Let's Make a Soccer Team - PS2 Review
Letís be honest... the title "Let's Make A Soccer Team" isnít one that is likely to inspire many gamers to pick it up, let alone purchase it. Itís a very straightforward title and it honestly does sum up the game fairly well. Thereís not a lot of great in-depth management simulators on console, certainly no where near as many as there is on PC, and if thatís what youíre looking for, Letís Make A Soccer Team may be one of the titles youíve been waiting forÖ but be warned, its not all itís cracked up to be!
|It looks pretty poor on-pitch.|
The story goes that you play the manager of a team in any of the many, many, locations available in the game (seriously Ė six leagues with heaps of city bases in each - thereís HEAPS!). Your team has run into financial trouble so youíve been brought in to save the team from going under and being bought out and merged with a rival team. As far as story goes, thatís about it. Itís bland and hard to get excited about, but it does the job and sets up the game fairly well.
The first thing you are going to think playing Let's Make A Soccer Team is likely to be ďIím in over my headĒ accompanied by a feeling of being incredibly lost. There is a ridiculously large amount of options to select at the start, ranging from the expected team name, team home location, and so on, through to the more surprising options such as which secretary you will start the game with (there are four to choose from). Being that our review copy comes without a manual, itís very hard to tell how much easier this would be with documentation, but even once we had it figured, it still is somewhat of a head job.
|A penny for your thoughts...|
Unfortunately, beyond this initial setup stage, the game does lose quite a lot of depth. For instance, when matches occur and you sit on the sidelines, the commands you can give your players are quite limited, and (like in real life) they will not always be obeyed. This inconsistent detail is also hampered by a very difficult menu system, which is among the hardest to navigate in a game in years. Each time a player goes to do something they will find themselves looking for the command from the beginning over again, and it really does take a lot away from the game.
Another issue that takes quite a toll on the enjoyment of Let's Make A Soccer Team is the frequent and lengthy load times. While a 4-6 second load time may seem short, when it occurs every time you want to swap menus, it starts to seem a lot longer and become very frustrating. Luckily, matches only take about the same time to load.
|How, ermm, exciting.|
An interesting addition to Let's Make A Soccer Team is a versus mode, though introducing another person to the game just made double the confusion for the most part, with the huge menus only able to take up a smaller portion of the screen. Regardless, if both players are used to the game, itís a nice addition to add in some replay value.
Sitting on the side-lines of the match isnít really all itís cracked up to be. Segaís attempt at creating a match really does look quite horrible when compared to other soccer games. The characters are almost impossible to distinguish apart, there is very little detail on the pitch or the crowd, and animation is quite frankly awful. A saving grace is that it is possible to skip the matches and just go with a random outcome, but this really doesnít help to immerse yourself in the management role LMAST is about. Outside of matches there are simply menus which are fairly blandly presented and an occasional scene with a paper-cutout of your secretary. Graphically this really is back in the days of PS1, with many of the earlier soccer games from this generation putting it to shame.
|Going out to practice.|
While admiring the horrible match graphics, you will also have to sit through some very bad commentary. At first we were in hysterics laughing at it, but after about 5 minutes, it really does become quite bad. A good idea is to swap it to another language; you may not understand it but a couple of them are much more exciting to have going than the English. In-match sound effects are also quite bland and this game may be best enjoyed with the speakers turned off!
|As good as the graphics get.|
Basically, as with many games that fall flat on their face, there is a lot of potential here. Itís simply not presented well and becomes quite painful to experience. If you turn off the sound, have quite a lot of time on your hands to learn the way Let's Make A Soccer Team works, and can bear with bad load times and menus, then you will enjoy this game far more than I did. Iíve always been told that if you donít have anything nice to say then donít say anything at all... so perhaps itís best summed up like this: if youíre not certain this is the game for you, then give it a miss and stick to the few rival titles, or the PC for this genre.
Review By: Michael Hutchesson
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
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|GRAPHICS||Very uninspiring. Horrible player animation and boring menus.||31%|
|SOUND||Fairly bland. Terrible in-match commentary.||34%|
|GAMEPLAY||Itís thereÖ if you like this style of game and can get over the menus then youíll have fun.||43%|
|VALUE||Thereís a lot of time to put into it. A limited versus mode also brings this up a little.||51%|
|OVERALL||: Letís Make A Soccer Team definitely isnít for everyone and it certainly doesnít hold up against its rival titlesÖ Unless youíre desperate for a management sim, save your money||39%|