Soccer Slam Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Soccer Slam Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 4

Publisher

  • Sega

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • GameCube
  • Xbox

rating

Sock her? Gladly.

When it comes to violent sports, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Hockey? Shootfighting? Anything involving this

guy?
Well, forget all those kid’s games because I’ve got something that even

the baddest mamma jammas won’t touch. Soccer.

Yep,

the original football is a hell of a lot more violent than most people give

it credit for. Just ask this

guy.
Or this guy. Or

even these guys. They know

what I’m talking about.

Sega also knows what I’m talking about, because they’ve paired up Visual Concepts,

the 2K sports god, with Blackbox Games of Hitz fame to create

Soccer Slam, the ultimate in sporting violence. With slamtastic soccer

action and a colorful cast of crazies, this is one arcade sports game that scores

big.

The concept of Soccer Slam is as simple as it gets. Get a few teams

of three players (plus one goalie) together and have them beat the snot out

of each other in a no-holds-barred battle to the finish. Oh yeah, and they’re

supposed to kick a ball into the goal sometimes, too. I always seem to forget

about that part. But wait, there’s more!

Three main modes are available for you to choose from including Exhibition,

Tourney, and Quest. The first two options are pretty much what you would expect

from any sports game. Quest, however, is similar to the Career mode of Sega’s

Virtua Tennis. Not only

will you play in a 10-game season, but you’ll also participate in various challenges

and earn cash to grab special items that will beef out the abilities of your

team. There’s even a mid-season All-Star game, where the best players from each

team get together for a little fun.

Speaking of teams, the pickings are a little slim as you’ll be choosing from

one of only six groups of psycho stars. Hailing from various countries around

the globe, the characters in Soccer Slam are definitely a significant

part of this game’s fun factor. From El Diablo the Wrestler to Angus the Scotsman,

you’ll get plenty of kicks watching these guys run around the pitch while talking

smack.

There are two distinct gameplay features that add greatly to Soccer Slam

– Spotlight Shots and Killer Kicks. Spotlight Shots come at random points in

the game when your team has control of the ball. A spotlight of your team’s

logo will wander around on the field and all you have to do is get the ball

into the light and take a shot. If successfully executed, time will slow for

a few seconds and you’ll gain the ability to target exactly where your shot

will go.

Killer Kick opportunities pop up when your team controls the ball with a full

power meter. Once you hit the appropriate buttons, the ball handler will lob

the ball high in the air near one of the other teammates. Get that player in

the magic circle and hit the shoot button at the right time, and you’ll get

a cinematic super shot that will blast toward the goal. It’s not a guaranteed

score, but you can bet it will knock the goalie silly.

Controlling

these guys is a snap thanks to a simple and efficient setup. All you really

need to know is how to pass, shoot, and steal. Even people who aren’t familiar

with sports games should have no problems picking up the basics. But for those

of you looking for a deeper game, fear not because other moves like deke, protect,

and power-ups are available. A little experience goes a long way.

Completing this game’s offense are some great visuals. Each of the characters

and stadiums are excellently rendered with smooth lines and bright colors –

perfect for the GameCube. The animations aren’t half-bad, and the turf will

even start to show signs of wear as the game progresses.

The character voices are also pretty good, but the announcing is extremely

lethargic. This guy is so timid, you might not even notice he’s there. Then

again, I’d rather have an announcer that doesn’t say much than an announcer

that keeps spitting out all the wrong things.

Of course, like any a sports game, Soccer Slam excels as a multiplayer

game. You can play with up to four friends in multiplayer matches, and they

also included the ability to co-op the Quest mode. Grab some buddies and some

drinks and watch the hours fly by.

Although it’s a kick, Soccer Slam lacks some depth. Completing the

game only yields new stadiums, so there’s no real reason to keep playing over

and over. More challenges would help, but what the game really needs is a larger

number of teams. I would have loved the abilty to unlock brand new characters

upon completion of the game, or even the chance to mix and match players from

different squads. An off-the-wall create-a-player would also have done wonders

for this game, but alas, it looks like we’ll have to wait for the sequel for

that chance.

But what we’ve got now ain’t half bad. Soccer Slam scores a goal for

anyone looking for some lighthearted sports action and makes a fine addition

to your GC library.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

4
Rating
Wacky soccer fun
Cool characters
Pick up and play
Looks good
Needs more depth...
...and more teams!