Sega Soccer Slam
|a game by||Black Box Games|
|Editor Rating:||6.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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This spring, Visual Concepts and Sega take a break from simulating reality to bring us Soccer Slam, a three-on-three arcade romp based on the world's most popular sport. Seeing that this is essentially the NBA Showtime of soccer games, expect plenty of wacky power-ups, special moves and effects. A quest mode allows your players to improve with each victory, as you gun for the Continental Cup.
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If I were 9 years old (or I were Greg Sewart), I could appreciate a soccer game that features a bare-chest-ed, fat guy with the biggest outty belly-button I’ve ever seen. Holy crap, that sucker sticks out like a turgid snake fish. As a grown-up, however, Soccer Slam’s goofy characters don’t do anything for me. I’m also a little miffed about the slow-paced players, as most of the action takes place as follows: Take control of the man nearest to the ball. Hold down turbo for maximum closing speed. Cringe when your player doesn’t appear to run any faster. Finally reach wayward ball a step behind your opponent. Smack him to the turf with a forearm chop to the skull (that never gets old). Steal the ball and scamper down-field, doing your best to stay ahead of your opponents with the turbo trigger pinned, and so on. Obviously, you spend a lot of time running in Soccer Slam, so the less-than-speedy characters can be frustrating. Despite an option to build up a player’s strength and speed abilities, most still feel anemic to me. Barring that, it’s a swell time. A decent variety of offensive and defensive counter moves keeps you glued to the set, as does the cool multiplayer action. I rarely do this, but I’m giving it an extra half point, because I’m sure kids (5-10 years old) will love this game. The older crowd may want to rent it first to test their tolerance for cartoon hijinks and giant, protruding bulbs of skin.
Throw a party for a bunch of girls and both casual and hardcore gameboys, and you’ll probably scratch your head down to the scalp deciding how to entertain ‘em all. Well, you could show off those Breakin’ moves, but why not try SSS first (before you hurt yourself)? Its addictive, arcadey gameplay requires no sports know-how, and each hyper-paced match almost always comes down to a single, exciting goal. Keeping tabs on your teammates is difficult thanks to the overzealous computer that controls 'em, but between its gripping multiplayer and single-player modes and simple play-mechanics, SSS ensures a quick, pick-me-up rush of fun.
If Nintendo’s Ice Hockey mated with NBA Jam, they’d produce Soccer Slam. It has all the crazy shots of Jam and the big, powerful guy vs. small, fast guy play mechanics of Ice Hockey. The combination makes for a lot of fun-especially in multiplayer. The controls are so easy to get used to that you’ll be a scoring threat the second you start playing, and the balanced gameplay almost always guarantees a close contest (not to mention a lot of trash talk). Soccer Slam is just a blast to play; it’s one of the best party games on the GC. Now if BlackBox had only included more single-player options, SSS would be a great solo game, as well.