#586 – Soccer

The rowdiest of all sports.
That goalie’s feeling it.
Japan always wins.

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous



GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: March 1987

Nintendo’s early sports games for the NES may seem crude today, but it’s a testament to the company’s developing prowess that they’re still playable. Soccer is a stress-free, basic intro to the sport. Choose from a handful of teams (go, Federal Republic of Germany! Give those Easterners what for!), skill level (1-5, with 5 being the toughest), and half-time (15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on your insatiable lust for soccer). All the teams play the same, so choosing one boils down to what team colors tickle your eyeballs. Don’t bother playing a game on any difficulty setting lower than 3 or the A.I. will win the game for you. Once you’re on the field, you switch players with ‘B’ and hit the soccer ball with ‘A’; controls for sports games often feel more complicated than they need to be, but Soccer gets it right. There are no plays, no field management, no huddled masses yearning to be set free. Hit the ball around the field, kick it in the goal, watch your goofy 8-bit players cheer, then go back for more. The one drawback to Soccer‘s retro simplicity is its sluggishness: all of the players move like they’re knee deep in mud. If you stick with the game, you get used to the pace, but initially, the slow movements can be maddening. Still, for a sports game that just had its twenty-sixth birthday, Soccer gets around pretty well.


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One reply on “#586 – Soccer”

My goodness that cover is just plain hilarious. What the hell is the guy in blue wearing? The guy in red looks more like an equestrian, than a soccer player. Are they wearing baseball caps? I know the 80s were terrible time for fashion(I lived it), but this just looks ridiculous. And what is with the soccer ball? I guess there was just too much going on with that cover “art” to come up with a funny caption, and it just speaks for itself.

Can’t say I ever played this but I’m quite sure there were better soccer games out there by the time this was released.

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