its a straight red, the victim of the tackle usually ends up injured. There is no offside rule as it seems almost impossible to pull off anyway. You can really demolish weaker teams by shooting instantly from the halfway line, barely positioning your shot towards a side of the goal. Towards the later teams though, this method becomes near impossible to pull off and you need to work all the angles, curl shots, lure out the keeper and close the distance. So there isn't much strategy involved and you end up exploiting the games weakness rather than a teams. There is no extra time, instead you go straight to penalties. The weirdest part about matches is the camera, which faces from one goal to the other in a portrait shape - so in the first half you have a clear view of goal the whole time whilst the second half is behind the camera until you get close enough. When you score, a commentator screams GOAL! then you see the goal scorer running, with his name and number displayed ('Hat Trick Hero' lights up should you manage the feat, score an own goal and you see a player console the goalie while the commentator says OH NO!). The music is repetitive junk, full of chugging, scratchy noises and weird synthesizer. The graphics are brick-like and crowd consists of orbs. Its fun for a while on your own but you wouldn't really want to play the tournament mode more than once and 2 player matches have limited enjoyment. The fact is that now, this game is so incredibly dated and simple compared to the latest football video games, it becomes a party game full of laughs. Still a memorable and frustrating one for me though.
When it comes to football or soccer games on the snes nothing beats super soccer it has brillant sprites and graphics, it has great quality music for each team and it has brilliant character about it, which has made this game a cult favourite among footy fans and even non footy fans alike. GAMEPLAY ----------------------- There are three different modes in super soccer they are: exhibition, tournament and a penalty shoot out. The exhibition mode is where you can choose one team to play against another, you can either pick the computer to play against you or another human player and you can even have both you and your friend on the same team and play against a computer controlled team. Then there is the main mode in the game which is the tournament mode where you pick a team and compete against all the other teams in the game and each team you play gets harder and harder each time because you play better quality teams. Again tournament mode can be played with a friend so both you and your friend can play as the same team and become champions together! Then there is the final mode you can play which is the penalty shoot out, which is self explanatory you take it turns to either be the player to try and score the penalty or be the goal keeper to try and save it. The actual gameplay in super soccer is pretty good and looks great as I said before the graphics are very colourfull and bright, there is also the music aspect each team has their own music and is played during the game in one of the halfs. The only thing thats bad about super soccer is the movement of the players it seems they can only ever move foward backwards or from a set diagonal route. But saying that it is an old game played with a D pad and even todays football games have only just got the whole dribbling aspect figured out. Before each game you can sort out your teams formation and subs and even if you want to be in control of the keeper or not, also in exhibition mode you can even set the duration of the game. OVERALL ---------------- Overall super soccer is a great soccer game obviously compared to todays soccer games it doesn't stand much of a chance, but if you have a super nintendo and want a fantastic footy game to play look no furthur buy super soccer!