Footballing fun with heads as big as its heart
When you think of an average game of football, you’re probably picturing a perfectly-maintained pitch split into two halves, two teams, two goalkeepers, a referee, linesman, and a yearly wages-to-actual-skill ratio so ridiculously imbalanced that it defies both common sense and mathematics. You probably weren’t thinking of a side-view, Mortal Kombat-looking scenario where two players with heads that are disproportionately (yet hilariously) larger in size than their body are kicking repeatedly and furiously in order to get the ball into the goal of the opposition. Prepare yourself for a bit of silliness, a lot of frenzied kicking and some shallow football-based fun.
As far as the premise of the whole thing, it really doesn’t go much deeper than a one-on-one battle with an opponent on a miniature football field, with each of you attempting to smash the ball into the opposing gentleman’s goal. The ball is dropped in from the middle, much like a game of foosball, after which each player must frantically scramble for it while kicking with a definite hysteria that you don’t see very often nowadays. It’s a concept that is very simple but that somehow rustles up more entertainment than you would ever think a game with giant-headed footballers could.
The interface of the whole thing looks much like a side-view beat-em-up title similar to Tekken, with both players guarding their own goal while trying to smash in a screamer into that of their opponent’s. On-screen buttons are the means by which you control the action, with left and right being the only directional controls needed, and the ability to ‘kick’ and ‘jump’ providing the crux of the entertainment. The ‘Power’ shot occurs when you muster up enough power through kicking and scoring to press the ‘power’ button, enshrouding you in a cloak of energy which comes into effect upon contact with the ball, smashing it with extreme might in the opponent’s direction.
With a variety of game modes to get stuck into, the game isn’t simply a repetitive goal-scoring experience with no sense of purpose to it. Arcade mode allows you to have a little bit of one-off fun in which you go up against an opponent for a minute. Tournament mode is for the more avid football fan who likes to be entered into multiple matches relying upon excellent performance for progression; this mode enters you into battle at the quarter finals stage against randomly selected opponents. Survival mode serves to truly test your defending skills as well as putting pressure on your attacking capability, pitting you against opponents in a sudden-death format.
Attributes, Avatars and Unlockables
Alright, so the game has smatterings of ‘Freemium’, with the player attributes requiring points in order to be upgrades; some points are won through gameplay, but these can also be purchased with real money. Various avatars can be unlocked by completing various levels/modes and defeating various opponents, as well as different kits being attainable by the very same method. The attributes/skills of your player (such as speed, power and dash) are also upgradable with points, giving you an incentive to return to the game, citing progression as the reason and development of skills as the means. I find it quite impressive that such a simplistic game can offer an appeal that extends past my initial assumption of it as a shallow, fleeting bit of silly fun.
Range of game modes
Progression through upgrading of attributes
Big heads aren’t funny forever
Repetitive over long periods of gameplay