148Apps Network Post
Developer: GAMEVIL
Price: Free 
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆ 

 
When my husband and I were dating, one of my fondest memories is kicking past the random piles of socks and pizza boxes to enter the sacred space of his mancave, where we goofed away precious hours playing International Superstar Soccer on an old school Nintendo 64 console.

I have limited hand-eye coordination. Sports are not for me, sadly. Despite the current mitigating factors (career, pregnancy, mortgage, adulthood), I indulge my occasional fantasies as a glamorous, dewy-skinned and fresh-faced soccer star. No matter how firmly we deny it, superstar fantasies rarely fade.

Soccer Superstars 2012 by GAMEVIL is disappointing in its execution and delivery. These days, a gamer of almost any skill expects movie quality graphics and design that typically come free with the slick games widely available.

Soccer Superstars 2012 confuses from the start. The home screen is a fine point of entry, but the font is difficult to see on my iPhone. Chubby anime boys with lots of fearsome attitude invade the screen while Love Boat-ish muzak plays with shrill, unnerving force.

The plump anime cherubs are cutesy with gruff, exaggerated expressions, but my foray into attempting soccer keeps getting overridden by pop-ups that asks me to purchase more stuff. I like the option to choose brown, white, or alien skin. (I chose alien, for the record.) I select spiky hair for my players and name my team, but the screen continues to prompt purchasing.

Overall, the edge Soccer Superstars 2012 seems to be aiming for falls flat. It’s generic and passable, yet it lacks polish. Too many complicated arrangements and possibilities that fail to complement a too simple design concept, which is difficult to access.

The bland graphics seem outdated–and not in a fantastically hip, retro way. A lackluster and addled mix of dull coloring and shallow screen depth are thrown together in a potluck mash-up that smacks of video game design circa 2000.

After working furiously, I am finally able to actually play soccer as the character I created. I flick the tiny ball with my virtual foot, and the posey anime girl with headphones remarks, “No! No! That is not right. TRY again.” I feel frustrated, and I continue to think that if I picked up Soccer Superstars 2012 knowing nothing, I would be absolutely lost and abandon play immediately.

I want to like Soccer Superstars 2012. I want to give it a chance. I want to hear a throng of my adoring public cheering me into a swift net. But, like actual soccer, the journey to that ever-elusive net remains too arduous for me, not swift enough, and altogether elusive.

Suffering through killer plyometric workouts and dropping weighty fists of cash for brand name cleats may have to wait. For now, I can rest my aching pregnant bones on a cushy leather sofa and watch The World Cup.


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