Thursday 8 October 2015

Nintendo World Cup (NES review)

Developer: Technōs Japan
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 1990

Nintendo World Cup is a football / soccer game that was released in Japan as Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club: Soccer.

In Tournament mode 1-2 players have to defeat 12 national teams to win the World Cup. Vs. Match Mode consists of a single match and it's one of only 24 games to officially support the NES Four Score meaning that up to four players can compete at the same time. Before you start a match you decide your offensive / defensive strategy, whether the goalkeeper should join in to try and score, and how often your team-mates should shoot. You only control one player throughout the entire match; the rest are all CPU team-mates although you can tell them when to pass (A button) or when to shoot (B button). Trick shots are available five times each half; these travel at ridiculous speeds and nearly always result in a goal no matter where you are on the field! It's a good way to get some cheap goals if you're behind but it also makes matches too easy as you're guaranteed a head start. One thing I hated is that if you tackle an opponent enough he'll eventually be knocked unconscious until a goal is scored or you reach half-time; it's a bizarre gameplay idea and one that makes each match far easier than it needs to be as half the team lies motionless on the ground! Another annoyance is that you can't select a direction when you want to pass; instead the game automatically kicks the ball to the nearest player which becomes a problem when multiple team-mates are on screen. Each half lasts four minutes and the lack of challenge makes it seem like an eternity until a match is completed. The graphics are great as it uses the same art style as River City Ransom but the severe sprite flicker is unbearable at times.

Nintendo World Cup is a quirky take on the sport but it doesn't have much in the gameplay department to make you want to play through all 12 matches. You might have some fun with four players but in solo mode it's too easy to forget about skill and rely on trick shots to artificially inflate your score.

Random trivia: A port for the Game Boy was published in 1991 and re-released on the 3DS Virtual Console in 2012.

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