Dec 31, 2016
For as advanced as sports games have become, with realistic physics and visuals that make you think you’re watching a live game, it’s nice now and then to kick back with some arcade action. In fact, the most complicated thing about Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! is trying to remember its name.
If you’ve played arcade style soccer games before, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Dribbling with the ball is as simple as running without it, tackling for the ball doesn’t require timing like in the real world and long range efforts hit the back of the net with frightening frequency. The World of Gumball’s Darwin is a better striker of the ball than Cristiano Ronaldo, it seems.
The action on the pitch is fast-paced and easy to grasp. You have three outfield players on each team with one of your players being a ‘superstar’. A superstar is capable of a special move once their meter is filled up and these special moves are simple to activate, requiring nothing more than the press of a button. Controls in general are simple, with a button for shooting, passing and dribbling being all you need. Holding down these buttons result in ‘bigger’ versions of each action, such as a shot with more power or a pass that travels further. The only difference between each player is the fact that the superstars have their own unique moves, with everything else largely being equal.
These superstars are taken from all manner of Cartoon Network shows, from Uncle Grandpa, Adventure Time to Regular Show. Odds are that you’ll find someone from one of your favorite shows but odds are that you’ll need to spend time unlocking them first. You can unlock characters by simply playing your way through matches and earning coins as you do. Coins are used to unlock characters as well as unlock equipable items, like hats and glasses, that let you customize your characters.
This is a bit of a problem, because whilst playing the game itself is fun, if a little basic, there’s really not much built around playing each match. There’s no real season mode or story mode to speak of. You can play a series of 4 matches, which the game will call a cup and that’s about it. You can also play online, which seems to work pretty well over 4G and using my home’s terrible wifi connection.
Other than that, there’s not really all that much else to say. The presentation is pretty great, with characters managing to look great in the game’s pared down 3D style, along with plenty of audio taken straight from the shows. The controls of the game are pretty tight and work well, considering they’re on-screen buttons, and the arcade action is bound to please most. There’s just nothing that’s particularly outstanding or memorable about this well made yet fairly simplistic arcade soccer game.