Zico Soccer (SNES Review)

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There’s no clicking your way outta that mess

There’s no clicking your way outta that mess

We don’t see many Japanese imports on AA, purely because we can’t bloomin’ read em! Every now and then one comes our way which has enough English to be near playable and Zico Soccer falls into that bracket. Published by EA in 1994, the reason is face is on the game is obvious – being with Japanese side Kashima Antlers at the time and a poster boy (or man) for football in the country.

 

”It doesn’t matter which sides you choose, you will go crayyyyseeee”

”It doesn’t matter which sides you choose, you will go crayyyyseeee”

It initially looks pretty good.  An international footballing sim (plus Kashima Antlers?).  Zico is babbling something in Japanese and there is a button that reads “Advice” but I’m sure it’s all by the by…  What’s that now?  You can’t control any of the players?  Yep, what we have here is a “football management” game – doh!  The screen is split into two halves (one half the action, the other showing the formations and the whole pitch).  The purpose of Zico Soccer is to tell your players what to do, literally, step by step.  You click on the player you want to control and then click on where he is to run or to whom he is to pass to.

 

Did I click too hard?

Did I click too hard?

Both halves of the screen can be used to do this.  The whole premise is flawed yet would seem to work in the Japanese RPG-enriched marketplace.  Accepting the premise there is still an awful lot wrong with this game. The graphics and dynamic of gameplay are not good.  It all feels very stodgy, especially as your players (including your goalie infuriatingly) not seem to be able to kick the ball very hard.  In an hour of playing I was unable to score a goal, sometimes from within the 6 yard box, yet the CPU was smashing it into the top corner, sometimes with an overhead kick!  The sound too, is dire.

 

All in all it’s pretty awful but definitely worth 5 minutes of your time just so you can see what they’re doing the other side of the world.

 

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