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New Star Soccer 3 is the third title in the on-going series by New Star Games. It allows the player to take control of the career of a football player, and this time, in addition to the decision-making process of a "manager" type game, you can actually play the matches in the all-new simulator.

While the matches play like Sensible Soccer (simple graphics and controls, with curve-ball frenzy), the main focus of the game is on management. New Star Soccer 3 puts you in the life of a player right from the start: after selecting a few basic treats for your character you are given a few shots at the local clubs. Impress on the auditions and they might offer you a contract. From there it's up to you.

The game attempts to simulate the many distractions and decisions a professional soccer player is faced with: you have to manage your relationship with your coach, your team mates, your supporters, friends and family. In the process, girlfriends may be added and also sponsors. Keeping them happy means granting them attention (which consumes valuable energy from real matches). Coaches require good performance to please.

Good performance, though, is hard to earn. The game plays as a simplistic (vintage, so to speak) soccer simulation. Three buttons are enough for all the actions (shoot, lob and pass), and another one for calling the ball (useful when you control one out of 11 in the field). Bad relationship with your colleagues won't get you the ball. The game plays very smoothly and dynamically, and is quite challenging at first. Fortunately, good passing, tackling and positioning are enough to get a good rating when you're not a essential part of the team.

Good performance also gains skill points, and that's a must if you want to succeed in this game. Practice gets progressively harder, and is very diverse, as there are different types of skills (heading, shooting, dribbling, passing, tackling) and training routines (knock off cones, score goals, tackle opponents), but getting good means getting good pay, goal and assist bonuses, sponsorship opportunities, national squad selection, media attention and, of course, the chance at playing at the big leagues.

There are also many subtle aspects in the game, as making decisions whether or not to fight with an insulting colleague, cheating on your wife, helping a fan with a flat tyre, or choosing the color of the boot your sponsor will design just for you.

A complex football game, with emphasis on decision making and fun gameplay rather than graphics and realism.


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Gameplay (Benelux) Nov 26, 2005 82 out of 100 82


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tbuteler (3156) added New Star Soccer 3 (Windows) on Jun 12, 2006