Golazo! (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 15.10.2019

Review for Golazo! on Nintendo Switch

Purple Tree Studio's latest creation is an indie love letter to vintage football. Golazo! is a 7-a-side arcade football sim that knows what it wants to achieve and doesn't set its ambitions too high; it won't be dethroning FIFA or PES and it knows that. Its intentions are much humbler but certainly not diminished for it. This is arcade football action on a small scale, clearly aimed at those looking for a quick fix or wanting to indulge in a bit of mindless fun with some mates.

Golazo! is presented in the familiar football sim format - it aims to mimic a TV broadcast through its camera angle, even though the graphics themselves are much more interpretive. The controls are a simplified version of the standard football sim layout: defensively, players can perform three different tackles (a sliding one, a push and a regular "steal") while offensively there's the option to pass in three different fashions (regular, lobbed and with a through ball) and, of course, shoot. A sprint button is universal, while there are just two dribble moves: a hop to beat an opponent's slide tackle and a roulette spin to turn around opponents.

The menus are snappy and responsive, as is the moment-to-moment gameplay - for the most part, at least. Players have a host of national teams to choose from, although none of the teams have particular strengths or weaknesses - every single player on the pitch has the same capabilities and teams are nothing but reskins. Nevertheless, scoring an outrageous goal is very doable and certain to be satisfying when playing with friends. The controls have been suitably mapped in order for the game to be playable on individual Joy-Cons which is a nice touch.

Golazo! is not without its flaws, however, and even as a simple arcade game it suffers from some frustrating imbalances. For starters, the ball-tracking after making a lobbed pass or through ball can take some getting used to - players won't automatically grab the ball out of the air as they do in FIFA but must rather be positioned perfectly to intercept its trajectory. Furthermore, the commentary is absolutely dreadful and is bound to do in even the most resolute of heads.

Screenshot for Golazo! on Nintendo Switch

The fact that teams are 7-a-side was perhaps done to make the gameplay a little faster and less bogged-down by the intricacies of a real football match, but this diminished scale is still not diminished enough. It can take a long time to score a goal as possession flick-flacks between players, causing the gameplay to become deadly dull after only a short period, particularly against the CPU which at times plays some sublime football and at other times is categorically stupid. This inconsistency leaches any sense of reward out of a goal, making the single player modes little more than a momentary distraction. Getting a few mates around to play with is definitely the more viable option.

Speaking of game modes, there are three to speak of: Quick Match, International Cup and World League. Each of these does what they say on the tin: Quick Match is self-explanatory, International Cup is a tournament mode, and World League sees players choose a team and play through a league with other national teams in a bid to finish top of the table. Despite World League boasting the most longevity, as a solo-centric experience it's unlikely to maintain interest for long.

All sense of progression in Golazo! is tied to coins earned through gameplay that can be used to unlock various cosmetics such as outfits, celebrations and new balls. None of these make any true gameplay difference, though, and seemingly exist solely as a checklist. This is not necessarily a bad thing because as mentioned, Golazo! aims to be an arcade game that impresses most in momentary player versus player action. Aside from the few niggles and annoyances littered throughout its gameplay, it mostly gets the job done.

Screenshot for Golazo! on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

For lack of a better term, Golazo! is a pretty run-of-the-mill arcade football sim. It does well to channel a '90s aesthetic and it is sure to create some memorable moments despite the hiccups in its design. The controls are simple enough to pick up and play and the gameplay solid enough to warrant whipping it out for a night of arcade fun with friends, but it certainly isn't going to hold most players' interest when it comes to playing solo against the CPU.

Developer

Purple Tree Studio

Publisher

Klabater

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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