Sega has always been known for its great realistic sports games. Soccer Slam is a departure from the traditional take on Soccer games in an attempt to make it more accessible to the target audience on the GameCube. Fast paced arcade action abounds in this addictively fun and truly original game. Imagine NBA Jam Mixed with a little NFL Blitz, mix in some characters that look like they should be in a fighting game and use the general rules of soccer. The rules are rather lax in this league as there are no out of bounds and the fields are quite a bit smaller to better fit the three on three team setup. Great commentary changes in pace with the game though sometimes gets repetitive. While this game may not appear to have a wide appeal I suggest you try it you cant help but get hooked and its great fun multiplayer.
Graphically the game is full of great particle and lighting effects. Special touches like the slow-mo almost Matrix-like spotlight kick are great and well done and not really overused. The characters look great; each has their own look feel. A stylized almost comic book look has been applied to the entire game so it is bright and vibrant and always moving. This truly is a great example of the GameCube’s color palette and graphical prowess its not the best that can be done on the Cube but it’s the most colorful and vibrant example yet.
In the sound department this game also shines. The commentary is by Tony Stevens with a rather soccer announcer British accent. His commentary is right on the money however I have yet to catch a late call as a matter of fact if he is in the middle of calling and something else happens he interrupts himself to point out the new action on screen. Each character has his/her own voice, which suits them very well which you get to see when they strut after they score a goal. The music is a bit on the “take it or leave it” side but the great voices make up for any shortcomings in the soundtrack.
The game play, my favorite part, is right on the money. Character control is easy and puling off cool goals and passes is as easy as it could be. Anyone can pick up and go with this game. The characters respond quickly and accurately and the button layout works perfectly. The learning curve on the control scheme takes about the first half to figure out just in time for a comeback victory. The game play alone makes this game a very fun game and worthy or purchase, especially if you have some extra controls and some buddies to play against.
Overall the game is very well put together and feels very complete. You don’t need to know anything about soccer except that you need to kick the ball into the net. I can say that when I picked it up I played it for a week with no other game soiling my hands during that time. We actually have a day set out of every week when our friends come over and we can’t help but play a few games and Soccer Slam has been the choice for a month running. Even my girlfriend gets in on the action. Don’t let this great game slip away its fun for everyone at every age boys and girls, men and women alike it’s a blast. Great job Sega lets hope they make more games in the series.