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North America

RedCard 20-03

by Max Lake - August 29, 2002, 1:04 pm EDT


Midway continues its extreme brand of Blitz sports and finally brings it to the soccer pitch in Red Card Soccer.

Midway’s extreme brand of “Blitz” sports action has branched out from Football to now cover games in many sports. Red Card Soccer is Midway’s take on soccer, with wild slide tackling and take downs added to the Internationally beloved sport. It sounds great, especially considering how good Midway’s sports games have been recently. Sadly, Red Card Soccer offers very little in the way of fun for even the most hardcore of soccer fans.

The graphics do a fine job of rendering playing fields and players. The commentary is a little bland, but is also surprisingly professional considering the rowdiness of the title. There are a fair amount of options such as selecting the time of day, weather and such. However, once the game begins it becomes clear that the real fun is to be had in slide tackling opponents. In true Blitz fashion, you can rough up the other team like nobody’s business, and the animations for this brutality are really fun.

There is a strictness meter you can set, though if it is useless to play with it on any setting but off. The game is so action-centric and slide tackling is so much fun, that you’ll want to be as violent as possible and get away with it. If the strictness meter is on at all, there’s a very good chance you’ll be awarded yellow and/or red cards by the referee at some point in the match. It’s kind of cool to hurt another player bad enough to get called for it, though the more strict the game is, the less you’ll be able to get away with. In other words, it’s pretty pointless the strictness meter is in there at all, save for the namesake of the title.

The violence probably wouldn’t be such a highlight if Red Card were actually enjoyable as a game of soccer. One of the biggest reasons it isn’t fun is that the control is absolutely horrid. The control scheme isn’t intuitive and takes quite a bit of getting used to. Z is used to shoot the ball, and this doesn’t work very well. Getting used to an awkward control set-up is one thing, but actually fighting against the responsiveness of a controller can make a game downright unplayable.

If you’ve played Eternal Darkness, you might be familiar with the insanity effect that reverses the control of your player. So if you press down, you go up, press right, you go left. For some strange reason, I experienced a very similar phenomenon while playing Red Card Soccer, where instead of running towards the goal to score, my player ran the ball right to the sideline and out of bounds. I wanted to scream “THIS…ISN’T…HAPPENING!” but it was. This control anomaly happens more than it should and make controlling the players and ball very difficult indeed. The troublesome control drains almost all enjoyment from the game...except for the slide tackling. The control scheme does make it pretty easy to do that.

The Nintendo GameCube now has quite a selection when it comes to soccer titles. I have yet to try them all, though I do feel I can safely say that Red Card Soccer is probably the worst. I loved Hitz, I love Soccer Slam, I love FIFA. I wanted to love Red Card Soccer too, and again, it’s hard not to enjoy bringing the pain. But that’s it. It’s not a fun soccer game, or even a very controllable one. If you must know more, give it a rent.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 7 3 4.5 2 4

The players and arenas don’t look spectacular, though they are detailed and get the job done nicely. The player models also look pretty good, though some animations (of the referee in particular) seem a little silly.


There’s some nice commentary, and this is one of the more outstanding features of the title. Music really isn’t awfully memorable.


Red Card Soccer has an awkward, counter-intuitive control scheme that takes more than a little getting used to. The emphasis is on hurting other players and not necessarily playing much soccer, making it a little difficult to play a successful game. The Z button is a horrible choice for shooting. Worse, there are times that controlling your player and/or the ball go all wrong, for no reason.


There’s no denying that in true Blitz tradition, beating the hell out of other players is fun and satisfying. Unfortunately, that’s about all Red Card Soccer has to offer that closely resembles fun. Red Card doesn’t seem quite so over the top as its Blitzed-out cousins and almost tries to be a soccer sim—it’s an awkward mixture and it really doesn’t work. Options are minimal and the poor control prevents one from enjoying the game to the fullest.


Next to Soccer Slam and FIFA 2002, Red Card Soccer really doesn’t hold a candle. The multiplayer matches are for only two players playing against each other. True, there are some neat extras to unlock if you’re willing to stick it out, though with the lackluster gameplay and frustrating controls, I hardly found myself playing this game by myself, let alone with friends.


I have a hard time recommending Red Card Soccer when there are better soccer games to be played on the Cube. Red Card Soccer shouldn’t be a terrible game and has all the makings of a fun romp. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t fly. It’s more of an average soccer sim with some bad boy elements thrown in than an all-out massacre. The slide tackle and its variations are the true stars of the game, simply because there’s almost nothing else to offer. Give Red Card Soccer a rent if you’re truly interested, otherwise stay far away and stick to the competition.


  • Lots of violent, amusing slide tackles
  • Some fun extras to unlock
  • Low on options & features
  • Only two player and no co-op
  • Very poor control
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Sports
Developer Point of View Software
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: RedCard 20-03
Release Jun 24, 2002

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