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Soccer Brawl

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Released: 1991

Genre: Sports

Format reviewed: Neo Geo

Publisher: SNK

Developer: SNK

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

Oh the memories!  This is the game that let me know that my summer holidays had really begun as it featured on the Neo Geo MVS machine at East Midlands airport when I was younger.

The game itself is a futuristic football game with the emphasis very much on fast, arcade style play as opposed to a more "real" strategic affair.

Eight teams are on offer, and the single player league mode requires selecting your side and beating all seven opposing teams to finish the game.  The teams themselves are fairly similar, with the main difference being each squads star player, who has greater attributes than his team-mates and plays at different positions depending on the team.

The most important feature is the power bar, which is charged up by holding down the shoot button and when released causes the player to fire a shot in on goal.  If the bar is fully charged when this is done, the ball flies at high speed and can take out defenders (and team-mates!) that get in the way, and if hit hard enough can be fired off the side touchlines for some classic bank shots. 

The star player's shot varies and is much more powerful, with features such as turning the ball into lightening, a swirling shot that spins around the striker and attacks players surrounding him before flying towards goal or causing the ball to spin, making it almost impossible for the keeper to catch.

Although a good single player game, the most fun is offered by the two player head to head mode.

The game is highly enjoyable and still plays well, but looking back a few niggles are there, such as the almost useless passing and the somewhat cheap tactics sometimes employed by the computer opponents.  But saying that, Soccer Brawl offers a good arcade football experience.