I love me a good footy game but there are really only two options when it comes to playing footy on consoles, and that’s FIFA or PES.
Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe is not going to be the next FIFA or PES, obviously, but I reckon there is a place for games like it; smaller releases with simple controls, pudgy graphics, and zero licensing – kids. It’s an OK game of football if you’re an adult wanting to get away from the frustrations of FIFA, but for a kid, it’s much more.
Being that I am a walking talking stereotypical British dad, I’ve been trying to push my boy into football since the day he was surgically removed from his offside position in his mother’s womb. I’ve had to wait five long years for him to get to an age where I can really drill home the basics of football, and even get him to understand the offside rule with some visual aids. He can kick a ball fairly well, but he’s lacking the finesse. He needs to be able to train on rainy days, but he doesn’t like FIFA.
I sat him down with me to play some Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe and he actually got stuck into it. The controls are really simple, the A.I is dreadful, and sliding the difficulty down to easy had the boy banging in screamers from outside of the area. And he enjoyed it. Me? I was just happy to see him playing something other than Bugnsax and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu.
There are a bunch of different game modes and challenges, but when you put it on the screen, it’s all the same thing – it’s football. You get international championships, the titular America vs Europe championship, and a bunch of others that allow you to take international and club teams on the road to victory, though none of them are licensed and as such, the players are not the actual players. Instead, they have altered names and a passing resemblance to their real-life ball kickers, not that most kids will care.
What they may care about are the occasional glitches and bugs, and the overly simple A.I. If you push for an attack, every team mate moves forward in the same direction. Likewise, if you’re on the defence, they all turn around and head back towards goal. I know that’s how real-life football works but it looks a bit silly here to see all the players to turn in perfect synchronisation.
Keepers are no better, either, I’m afraid. Too often my keeper would come running for the ball, only to fumble it and let the opposing team knock in a sweaty goal. And, for some reason, players will occasionally run on the spot. I’ve noticed that this tends to happen mostly on the flanks of the pitch. It’s annoying when it happens and it really does ruin the flow of a good attacking sequence, but Charlie didn’t really care. He would slide tackle whoever had the ball, commit the foul, and then carry on after the free kick. Simple kid…
Free kicks are a highlight, though, and I appreciated the easy controls. For years I’ve bemoaned FIFA and its seemingly hit-and-hope approach to free kicks – though FIFA 21 is pretty good – so it was nice to see something as simple as a target on the goal that you can shift around. It was a little too easy for me, mind you, but for the kid it still presented a challenge.
For kids, Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe serves a purpose, but for a grown man like me who has been playing FIFA since (Beckam and Blomqvist were twins) right about now, the funkso brothers, it’s a silly distraction for five minutes at a time. It plays a half-decent game of football and it has a nice arcadey feel and look to it. But make no mistake, this is best played in the hands of a child.
Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe PS5, PS4 Review
Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe is a very simple kickabout that’s best left to the kids. It’s arcadey, buggy, feature light, but fun in smaller hands. It’s no replacement for FIFA binges, but it plays a half-decent game of footy that’s better with a local player two.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5.