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Soccer Shootout


"It's down to the last kick and the pressure is on!"

It's a warm, sunny day in the stadium today. Thirty soccer teams step up to the greens, ready to take on each other in a soccer cup-tournament, one player game, or two player match. But this is no ordinary soccer game... in this cup, you play straight to the penalty kick round!

Choose your favorite team, but in the end it'll be you versus the goalie. Decide where to kick on offense and get ready to catch the ball when playing defense. Can you make to the top of the cup and become International champions?

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
You won't find any sprites here; Soccer Shootout graduates from the school of drawing graphics using lines and circles. Much of soccer shootout takes place in the goalie's box, so during the play-by-play you'll see the goalie and the soccer ball contort according to the choices you and your opponent make in the play. If you choose to kick right and the goalie blocks left, you'll see the soccer ball drawn to the right while the goalie dives to the left pathetically. Of course this works both ways; make the wrong move with your goalie and prepare for published humiliation.

What you will find sorely missing in Soccer Shootout is a little animation. The game works on a text interface and the game adjusts the frames according to the actions you input into the computer. Of course, it's a little tricky to draw more than one animation frame using lines and circles. Oftentimes it would become a guessing game between flicker and non-flicker, and it's difficult to find a balance between the two. With that consideration, the investment to cut on animation pays off for Soccer Shootout in some of it's entertainment value.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
The lone PC speaker tune you'll hear in Soccer Shootout is at the game's intro sequence. A little song plays during that time, as the various teams roll in. It's actually kind of a catchy tune despite the PC speaker quality and it sets you up with a competitive feel. However, the catchy tune is still a lone tune, and there are no sounds during the in-game action. Considering that the game relies on the PC speakers anyway, this might be a blessing for the rest of Soccer Shootout's game aspects and just a slight detriment to the Sound/Music score. Unless some incredibly polished sound effects are installed during the in-game play, I wouldn't change a thing.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe v
Soccer Shootout is a one or two player penalty-kick soccer game. The object of the game is to score the most points by kicking the soccer ball past the goalie. You also have a double role; as goalie, you have to protect your score by blocking the opponent's kicks. The person  with the highest score at the end of the match wins the game.

To add to the gameplay, you can also play a Create-a-Cup tournament, where you play against a stream of computer opponents in a faceoff. You can also play a two player mode, where you and a buddy can alternate between playing the kicker and the goalie. Same rules apply.

There are a lot of options in Soccer Shootout, and the real reason the gameplay score is bogged down is because of the text interface that controls the game. During each kick, you choose either to kick left, at the middle, or to the right. When you play goalie, you choose  which direction to block. But in the interim, there's no way for you as the goalie to tell if the direction you block is the correct direction. There's no test of reflexes here that's so needed in a good soccer game.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
Only in the QB universe will you find a sports game whose biggest strength is it's story! The text narration interface in Soccer Shootout is very descriptive, and instead of worrying about Soccer Shootout's lack of gameplay, there's enough commentating to help bring in the feel of a real penalty kick match. You can read all the action as it happens. "Oh! You missed! He kicked left." And of course, there's also the ominous exclamation "GOAL!"

The various game modes also help build the story in Soccer Shootout. The ability to choose from one of many soccer teams allows you to develop a sense of individuality, and choosing which direction to kick or jump at the ball makes you feel a little more like a coach than a player. There's even a sense of completion by the game's end... the best feeling is reaching the very end of the tournament and becoming International champions.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
While the random play of Soccer Shootout does add flavor to the story aspect of the game, the lack of control you have over the outcome of every match does take away from it's replay value. On the bright side of things, you're always on equal ground with your opponent regardless of what team you choose. However, if you make a few unlucky decisions along the way you might fall out of a tournament or lose in overtime. If there was some degree of strategy that could be implemented here, it would be a lot better for this sports game as time goes on.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
(Very Poor) I don't think there are any team handicaps, and since all you really control is the direction you kick or block the ball during a penalty kick, Soccer Shootout is more of a game that's random than challenging. The computer player randomly chooses a direction to block or kick, and you really get no clue as to where the ball is going until the play ends and the announcer tells you what happened to the ball.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
First of all, I'm not going to recommend that StattoNet keep a narrative aspect in all of their games. This original, penalty-kick narration game is not a replacement for the excitement of a full, fast-paced soccer game. But even without the usual arcade flair, Soccer Shootout manages to be just that... to be a little fun! The ability to choose from a wide assortment of teams, combined with the tournament mode and other customizable aspects, allow you to play soccer in a lot of different ways. The announcer is also a big plus to this game because it helps fill the imagination in parts when the game could have used a few animations here and there.

The popular opinion may have StattoPong as StattoNet's best, but under a microscope it's this unusual but original take on the soccer genre is the real Sunday's best of this coding group. It's also a little appropriate, since Statto has a history for a love of sports. This isn't a game for the ultimate QB sports fan, but if you like soccer and you're okay with a penalty-kick game that seeks for fun instead of testing reflexes, take Soccer Shootout to the field.

Soccer Shootout Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1-2 players
Genre: Arcade/Sports Game
Rating To solve: 15-20 min Final Rating: 9/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wTo play Soccer Shootout, run "SOCCER24.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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