As summer melts down, Max resurfaces to kick it with Red Card Soccer. Is it a kick in the pants? Read these initial impressions!
My friends and I are rather big fans of NHL Hitz and Sega Soccer Slam, so with Midway’s own version of “Blitzed” Soccer in Red Card Soccer, I was expecting at least a little fun. Although I haven’t spent lots of time with the game yet, the playtime I’ve had is definitely enough to find this game lacking.
I knew I was in trouble when Point of View’s logo came up. For those of you who don’t know who Point of View is, they’re the company who did a god-awful GameCube port of Spy Hunter. Unfortunately, the development team’s work on Red Card Soccer has done nothing whatsoever to elevate my perception of them. The first thing I noticed was how bare bones the game seems. There’s no 4-player support and two players can’t even play on the same team, which is disappointing. Not only does this seem pale in comparison to other GC soccer titles, it looks weak compared to Midway’s own excellent NHL Hitz.
Still, Red Card isn’t all that bad, and it delivers a fairly good game of soccer with an emphasis on action. And brother, what action there is! The best thing about the game so far is the various forms of attack your players can administer to the opposing team. Players will slip and flip, jump and drop kick. In this aspect, the game really shines. One big gripe though: you can’t slide tackle the goalie (which is always a surefire laugh-getter for my friends and I in FIFA 2002)!
While all this violence does offer some fun, the controls are not incredibly intuitive and do not offer adequate control over the ball. Z, of all buttons, shoots the ball, while A works as pass and slide tackle. After playing a bunch of FIFA 2002, it seems very hard to get good control of the ball. To be fair, I think I need more time to warm up to this awkward control scheme; I’m sure practice will help improve my performance.
Going with the game’s name, you can still be penalized by a ref for extensive violence. During one match, I was awarded a yellow card. However, this seemed more baffling than appropriate after kicking the $#!% outta the other team for the whole match, and then out of nowhere getting carded with the announcers saying I was going “too far.” Um, OK?
I’ll be getting more playtime in and have a full review of Red Card Soccer very soon, but you don’t need to wait to heed this advice: try before you buy. If you want a good soccer sim, pick up FIFA 2002, if you want brutal soccer action, pick up Sega Soccer Slam. If neither one of these games are your flavor, Red Card Soccer might be for you. Overall though, it doesn’t seem to come close to either of those games in quality or fun. So far I’m just not that impressed.