May 23, 2014
With the World Cup about to start, it’s time to catch that soccer fever. Striker Soccer 2 from U-Play Online and Chillingo will perhaps cure some of the symptoms of soccer fever, but it won’t heal it altogether.
There are several modes of play. There’s friendly matches where any two teams face off; a competition mode where players choose a team and lead it to their league’s championship, with the ability to upgrade players; and a challenge mode where players must win in the face of increasingly-difficult scenarios. Simplified kids’ versions of some modes are available. A $0.99 IAP will buy a Team Edit mode as well.
There are hundreds of European league teams to choose from. Now, these teams aren’t necessarily licensed, but they are pretty clearly based on real teams. There’s a Barcelona team that has colors very close to the real Barca. There’s Manchester teams with colors like the actual Premier League teams from Manchester. Like, I had to search to make sure the league names were fake. I’m surprised this game gets away with it!
The controls are a simple two-button affair: there’s a joystick for movement, and buttons for passing and shooting that become steal and tackle buttons on defense. It’s possible to get fouls, and get booked for tackles from behind, so be careful. I do wish there was more control: I’d like to be able to apply curvature to shots, and switch players. If these are possible, the game’s limited tutorials don’t really explain it. I understand this is meant to be an arcade-style soccer game, but simplification can be a curse.
Play is ruled by an energy system, with the ability to pay to get more matches and to buy more match slots. However, the challenge mode isn’t regulated by this energy system, so there’s usually something to do. Also, the energy does recharge at a fairly swift rate, it won’t impede you from picking it up throughout the day, necessarily.
And despite the faults and oddities, it is at least a moderately entertaining soccer game. It’s not the best, but it’s a rather decent one. It scratches my soccer itch, but I know I could have a lot better.