Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Goal! 5 soccer video games for gamers who are not sport fans

The FIFA 2014 world cup has started and soccer once again became a hot topic everywhere. In the video game world there are superb Soccer simulations like EA's FIFA and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series. Games like that give you the feeling of a real soccer game with all the emotion and glory, but on the other side of the equation there are soccer video games that go the way of the arcades with an over the top and often wacky take on the popular sport. Here are 5 of those games that take the goal fest into a different style and can be very fun even if you are not a sports fan.

lego soccer mania
Take into account that this one came before all the lego related games.

Lego Soccer Mania 
(2002 - PS2, Game Boy Advance, Windows)

This one is the simplest out of the list. It is a simplified version of the soccer game with legos on it, but with the popularity that lego based video games and movies have had, this one is worth a try. The premise on this one is a simple game of Soccer, but including all the things you love about legos as well as some power ups that randomly spawn on the field for the player to use them. In order to simplify the game play itself, the game left out some soccer rules like fouls and offsides, so it is more of a family-arcade type of sports video game with fast paced soccer showdowns and a straight forward game flow.

disney sports soccer
One expects Sora to come out and play at any minute.

Disney Sports Soccer
(2002 - Game Cube, Game Boy Advance)

Some months before the time when Disney characters had a real come back in the form of Kingdom Hearts, Disney Sports Soccer took some of the most famous Disney characters into the game. This one is a little more serious, but still featuring an arcade style of game play where each of the main players have magic powers they can use to turn the tide of the game into their favor. The Disney characters in this game look similar to how they looked on Kingdom Hearts (with a little less quality) and the various game modes mostly go around a Dream Cup or elimination tournament which are good for a quick and exciting championship, specially if playing with friends.

sega soccer slam
Sega always finds a way to make everything look "arcade style".

Sega Soccer Slam
(2002 - PS2, Gamecube, Xbox) 
(2003 - Mobile) 
(2008 - Xbox 360 as Xbox Originals)

This Sega crazy take on soccer is an over the top take on the sport. For starters the game almost has no official soccer rules which makes it a near 100% arcade experience. The player can also punch, kick, slam or tackle each other in order to take control of the ball which makes it feel sort of like NBA Jam with no fouls and hectic situations. Each team has a different characteristic that defines how they play like toxic, ice, robotics, fire, water and so on which makes it interesting to try every team and see which one suits you best. The game also features a story mode in which you can earn money to buy new power ups and unlock some cool bonus artwork. In summary, the game is a fun, out of the ordinary soccer experience, just what we would expect of Sega on these kinds of arcade style games.   

mega man soccer box art
A classic one for any Mega Man fan.

Mega Man Soccer
(1994 - Super Nintendo)

This one is classic and a rare and expensive find if you are a video game collector and find a boxed one. Mega Man Soccer took the sport and gave it the Mega Man treatment with many of the franchise famous robot masters and of course the "Blue Bomber" himself. The game is really active with all the robots using their powers in order to take control of the ball and trying to smash the goalie out to score. Every robot in the game has its own stats and are better on some things than others and can be used on the various game modes like exhibition, leagues and tournaments which can be played solo or with a friend to make it more fun and active. The game did not had the best of receptions when it first came out, but if you give it a chance (or are a Mega Man fan) you can really enjoy it.

super mario strikers charged art
The art for this game was just awesome!

Super Mario Strikers Charged
(2007 - Wii)

The Mario Bros franchise has been in almost everything, and soccer isn't the exception. Starting in Game Cube, the Mario Strikers games has all been about the characters in the Mario Bros universe battling it out for glory in the field. In Charged, this is more noticeable with more powers and even using the motion control features of the Wii to try to stop the ball as the goalie (on a first person perspective) at certain occasions. This time around Nintendo gave a little more personality to the characters and gave them pretty impressive skills that can be used against your foes (some of them were really exploited, like Boo's skill that goes through the opponent and made it easy to basically bypass the goalie). The game is also very challenging not only while playing with others, but also at the single player mode where the CPU is relentless and can beat you up the moment you make your first mistake. Overall, it is a really good arcade style soccer game that really deserves a try if you have Wii or Wii U. 

Luigi's death stare before it was cool.
Luigi's death stare before it was cool.

Wrapping things up

Here you have it folks. 5 good soccer games for those who are not necessarily fans of the sport. These are games that bend the rules in favor of just having fun and do a very good job at it. From simpler versions of the soccer sport, to playing with super powers and even beating up your opponents, these games can make up for a very fun afternoon of video game soccer, even more so if you play them with friends. So, if you ever get some soccer fever (because of the world cup and stuff), but you don't want to play a simulation game, check these ones out and give it a try.  

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