Super Soccer Blast is a like a Nintendo attempt at a football game; it’s easy to pick up and play, it features cure cartoon-like graphics, and it’s mostly harmless – in other words, it’s impossible to get booked. Least, I never experienced it.
The music is on par with this friendly approach, and everything feels jolly – the complete opposite to the recent review for Behold the Kickmen.
Upon loading up the game for the first time, I jumped straight into a quick match to have a little play about with the controls and see how it felt. Despite how relatively low key this game is, it’s pretty tidy, and first impressions were very good.
Super Soccer Blast PS4 Review
Scoring from long distance seems to be the signature in the game, and I haven’t seen this sort of range since Beckham lobbed Seamen over the halfway line in the 90s. That line was intentional.
Not to be taken seriously as a simulation, Super Soccer Blast is very much an arcade football title, a bit like Virtua Striker, but less enthusiasm when scoring a goal (though you are rewarded with a little bit of confetti). Unfortunately, that’s all you get.
While I’m not on the hunt for anything with detail like the FIFA series or cheerleaders on the pitch a.k.a. the NES attempt at Soccer, it would be nice to have a quick breather after scoring or conceding a goal, but kick-off is swift and other than pressing pause, there’s not much space to celebrate/commiserate.
The kick-off area is also a little problematic.
From when the ref blows the whistle, you can score from the halfway line. It was a novelty at first, but when playing another player, it’s completely abused. Thankfully the AI doesn’t do these dirty tricks, but your last line of defence – the keeper and apparent ‘defenders’ are pretty weak.
So much so, that I conceded a few too many goals, even when I admittedly switched to an easier difficulty. Keepers have this habit of coming out too early and running off with the ball – intercept it in time, and you can sneak one in an empty goal.
No Offside Rule
With the loophole for goalscoring acknowledged and the lack of fanfare for scoring goals, the rest of Super Soccer Blast, from Unfinished Pixel, plays out really well. While the PS4 has excellent titles such as FIFA and PES, this is a great alternative for those who just want to have a kick-a-bout without all the gumpf.
Passing is a bit hit and miss, as is the through ball, but that’s mostly down to the player than the game as when I played against others, they seemed to be able to hold the ball longer, so back to the drawing board, or locker rooms, for me.
Shooting is incredibly satisfying as it’s quick to do, as it should be. There’s a gauge on screen, but it doesn’t get in the way, nor does it slow down play. From the halfway line you can belt it, then hope for a deflection or two with one of your goal hangers.
The viewpoint is limited to a sideline perspective with three zoom variations, but nothing that goes in close. When taking a penalty, the camera remains in that fixed position – it doesn’t alter the gameplay, but it would have benefitted from a change in dynamics.
Outside of the main scheme of things is the available modes. Other than the quick match, you can play in a series of leagues and tournaments. While national teams are real, players are fictitious, but you can make up your own players and team – which is a definite bonus.
Character creation isn’t as in-depth as a Fallout title, but it’s enough to have players stand out with beer guts, massive hair or crazy expressions. It’s great to have the option to create both male and female players for your team as eventually, our goal (boom boom) was to create our household.
It’s a nice touch seeing your name appear on the screen as you score.
Simple Rules of Engagement
There’s never really been a drought when it comes to football games, and as a fan of the genre, I’ve played most titles over a wealth of platforms. Standouts to me include Sensible Soccer, Kick-Off, Actua Soccer, UEFA Dream Soccer and one of my favourites: Virtua Striker 2.
These are all mostly throwback titles and not the polished Sky Sports like FIFA and PES titles that are incredibly advanced with their stats, player likeness and ball control. Though it’s great to have these options, picking up an arcade game for a bit of fun without the seriousness of it all, is refreshing.
With that in mind, Super Soccer Blast isn’t a parody, and it takes its role seriously, yet maintaining a sense of fun and accessibility for a wide range of players. Though there are around five levels of difficulty, this isn’t a game my 3-year old can play, but my 10-year old appreciated the banter for a bit where she was putting a few past her old man.
I’ll pretend I didn’t sulk when that happened.
Just a quick note. Sometimes games go wrong, and we all encounter a crash or two. I won’t make mention of these unless there’s a pattern or common glitch. With Super Soccer Blast I didn’t have any issues with slowdown or glitches, but there were reports from the developers that they were looking into it. Either I was lucky not to encounter it, too stupid to notice, or it’s since been patched (it was patched, but the AI is still a bit naff).