ICO Soccer reminds me of
those classic soccer games on the Amiga 500 and the SNES, not just from
the graphics but rather the gameplay which easily allows gamers of all
levels the ability to play this title from the get go. Best of all, the
developers have ensured that the stylus is not just an afterthought and
actually enhances the gaming experience and will have you kicking goals
in no time... well, almost.
The developers have
boasted an old-school approach to this game and even from the opening
scene, the game is extremely retro and actually suits the approach they
Gameplay wise, you can
start a quick match or start a World Cup mode which is quite short.
Getting straight into the mechanics of soccer in this title, the top
screen is used to display the gameplay itself and information, with the
stylus screen used to control your match. The touch screen is where the
game is reminiscent of those classic top-down views with icons displayed
for various soccer maneuvers.
In terms of difficulty,
the game is quite easy on "easy" and yes, quite difficult on "pro" and
this of course depends on your level of gaming. Of course on easy, the
game helps the player tremendously and you really only need to pick
which icon you want the player to do such as pass or kick. On Pro, there
is another level of difficulty and almost makes the game a strategic
experience. After playing this game for a few weeks now, I must admit
that it is an interesting sporting game, however this is where some of
the shortfalls come into play.
When it comes to
gameplay modes, the title features a Quick Match and a World Cup mode
with a limited number of teams to play. This almost makes the game feel
like like a shareware title and is lacking that polished feel of many of
the more popular gaming developers. Of course this is all probably
dependent on licensing but nevertheless, it's a shame.
Graphically, the title
is a mixed bag with some interesting choices of styles and special
effects that the company have adopted. In essence, the game does pay
homage to those classic old school soccer games of yesterday and I must
admit that is works quite well. Sound is nothing special but it actually
suits the graphics and gameplay.
At the end of the day,
ICO Soccer may not be for everyone and it seems like a shortened soccer
game with the limited number of choices. The gameplay actually works
quite well with the stylus and once you have mastered easy, mastering
pro is a totally different story. Definitely a game for those looking at
an easy arcade soccer game.