SEGA Soccer Slam (GameCube) Review

By Ross Morley 11.06.2003

Review for SEGA Soccer Slam on GameCube

With SEGA down and out the way has been partly cleared for three hardware developers in gaming: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. That's not to say though that SEGA have completely left the industry. As you all know they are in fact now developing / porting their games ready for releases on each of these company's consoles. Nintendo's GameCube has so far received Crazy Taxi, Virtua Striker 3, the class Super Monkey Ball and SEGA Soccer Slam.

As you may have guessed, Soccer Slam is a brutal sports game. Anyone after a realistic footy game should definitely look elsewhere. This has nothing to do with the matches you'll see on TV. Each team is made up of three seriously mental players, and one goalkeeper who somehow manages to stop many lightning fast shots. The main (and best to use) camera angle is similarly strange, being positioned behind one of the goals, zooming in and out depending at which end the action's at. This is perfect for this game, as I've never found any issues with it. Various modes are on offer, including a world tour in which you earn money for some crazy items which, somehow (don't ask why), improve one area of your characters skills as well as sometimes looking smart. Naturally, multiplayer is also available, and this is the way to go to really enjoy Soccer Slam.

Screenshot for SEGA Soccer Slam on GameCube

A tap of the A button passes the ball to one of your other players, and the play is fast. By holding A you can make a high shot to lob it over the opposing team member if need be. When you are in a good position to score, you can press B for as long as you have time to (the longer you hold for, the more power you get), and this will let off a shot on goal. By pressing B before you receive the ball in mid pass, you can fire a shot off more quickly, thus giving the keeper and his team less time to react. This gives you a much better chance of scoring, even if the striker is halfway down the pitch. The gameplay encourages you to be creative in your passing, as running down the pitch with the ball before shooting hardly ever results in a goal. Playing the ball from side to side or between / over players is the way to go, with volleying high passes resulting in spectacular goals.

With the R trigger, you can unleash turbo boosts to give dribble past opponents at speed, and activate special abilities that can completely take out another player, snatching the ball off them or keeping them away from you. A spotlight will sometimes shine down onto the pitch and move around - if you have possession and can get yourself in this spotlight you go into slow motion and crack out a super powerful shot at goal. They don't always result in a goal, but they give you the best chance at scoring. During the slow-mo time, nearby opponents have the chance to smack you off balance and end the special move.

Screenshot for SEGA Soccer Slam on GameCube

With the ball, you can dodge and jump over tackles, but with no ref on the field, players go all out in doing whatever they can to win the ball. With a few presses of the B and X buttons when off the ball, you can punch and slide through opposing players. Do whatever it takes!

Graphically, this won't win any medals, but the players boast impressive animation. After each goal the scorer will show off to the crowd. Some just stand there and boast, some do a very athletic run along the pitch while others are just, quite frankly, mad. There are many lighting effects on show but textures aren't particularly nice. These lighting effects are centred around hard shots and players who are 'powered up.' The commentary is controversial - an English guy spouts randoms as he describes play, with lines coming off as either humorous or annoying.

Screenshot for SEGA Soccer Slam on GameCube

There aren't too many modes on offer, but this is expected in a football game. As well as normal friendly matches, you can take part in a round robin tournament and quest mode. The quest sees you choose a team to play as and then play in ten matches across the globe, with you gaining money to spend on character art and power-ups for players. Multiplayer is a strong part of the game, though, and it's here that the game becomes that much more fun. Either co-operatively or competitively, up to four players can take part in matches and mini-games. Unlockable teams provide a bit more replay value.

SEGA Soccer Slam becomes a bit tiresome after a while. The game won't keep you coming back for more for long but it is more fun when played with friends. The gameplay is broken up too much by the replays and, as you score many goals per match, there are a lot of them. I am also not one to be a fan of the commentary, and these factors make the experience somewhat unsatisfying after a few weeks. It just doesn't have the same depth as some of the football games around these days. Still, brutal sports fans will love it to bits.

Screenshot for SEGA Soccer Slam on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Soccer Slam is a fun game but the lack of replay value holds it back from being a must have title. The graphics and sound aren't outstanding but the football action is fast, flowing and frantic. It bears little resemblance to football simulations so we can't really recommend it heavily to fans of the sport. However, if you enjoy brutal sports games you should buy this, especially seeing as there are few titles like it available.


Black Box







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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