Soccer (NES)

Soccer Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: October 1985

Developer: Intelligent Systems

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

Here we have another launch sports title in Soccer. This is one of the only two launch titles not developed by Nintendo, the other being 10-Yard Fight. The premise is simple, play a game of soccer.

Set your selections.

You start by choosing which team you want to be from 7 choices, USA, Great Britain, France, West Germany, Brazil, Japan, or Spain. Then you can choose the difficulty level. Finally, you can choose how long of a game you want to play. After that, you’re thrust out on the football pitch… errr… soccer field.

The opposition kicks off.

After kickoff, the controls are simple. On defense, you can change your player by pressing the D-pad and the B button. You want to try to either take the ball from a dribbling opposing player, or intercept a pass, or if they get too close, stop a shot with your goalie. There’s no slide tackling in this game, so I didn’t get my go to soccer move.

My goalie stopped the shot, thankfully.

On offense, you will be dribbling the ball by touching it and pressing a direction. You can pass with the B button. The A button is used to take a shot on goal while you aim with the D-pad. You have to be careful not pass the ball too far ahead or you’ll get the dreaded offsides.

Their goalie is off picking daisies or something.

After playing a game, it’s perfectly serviceable. The controls work just fine. It’s just super simple. There’s no differentiation between your players, they all play exactly the same. There aren’t any modes like season or playoffs, just one off games. As such, it’s good for a quick game here or there, but doesn’t have a lot of staying power.

Graphics: 2.0

They aren’t good, but they aren’t terrible. I can tell what everything is, so that’s all I need.

Sound: 2.0

The repeating music during the game is ok. The sounds aren’t terrible.

Gameplay: 2.0

The gameplay is very simple, but it works. I would have liked some more to do other than pass and shoot, but we’ll get there.

Difficulty: 2.0

I played a game on middle difficulty and it was pretty easy to defeat the AI.

Fun Factor: 2.5

It was pretty fun, but not something that would hold my attention for very long.

Overall Grade: 2.1

Soccer earns itself a C. It’s a very average game. Back at Christmas 1985, you could have had football, soccer, baseball, tennis, and golf to scratch your sports itch. Not bad, but where’s basketball?

Soccer Video Review on YouTube