Football Superstars Review: For World Cup Fans
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Football (soccer) is a very famous sport, and has spawned numerous games on all platforms from consoles to the PC. Whether it's FIFA, Pro Evolution, or other soccer games, much like basketball ports, virtual sports games have a certain linearity when it comes to game play. Maybe it's because the game has to follow a certain amount of rules that make them similar to one another, with only their graphic interfaces that provide the minor difference.
Yes, Football Superstars is one of many MMO games dedicated to the breathtaking sport that is football. In this game, players take the role of their own created player as they play hard to be the best player on the field. Although the game has everything a soccer port can offer, it also has a few features that make the game surprisingly better than its predecessors.
Alright Team! Let's Get Started!
One of the best parts about this game is its character creation interface which features tons of options for you to create your digital doppelganger. After picking your gender, you'll be opted to choose between a large variety of facial customizations and different types of clothing to go with it. In my opinion, the character interface is so awesome, I'm actually wishing they would implement the system in other non-sporty MMOs.
I'm Out Of The Field! Amazing!
What adds to the realism factor is the game's ability to let you take a few breaths of fresh air outside the arena rather than the usual "click-join game" interface sported by other games. There you can interact with other players, NPCs or simply just take your time strolling around the various locations. The off-court world is pretty big, which adds a whole lot of diversity to the game, allowing players to enjoy non-football activities like barhopping, visit cafes, do virtual shopping-sprees, or just train for the heck of it.
Off the field
We Owe It All To The Fans!
In order to become a superstar, you'll need a lot of fans. Fame is not only acquired through your performance but also through your exposure and interactions around the city. Your fame can easily be accessed through your virtual mobile phone, which also allows you to keep track of your messages, character profile, inventory, and of course find matches. No one wants to be the 'other guy' so do your best to please the fans.
Something You Should Not Miss
One thing I most regret is not passing through the tutorial phase, which is a mandatory feature for those who are new to the game. The controls and movement may be a bit tricky at times, especially for players who are too excited to go through the tutorial stage. The controls are similar to PC FPS's, with the WSAD keys for movements and the mouse for camera controls. It's a nice touch and greatly complements your skills as it offers awesome mobility.
Don't skip this feature! Just because the game revolves around kicking does not mean its control scheme is that easy. Adjusting to the PC's mouse and keyboard maybe tricky for players who are used to playing on their consoles; however, this shouldn't be much of a problem as the controls are well placed and easy to get used to, provided that you didn't wing it and viewed the tutorials. It's not that long, and essential if you want to be good at this game.
One of the biggest problems I've encountered so far is the whereabouts of good ol' fashioned team play. Unlike FIFA where you can just pass the ball with a touch of a button, simple commands such as passing requires fine timing and precision. Perhaps they were really trying to exercise individuality and skill factor among players, but why make basic things so hard? Despite this common problem, the precision involved makes the game quite immersive, encouraging players to concentrate on the match, which separates this title for other no-brainer sports games.
Perhaps one of the things that make this game good is the graphics, and it doesn't stop there. Despite the game's outstanding graphic capability, the system requirements are not that high for the nice set of visuals. The characters are properly rendered, though it's extremely hard to create a character that would technically look good in real life. The cities look brilliant, especially at the expense of a cheap video card. The in game interface isn't that bad either, with a fine mock phone for a menu that's user friendly. The in-game sounds are pretty amazing, with crowd noises, and other rackets mostly heard on a soccer stadium. Sound plays a huge role in the immersion-factor of video games, and might I say that this one did pretty well.
As far as soccer or football goes, Football Superstars did a stupendous job at presenting us with a not so linear version of a game that has been revamped and remade for decades. It does have its weak points regarding the control and precision issue, but it's something that makes players more attentive and concentrated as they go on with their online career. It does get frustrating when your teammates act like morons in the middle of the field, but you'll feel absolutely glorious after nailing a perfect play.
The high learning curve may be an issue to some, but it's also through this system where we see how awesome a hard-earned play is. The graphics greatly complement this game, making it look up-to-date compared to other games. If there's one thing that's depressing about this game, it's the playerbase, which could definitely use some support. It's a great game... Just wish people would pay more attention to it. It's free to play, so what are you waiting for?
- Good presentation
- Immersive gameplay
- Tactics are involved
- Not a no-brainer soccer game.
- May not be too casual for some gamers
- Precision and high learning curve may be an issue to some
- Player base.