Football Up 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Matteo Carlarino 05.11.2014

Review for Football Up 3D on Nintendo 3DS

'In between' would definitely be a more appropriate location for this football sim, especially from the perspective of EnjoyUp's catalogue. Not quite as brilliant as Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ, yet not as abysmal as another recent entry in the 'Up' series - Football Up 3D turns out to be a passable addition to the 3DS' sports library, and a fairly competent effort to bring back old memories from the Amiga age.

The first thing to be noticed is that Football Up 3D actually represents a curious anomaly: a modern football game that doesn't even try to mimic FIFA or PES mechanics? How peculiar! To be fair, it actually reminisces about a different duopoly, from an era when other games - such as Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer - proved themselves immensely popular, thanks to their snappy, arcade controls and fast-paced, yet somehow believable play style.

EnjoyUp surely went that way with Football Up 3D, as it pretty much managed to capture the same flow of said titles, bringing back to the table an old-fashioned football simulation, with the visual frills that would be expected from a release of today. Unfortunately, in spite of the good intentions and some neat ball physics, the game stumbles on various problems. No matter how smoothly it plays, compared to its Wii counterpart, it keeps looking a bit too unpolished: AI malfunctions, unforgiving difficulty curve, and occasionally clunky controls still persist, compromising an otherwise solid structure.

Screenshot for Football Up 3D on Nintendo 3DS

What Football Up 3D offers in terms of content is enough to keep gamers busy for months: up to 50 national teams and two different fields to choose from, quick Exhibition matches, a World Cup tournament, as well as a Training mode to practise with movements, tactics and schemes. On top of that, it's possible to set the match duration - from six-minute skirmishes to a lifelike one-hour-and-half venture - and the team formation, even though the latter can also be switched during gameplay by tapping L.

Not surprisingly, Football Up 3D features simple and arcade-like controls: both Circle and D-pad direct the player, A, B and R fire up high, low and trick shots respectively, with the same inputs commanding the tackle while defending. Hurdles arise with a rather disastrous dash - triggered by the Y button - which doesn't provide a continuous sprint, but instead a weird series of flicks that kick the ball too far away, making for an easy steal and a systematic overturn in the rival's favour.

If there is one technicality Football Up 3D borrowed from Anco's and Sensible Software's masterpieces, it is the 'after touch.' It allows the player to change - quite dramatically so - the ball's direction mid-air, after a shot or a pass. It's a familiar throwback for the more seasoned players, and it adds a level of strategy and precision to the action on the pitch. It is also a gimmick that requires fully mastering in order to stand a single chance against the CPU.

Screenshot for Football Up 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Football Up 3D is a commendable effort in the way it tries to bring back to the top all the pacing, the fluidity and the finesse of two classic - never forgotten - arcade paragons. Granted, it is not nearly as perfect as Kick Off 2 or Sensible Soccer, and it will have a hard time grabbing the attention of the younger 3DS audience. Still, it's worth a shot for those who may want to commemorate their glorious multiplayer parties on the Commodore Amiga.

Also known as

Soccer Up 3D

Developer

EnjoyUp

Publisher

EnjoyUp

Genre

Sport

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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