Platform gaming at its best!
Soccer Kid is the most impressive platform game I have ever played! Why? Because
it gathers all the necessary elements of the genre together and brings them back in life
with an unique blend of arcade action. What's more, you could also use a different kind
of weapon as a twist: A "ball" which makes soccer a more enjoyable game than ever before!
Well, let's get to deep end of the ocean! And I exactly know where to start: From the
top-notch graphics... If you ever looked at Soccer Kid's screenshots section you would
probably notice an amazing quality of pixel art in a tweaked 256 colors VGA mode. I recently
had got the chance to play the 32 colors Amiga version and even at that resolution the
graphics were looking perfect! You know you have 5 different worlds to complete all
featuring 3 great-looking stages in six levels (well, 5 levels in level 3 because of the
Russian ship!) which means lots of stunning pixel art to see! Maybe if you want to know:
My favourite parts are Russia and Italy, but especially Venice --if only I could see Venice!
Also thanks to Nicolas Roeg's horror masterpiece, "Don't Look Now!"; the main reason
behind my wish...
I guess Soccer Kid's pixel art would have something missing if Matt Furniss' excellent
musical score had never existed! As far as I know he created music for over 200 computer
games to date. But for only Soccer Kid he has a special section in his personal website.
I think this little trivia can tell you more than I could say! (however when I looked at
his web site again for the review, I found that he changed the site completely which also
had effected the Soccer Kid section; It was no longer available. However if you still want to
take a look at his web site, check it out at http://www.mattfurniss.com/). Well, this won't
effect me to tell you that I'm very happy having his music available as MOD files which
give me the chance to listen them whenever I want --you know, they come with the game!
While scrolling smoothly with 60 fps what I also like is Soccer Kid's gameplay
options which give him lots of opportunity to be able to perform tricks with his ball.
As I said before it is a twist for the genre but it is also a great fun to use as a weapon
rather than ordinary "mindless" shoot-to-kill process with a gun. I know, you still have
to get rid of lots of characters(!) but you do it in a more gently way: By soccer! Who said
soccer is lame?
And these from a game which is actually a conversion? But what a conversion! Well, I saw
a light parallax scrolling in the original Amiga version and some little visual effects
like rain that PC version didn't have, but I guess they are not so important. However I
had quite a big trouble while getting used to the controls in the Amiga version which caused
me die lots of times in its very early stages. I could say that PC version is easier to
play. If it wasn't how could I finish it two times?
You can only save your game after completing an entire world which I don't find
very annoying since the game is not so hard. Well, I had had some trouble in Italy and
Japan, especially in Japan where the factory levels could easily bore you if you lose
a life. But among these I didn't find anything "bad" at all...
The Bottom Line
Have I mentioned about the amazing mid-level bosses in whom there is also
a famous Italian tenor between them? Would you find the beautiful "darkness" effect so
special like I found, the one when you go under ground which I only saw the same in
Jazz Jackrabbit 2? Believe me, you have to see Soccer Kid for yourself!