A while ago, I wrote a review for Super Soccer Blast and gave it an 8/10. But last month, Unfinished Pixel confirmed that they were releasing a trilogy of their Blast series that included the football game and two others in Super Sports Blast.
Football games are an integral part of any system I own. From Kick Off and Sensible Soccer to the more recent PES on PC, they’ve always been a go-to genre, even though I’m not a fan of the actual sport. The other two sports… not so much.
Arriving just in time for Christmas, and purchasing a second DualSense controller to play on the PS5, it couldn’t have come at a better time, and reiterates that Super Soccer Blast is currently my favourite football game.
Super Sports Blast PS4 Review
Starting with a bold affirmation, I can confirm that this is my favourite football game at the moment and was only left off the football feature as my version of the game was for PS4 and not the Switch.
In the Super Sports Blast package is Super Tennis Blast and Super Volley Blast. I’ll reiterate that I have no interest in either sport, but surprisingly, Christmas wasn’t watching 007 films on terrestrial TV, but playing all three sports games, among others.
There’s a simplicity about all three games, and that’s meant as a compliment: anybody can pick them up and play. There aren’t any complicated controls to learn, no interfering setpieces and replays, and it’s all very family-friendly, though aren’t watered-down kids games either.
While the action is quick, that is, no waiting around in the lobby or skipping through menus, I have to admit that I would have liked the replay feature having been so accustomed to it – especially when scoring a corker of a goal. However, Super Sports Blast sure as hell makes up for it in other content.
Dem’s Da Rules
If anything, the only real learning curve would be the rules of the sport. Football is simple enough, and in the number of games we played in Soccer, we must have experienced one offside. The rules are there, but each game flows without interruption.
This is evident with fouls as no primadonnas are rolling on the floor, receiving a magic spray then running at full speed. Foul, kick, move on. Faults in Super Tennis Blast are also swift, as is the alert you get in Super Volley Blast that informs you of hitting the ball four times: there’s no faffing about.
There aren’t any bottlenecks with play, and you don’t need to download a command list on how to pull off an ultra mega combo, but it would help if you know the points system etc. Football is covered, and tennis is simple enough, but with volleyball, my daughter and I hadn’t a clue how to play.
Fortunately, my wife is an ex-volleyball captain and gave us a crash course, i.e. you can/can’t do that. Again, simple, but until she attained oracle status, we fumbled, shouting at the TV and blaming it for our mistakes.
It’s already tricky to compose a review for three very different games, but there is a consistent aesthetic and familiarity between them all. Navigation between each core game in Super Sports Blast is easy as scratching your bum, and the features are intuitive enough.
Surprisingly, the first two titles have more of a selection to them and even differing slightly with Story modes, Tournaments, Super Blast modes, the staple tutorial, challenges and customisation.
I won’t cover them all as they’re mostly variants of the main games, but games such as Super Tennis Blast can add some mindbending mechanics to a game such as multi-ball and closing walls – even a net that comes alive in the Super Blast options.
Tutorials are encouraged to hone your skills a bit more, but in fairness, depending on the level of those playing, you can get away with pressing any button to ‘participate’. Challenges in the game are essentially in-game achievements and add to the longevity of the games.
That’s Me In The Corner
One of the most enjoyable bonuses is character creation. It’s catnip, and I always spend far too much time on these features. I thought there was a consensus about this, but it seems many people on Twitter hate having to create one. Admittedly, I always end up with a vanilla character with a beard.
You don’t have to create a character as there are many to choose from. There aren’t that many in Super Volley Blast – perhaps 20 or so, but there are 100s to choose from in Super Tennis Blast. Perhaps a disappointment was creating a Tennis character that didn’t show in all of the modes; thankfully, Dick Race was available.
My go-to character which I did not create, is a Tennis player with a dodgy barnet and tash. We noted a slight glitch when playing Volley where playing as Mr D and Antoine resulted in a ‘Dick Race and Antoine wins’ announcement. Was this an in-joke? Either way, it made me chuckle.
Super Soccer Blast goes the extra mile in customisation as the 3D models are much more polished and offer a better variety of facial features and apparel. Still, you don’t get to see the players up close in-game other than the loading screens. You may spot your custom lavish boots, but as there aren’t any cutscenes or close-up setpieces, this customisation option does seem a little fruitless.
(Super Sports) Blast Off!
A point I mentioned earlier was the lack of replays, and aside from it being a taunt tactic when scoring a point, it’s an excellent opportunity to see your custom characters in action. Soccer has one set camera angle with three zooms, and that’s about it, but it’s a setup that works.
Out of all the games in Super Sports Blast, Soccer was the one I thought I’d be playing most – at least as a solo player. While the latter is reasonably accurate, as I’m not that fussed about Volley as a one-player, it was a bit of a shock how much Tennis was on the playlist.
Perhaps it’s the simplicity again as you can get stuck into a game and it doesn’t require hours of learning to enjoy. However, the more you play (as well as the other games), you start noticing nuances like backspins and angling your shots. There’s a mini-game called Bullseye that is perfect for practising.
Despite the cute appearance across the board, Super Sports Blast is rich in gameplay, and there are so many extra modes and achievements that give further incentive to keep playing. But the main motivation is a natural one: all three games are a hell of a lot of fun – even the weakest, Volley, was a fun experience, albeit it was laughing at the expense of the other person’s mistakes.
Super Sports Blast Review Summary
Super Soccer Blast should be in your library if you’re into arcade football games, but the additional two titles in the Super Sports Blast bundle are excellent standalones (well, they were in the first place). I’ll admit I wouldn’t have sought out the other two, but having played them all, I can’t stress what good value this package is. Regardless if you’re a fan of the sports or not, Super Sports Blast has a certain charm to it that will mute the inner sports cynic in you.