Sunday, April 1, 2012

Review: ARC STYLE Soccer!! 3D

Last Thursday at 9am PST, Nintendo's eShop updated once again.  With Nintendo's lineup of first party releases (Dillon's Rolling Western, Pushmo, Sakura Samurai, etc.) behind us, the eShop has almost grown stagnant.  A while ago it was graced by a triplet of classic GameGear titles, but nothing really new on the 3DS original front.

Cue Soccer!!3D.  First off, the very fact that I'm reviewing this should be noted--I strongly dislike sports video games.  There have been exceptions, primarily in the form of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, but as a genre as a whole it just doesn't 'do it' for me.  But I really enjoyed Soccer!! 3D.  It's a simple, lighthearted little experience that doesn't take itself too seriously.

The game consists of several imaginary soccer clubs, and two slots for your own 'Custom' teams.  I rather enjoyed this game's customization options, and thought it was surprisingly deep.  You can customize nearly everything, right down to each teammate's face.  The customization screens present several different choices for you to consider when creating your players.  Each player can have one 'special skill' based on their position.  For instance, one of your forwards can get 'Header,' which is exactly what you'd think.  The only customization feature I was a little disappointed with was choosing your team's emblem.  Despite the screen saying 'Original Design,' it forces you to choose from one of a few pre-made patterns.

Let's talk controls.  If you've read my Kid Icarus: Uprising review on inMotion, then you'll know how critical I am of a game's control scheme.  And honestly, Soccer!! 3D isn't bad.  There is no touchscreen function.  This is a little annoying when doing all the game's customization stuff, as typing in letters would have been much more streamlined with touchscreen support.  But other than that, the actual soccer part of the game controls just fine.

I think my biggest gripe with the game is that it's incredibly easy to exploit.  Regardless of the computer's difficulty, once you figure out an offensive pattern that works, the AI doesn't adapt to it--it makes the same mistakes over, and over.  It's entirely possible to get upwards of 30 points against the AI, even on more difficult settings.  Again, this may be in the game's best interest with its simpler design, but upping the AI even a hair would have been great.  Also, aside from the customization features, there's not a lot of depth to Soccer!! 3D.  No unlockables, no hidden teams, just the same, exploitable soccer match time and time again.  Soccer!! 3D does have a multiplayer feature, which could potentially add to its replay value.

From a game called Soccer!! 3D, the graphics are somewhat of what a reasonable person would expect--more cartoony.  It goes well with the game's lighthearted approach.  The game's music is a little repetitive, such as the same victory fanfare going off every single time a goal is made on either team.  

Soccer!! 3D is a cute little time killer on the 3DS.  It isn't going to be remembered very much, but it will definitely tide a few people over as they wait for the next major 3DS release.


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