Everyday Soccer Review
Posted by Jacob Crites
Hardly in the Premier League
When it comes to soccer on the DSi, it really comes down to the Real Soccer franchise, and we're certainly not complaining. For a mere 800 Points you can get a portable, yet retail-quality version of the beautiful game with tons of content. Still, it's nice to see a game like EveryDay Soccer come along. Offering a more simplified version of the sport with only four players, a smaller playing field and no penalties, the game is clearly going for that fast-paced-and-accessible style of Super Mario Strikers. However, despite its promise, its cumbersome controls and lack of options make it a rather pointless diversion.
Technically speaking, the controls are simple. On offence the B button passes the ball, while pressing it on defence will execute a slide-tackle. The Y button shoots, and the A button will either cause the player to shoulder charge or execute a special trick depending on whether or not they have the ball. The R button dashes, but it'll cost you a bit of stamina. While the list of commands is a short one, the controls lack the fluidity and consistency that would otherwise make the game accessible. First of all, the pass assistance isn't great, making it hard to string together a decent play, and second of all there's nothing that resembles a passing or shot power meter in the game. Holding down the pass button, or the kick button for that matter, will not make the ball go faster or farther — in fact it'll execute a lob. Not exactly ideal. The lack of smooth gameplay mechanics means pulling off one-two passes or any sort of tricky ball-handling is more laborious than it should be.
As far as single-player is concerned there are only two options: Free Play and Championship. The somewhat dubiously named Free Play mode is a simple exhibition match, while Championship is your standard bracketed... well, Championship, where your team works its way through the ranks to get to the final match. Speaking of teams, those are somewhat dubious as well: there are no licensed players here, and since all your teammates are most likely going to be incompetent regardless of what the game tells you their skill level is, the difference in teams really comes down the color of the kits. Folks looking for some multiplayer action might get some more enjoyment, however, as the game wisely includes Download Play in addition to the standard multi-cart play.
There's not a whole lot going on in the presentation department. The few tunes that play on the main menus are bland, and traffic-channelish, but the game fairs a tad bit better visually. There's a distinct MySims-feel going on here: everybody looks like the result of a DK Mode mishap, with their gargantuan craniums and elongated arms; though thankfully their cartoony faces keep them from being disturbing. The generic players aren't much fun, but you can customise them, change their names or create a new team entirely. The customisation options aren't exactly robust, but you'd be surprised at how much more you'll like your team after you change their names from Matt, Bill and Fred to No-Nads, Bloodsquash and Thirsty Pete. Not only that, but changing their body types can give them different abilities on the field. It's a shame they didn't take that concept farther, though, because the different abilities are hardly substantial enough to be real game-changers.
From the shrunken playing field to the turn-on-a-dime physics, it's clear that EveryDay Soccer is trying to channel the success of Super Mario Strikers, but its inconsistent controls, lack of options and so-so gameplay hinder it from replicating the fast-paced and accessible gameplay that made Mario's outing so successful. Those looking for a more casual take on the sport might find some enjoyment here, but the rest will just have to stick with Real Soccer for now.