Soccer Story is a captivating role-playing journey that seamlessly builds a joyous and sometimes goofy story round one thing so simple as kicking a ball. A cataclysmic event causes soccer to be banned except sanctioned by the evil Soccer Inc. (with quite a lot of parallels to real-world FIFA), and our younger hero’s father goes lacking through the disaster. A yr later, a magical soccer ball comes crashing into our hero’s life. What comes subsequent is an typically foolish and enjoyable story about bringing soccer again to the world, crammed with anthropomorphic panda goalkeepers and an evil soccer company.
Gamers first got down to Soccertown to place the magical ball to make use of. The city is a shell of itself. The stadium is locked up, graffiti objectives are sprayed round city in an act of insurrection, and evil Soccer Inc. referees are continuously monitoring for illicit five-a-sides. Present on this soccer-mad world is pleasant, thanks largely to its absurdity.
The primary story units Leo or Kai, relying on which twin you select, on a path of liberating Soccertown, recruiting teammates, and successful soccer matches earlier than setting off to the subsequent space. As soon as your group is ready, and also you’ve grabbed Soccer Inc.’s consideration by bringing soccer again to Soccertown, you go to new areas for story missions and numerous aspect quests. You will go to a forest, a seashore, the weird Zen Zone modeled after a legendary, cherry-blossom-heavy Japan, and extra as you comply with the method of getting into new areas to discover and liberate. It’s enjoyable to dash round together with your soccer ball in every space, and it’s rewarding to lastly unlock a gate to a brand new zone. The zones by no means overstay their welcome earlier than you’re on to the subsequent one.
The motivation to repeatedly discover and full NPC missions is large, however you by no means really feel slowed down, nor do missions really feel tedious; they’re enjoyable and fast to finish. Plus, speaking to NPCs normally supplies comedic one-liners worthy of a chuckle.
Over the course of exploration and questing, you’re rewarded with cash and medals, which can be utilized to improve your hero’s velocity, capturing, vitality, and power. Some missions outright offer you medals, and it’s vital to hunt them out for 2 causes: They have an effect on your gamers in matches and your hero whereas exploring. Like several good role-playing sport, upgrading your participant’s stats is rewarding.
Many missions combine soccer in a enjoyable manner, like taking photographs at sharks to guard swimming children or slide-tackling crabs to save lots of a stranded beachgoer. Taking pictures a ball onto a crossbar emulates the real-world crossbar challenges gamers interact in throughout pitches worldwide. And a few quests are downright bizarre; at one level in Zen Zone, the sport turns right into a turn-based RPG whereas combating large mushrooms. These moments make Soccer Story rather more partaking than doing regular soccer duties, and it regularly dives into its weirdness head-first. Nonetheless, some quests, like flattening coconuts, may be annoying if you run in circles in search of that closing goal.
As soon as you permit the adventuring and missions, Soccer Story falters. Chaos and inconsistency mire the precise soccer matches. Working round to sort out gamers is exhausting, and capturing feels random. Growing your scoring probabilities requires whittling away on the keepers’ shields, making charged photographs vital however opening you as much as defensive maneuvers whereas stationary.
Even after pouring upgrades into my major character, goalkeepers deflected my finest photographs with out breaking a sweat. Different occasions, a weak shot from throughout the sphere would effortlessly float into the objective. This lack of consistency is complicated and aggravating. Velocity appears to be the one improve that issues, as most on-field upgrades don’t really feel impactful, and it’s irritating to lose a match after seemingly having an edge.
There’s a way of some management, however the matches may be so random it’s off-putting. I discovered rhythm of capturing shut and hammering house rebounds into the corners of the objective that was extra tedious than enjoyable, and I simply wished to be out of a match and again into the right journey. That’s not signal for a soccer-based RPG. You additionally compete in quite a few one-versus-one matches, however because of its primary method, these felt extra like padding than significant additions. The precise soccer portion of Soccer Story is simply serviceable and frustratingly inconsistent, which is a bummer when in comparison with the remainder of the sport.
Whereas Soccer Story is a story concerning the lovely sport, the soccer matches take a backseat to story and exploration. The journey and role-playing facet is quite a lot of enjoyable, particularly with soccer so built-in into the world, however the weak soccer matches preserve it from really being an amazing sports activities role-playing sport. Buoyed by its charming and humorous premise, Soccer Story supplies a satisfying journey and a unique kind of soccer sport, however one which doesn’t fairly rating a hat-trick.