It’s finally out, so here’s my Street Power Soccer review having been blitzing this like a boss and performing tricks like an intern on the PlayStation 4.
I’ll continue to repeat it: I love a good football game, and as one who doesn’t adhere to the FIFA fanfare, always on the lookout for new titles that can kick the crown off its corporate face.
Ha! I don’t hate FIFA, I just don’t worship it as the definitive football game. For a list of some football games I’ve highlighted, in particular for the Switch, check out 5 Football Games Worth Playing On The Switch. On with the show.
Street Power Soccer Review
I was mesmerised by the visuals for this game when first announced and been hyped for it ever since. Not on looks alone, but Street Power Soccer, from Gamajun Games and Maximum Games, is a game with flair, so equally it needs to look the part.
Seeing a few TV promos and then on the shelves at the local toy shop, I was stoked when the game landed in my inbox in time for the weekend. This is a game oozing with weekend appeal as ‘a kick-about’ with mates, pulling off more tricks than a red light district veteran.
That’s the premise here: tricks and showing off. Street Power Soccer isn’t a conventional game of two halves with jumpers for goalposts and all that sort of stuff you’d expect from The World’s Greatest Sport. Instead, it’s for show ponies to swing their balls into trashcans or knock over a bottle by being a bender.
As for the football, it’s even better. Boom.
Putting aside the gameplay aspect, there’s an interesting approach to the introduction of the game. Before you can play, you have to get through the tutorial, and while it’s mandatory, it’s a must to learn how to play the various modes in the game.
It’s all presented by world freestyle football champion Séan Garnier. This could be the bit where I say I’ve been a fan of his since he was an amateur, but in all truth, I’d never heard of him and hearing the name made me think of hair care products. Now I do know who he is, I’m in awe of his black magic when it comes to trick shots.
He’s superimposed (old school term) over a street scene and gives a talk on his career and how to play the game. When I say ‘interesting’, I mean weird. It’s like an MTV VJ from the 90s, and I believe it’s dubbed as well. Either that or out of sync.
It’s Tricky, Tricky, Tricky
Let’s take a look at the game modes.
- Street Power Match
Except for the Street Power Match, Street Power Soccer is essentially a compilation of mini-games. There’ll be games you’ll like, and the ones you hate.
In the main campaign, Become King, you play through each mode in several locations, completing a set amount of challenges like performing x tricks and winning, or collecting x number of power-ups. There’s multiplayer too, but not matchmaking – invite-only. If your name’s not Dan, you’re not coming in. Yes, I know what I wrote.
The game I didn’t like was the Freestyle bit; a rhythm game where you combine simple button presses along with a range of tricks like balancing the ball on your head or volleying it etc. It makes Ronaldo look like a prick.
I found myself losing momentum and on the receiving end of a bad score. It was more of a chore than anything else. Panna was a bit similar in that you have to humiliate your opponent by scoring goals and nutmegging them.
I enjoyed this section, but it’s a bit short-lived as it’s a one-on-one game in a restricted space – there’s only so much of it you’ll play until you’ll get a little bored and want to move on. By far my favourite was the Trickshot. Here you have to Bend It Like Beckham and knock down bottles and chairs or volley the ball into a bin.
Mixing up the trajectory of your shot and the power, plus a bit of a kink on it by holding the left stick while shooting will pull off a banana kick that can take out items through a rebound too. The only issue with it is it’s a timed section, and some of the tricks are…tricky.
With These Super Powers…
So, Street Power Soccer boils down to the 2 or 3-aside games you play. They’re a bit like FIFA Street and an emphasis on arcade techniques rather than real skill. Holding down the square button will initiate some very cool looking tricks and holding down the L2 button will do the same but in the air.
As you build up your play, the power bar goes up that allows for a special move. Enter Super Mario Strikers as your player launches into the air punting the ball from long range with a hint of flames. These specials are random as you may find you’ll dash across the pitch instead.
Then there are the power-ups that prevent your opponents from scoring or even electrocuting them. I’m sure this doesn’t happen in Mr Laboratoire Garnier’s urban world of freestyling, but as Street Power Soccer doesn’t take itself seriously and an arcade experience, I’m all for it. If I want <ahem> realism, I’ll watch uber star Neymar Jr. do a similar ‘special move’ rolling on the floor.
Now I know that I’m a trendsetter and my opinion matters, that’s why you’re reading this Street Power Soccer review, so I have to say that I wasn’t fond of the overpowering font in the game. It reminded me of the Asian/samurai font you can download for free on the web to instil something Japanese.
Here, it’s a comic book/street style font, and while it’s 100% better than using actual graffiti for menus (I love graffiti but not in a UI), it’s overused and over stylised.
Between events, you get a cheat sheet of the moves and screenshots of the game in action to remind you of the controls, but it’s so cluttered and messy that it’s hard to decipher and in the end, you’ll either remember the controls or wing it.
The music won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. It’s not the kind of soundtrack I would actively play, I felt it captured the atmosphere well. It’s probably the first time I’ve heard the band Snap where it wasn’t part of a compilation of the best hits of the 90s or used in a commercial to sell electronics. The Black Eyed Peas too.
And then we have my kryptonite: customisation. In Street Power Soccer, you can choose from a plethora of hats, glasses, tops, bottoms, shows and balls (wahey!) which can be purchased with the currency you unlock in the game. Though it’s not groundbreaking, I love the art style, which is a cell-shade variant and everyone has enviable waists.
Going into extra time now, I’m not sure about the longevity of Street Power Soccer. Once you get the tutorial done, all of the games are easily accessible but to unlock new licensed players and customisations, it can be a chore.
While I liked the matches, trick shots were great and warrant action replays as some of the shots look really cool, but it’s not a game you can repeatedly play like any other football game.