RockMan's Soccer / MegaMan's Soccer (SFC) (1994)
Review by Faididi and Co.
Watching the Transformers play football is more fun
Story: Sucks All Ass
Dr. Wily's newest scheme to conquer the world is to take over its most popular sport, so he replaces the human players in a championship with robotic ones of his own. To stop him, Dr. Light sends RockMan to beat the evil robots... at a game of soccer. Really, the story here is a horrible excuse for a game, and things would've been better off had there not been any story at all.
Gameplay: Below Average
RockMan's Soccer (MegaMan's Soccer) is a sports game, of course, but with the robot characters from Capcom's RockMan series. Less like in proper soccer and more like in rugby, however, everyone here is allowed to trip, shove, and do to each other whatever is necessary to make the ball go into the opposing team's net. In addition to the regular kicks and passes, the characters can also endow the ball with their thematic powers when they shoot it, turning it into a deadly projectile. RockMan can supercharge the ball with his arm cannon's energy, IceMan can chill it into a freezing ball, NeedleMan can morph it into a spiked ball, and so on. The number of these special shots allowed for each team is limited, though, and nobody ever dies. If someone is knocked down, he'll simply get back up after a while.
All the modes support up to 2 Players. The exhibition mode lets you run a quick match. In the tournament mode, your team tries to eliminate the rest, while in the league mode, your team plays against all other teams over an entire season of matches. However, the main, story-driven chunk of the game lies in the championship mode, where RockMan's team (initially consisting of copies of RockMan) must defeat 8 other teams in any order, before moving on to the elite teams at Dr. Wily's castle. After winning a match, a member from the defeated team joins RockMan's party, so the heroes gain a new ally for future matches. This may be a playful twist on the series' biggest gimmick, but the order of opponents doesn't matter as much here, because there are no elemental vulnerabilities to exploit. The team's progress can be recorded with passwords, but they're ridiculously large and painfully tedious to manage.
Other than the special shots and the encouragement of its characters to beat each other silly, RockMan's Soccer is a rather basic sports game. Every character has his own set of supposed strengths and weaknesses, but high running speed is the only thing that matters here, because everyone apparently kicks and passes the ball with equal agility. The computer opponents are predictable, even for the so-called elite teams. Furthermore, the characters just partially represent the series' first four FC/NES installments and the first GB installment. GutsMan, MetalMan, HardMan, and RingMan are only a few of the many who haven't made it into this game.
The characters can hit or steal the ball easily enough, but the control-shifting between the individual team members can use a lot more work. The game loves to forcibly switch your controls over to another team member as the ball moves around the field. Not only does this get annoying in the cooperative 2-Player mode, but it also prevents your team members from freely ganging up together. The member selection process for the exhibition mode also sucks, because it inexplicably limits you to choosing clones of the same character for every member of the same position role, instead of letting you pick each member individually.
Graphics: Below Average
The characters on the fields are sufficiently animated, and each one of them has his own victory dance, but the backgrounds look half-completed. The motionless crowds in the stands are devoid of life, and the Mets outside the fields are literally frozen in midair.
The sound effects are decent. Having longer tunes would've helped, because the music tends to repeat often during the lengthy matches.
Overall: Below Average
With its dull computer opponents, unfriendly controls, horribly bloated passwords, and incomplete graphics, RockMan's Soccer barely passes for a proper sports game, as if that still matters. It'll satisfy only RockMan fans who enjoy anything with the series' name slapped on it.