Reviewed in 2011 by Tibe


by Tibe (2011)

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I can remember how much success met this Soccer Brawl in the arcades, back in 1992. ll the MVS equipped with it were overcrowded all the day. At the time, the game was simply amazing! Beautiful and original, a futuristic soccer game where players are robots was something special ... Had to believ now! Soccer Brawl cabinets were among the most popular at the time, maybe because of the Terminator/Robocop factor... With hindsight, what is it today? Is it still the blow to invest in a good old robotic soccer game today? After an introduction extolling the superhuman abilities of cyber-soccer players, you will be given the choice between a tournament against the CPU (League Mode) or a clash between two players, the versus mode. It quickly becomes obvious that against the computer, if the first game is easy (to hold the noob's breath...) from the second match that changes drastically, and it becomes very difficult not to have your ass kicked real hard.

Bird's head, overhead trick... there will be sport!
Bird's head, overhead trick... there will be sport!

Eight teams are proposed, differentiating each other by the endurance of their players, the skills of their goalkeeper (who will be an important part of the game!) and by the special shoot of the team's captain, each featuring a different technique. Then comes the choice of the stadium, among the two which are proposed: you have the SNK Stadium equipped with a good old lawn, or the Super Dome, 100% metal. Then the war begins!  Only two buttons are used, and each player have a gauge (Power-Meter) that can be filled to perform ultra-powerful swing potatoes, or fire a crippling laser when playing defense. The Power-Meter will affect the goalkeeper performance too, so make sure it's always well filled! A thus is used to draw or tackle, B to perform pass, jump or shoulder blows. Some hidden techniques are more subtle, but it's up to you to discover these by playing Soccer Brawl... The graphics successfully transcribe the futuristic atmosphere, with stadiums colorful at will, nice effects on the ball when the big shots occur, and impressive beefy cyborg-players!

Defenders can launch electric charges to stop the opponent.
Defenders can launch electric charges to stop the opponent.

For sure, visually the quality is flawless, thanks to a meticulous work that didn't omitted the details.  We can only regret that there's only two stadiums in the whole game, which is quite poor. Players would have loved two or three more arenas, with traps such as mines or spikes... that would have been fun, and have still improved gameplay and addiction factor for Soccer Brawl. Besides, the animation is flawless, it goes fast, very fast indeed. The action is intense, downtimes are rare, and powerful scrollings shootout are really super-fast! Besides, it's authorized to use the side walls to bounce the ball, in order to take the goalkeeper by surprise: fun! The soundtrack is like the graphics, top quality but not too varied. Digital robotic voices are perfectly adequate, and the music really nice despite it doesn't change very often... The whole is pleasant, and sound effects (impact, fire, laser ..) are also a highlight of the game. So we can note a very high quality overall, but the lack of environments still remains. The replay value is not bad at all, anyway! Eight teams is cool, League mode is hard to curl and offers a good challenge for most players.

The captain have a special shot which breaks everything in its way.
The captain have a special shot which breaks everything in its way.

The most addictive feature in Soccer Brawl remains the opposition between players, just like in a good vesus fighting game. Downright addictive despite their simplicity, the clashes are full of twists and surprises! The player with the best reflexes and the higher technical level is rewarded, but even rookies can try their luck. The gameplay there is also no surprise: smooth, quick and intuitive controls make the game very addictive. There are dozens of ways to score a goal, strategies to develop, a real defensive game (preferably violent) to work out... Clearly, Soccer Brawl rocks! Originality is there, and let's confess it, it's heavily enjoyable to shoot 200km/h balls through the field with our own 'terminators'! While not going for a staggering depth, without offering a gameplay itself "revolutionary " , the soft and its originality have all the necessary ingredients to hook football games fevers and science-fiction lovers. Along with 2020 Super Baseball, here's another sport nicely declined into a cyborg-mode by SNK.  Soccer Brawl is a pretty good arcade game, as we love them: nice, straight forward, full of atmosphere, and above all, fun as hell!



Players and stadiums are well drawn, as well as ball effects and intermediate screens. However, two stadiums is few...
Hyper fast scrollings, breathtaking action, decently decomposed moves and a good detail level.
Robotic off-voice is unforgetable! Musics are good, but not varied enough.
Eight different teams,with a challenging "League Mode"; but the best part remains the "Versus Mode", which can last hours with a friend.
Simple, catchy, varied enough for players to have fun. Soccer brawl will give you great moments with epic battles for two players!



Original concept, good realization, and overwhelming fun for fabulous games with friends! Alone, the game is less interesting.


If you have good friends who love opposition, Soccer Brawl awaits you! Between 60 and 80 euros depending on condition and version. An investment you won't regret.

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