It’s about that time of the year when most sports games begin their release cycle. Everyone and their dog has played FIFA at one time or another. About 10 years ago, FIFA Street was a thing. It has since been folded into the mainline FIFA game as a mode. Playing Street Power Soccer reminded me of FIFA Street a bit, but does it have as good of mechanics as it’s predecessor?
Story and Gameplay
Starting out, you are presented with a number of different gameplay types. The main mode of the game is called ‘Become A King.’ Here you select a player to learn all there is about freestyle soccer (or football for our non-American contingent). You are led by Sean Garnier, a real-life freestyle soccer great.
You first complete a series of training on each of the different match types. Once you have mastered the basics, Sean takes you to London for your first competition. He explains you can work your way to the top if you focus and complete the challenges. This is really the extent of the story and doesn’t keep me invested long. But I press on as I wish to explore each match type in more detail.
Street Power Match
The first I encounter is the Street Power Match. This is available in 1 v 1, 2 v 2, and 3 v 3. The main objective is to score five goals before your opponent. But to learn other mechanisms in the game, I have an additional objective of using at least two consumables.
Consumables are power boosts on the court which give your character and team an edge. A few examples are ‘stun’ which slows down your opponent, ‘stamina max’ which instantly fills stamina meter, and ‘goal block’ which locks your goal from being scored in for a brief time. The consumables seem arbitrary to me and are somewhat hard to collect. In actuality you just run over them, but the hit boxes are very precises in some instances. I found myself circling back around to collect them
The power bar is a key component in the game too. Fill it up by increasing time of possession, making passes, and taking shots. Filling it all the way up will allow you to use a super power that generally leads to a goal. The ‘super jump’ is one example of a power where you jump about 10 feet in the air and headbutt the ball towards the net. Occasionally, you are required to perform a number of special abilities on top of winning to advance.
Most of the gameplay itself is fairly straightforward and has an easy learning curve. Swapping between players to get max use of stamina, making accurate passes, and setting up teammates for goals is easy early on. The difficulty raises the longer you play though. And defense is one area of the game that is very challenging no matter how much you play. Blocking opponent shots comes down to luck, but the AI does a fairly decent job if you let them guard the goal. I spent most of my time chasing the opponent with the ball trying to steal it from them.
Panna, Trickshot, and Freestyle
These additional game types are scattered throughout the Become A King mode as you progress to new locales. Starting in London, I moved through several other European cities including Berlin, Copenhagen, and Rome. Again, the reason why I’m doing these is left vague and is more so about climbing the ladder of success.
Trickshot is probably my favorite game type. Here you literally try to knock down trash cans, traffic cones, bottles and more. You learn to curve your shot, arc it high, and power up your kick for greater distances. You move between five points and work against a timer to get as high of score as possible.
Panna is a 1 v 1 game type where you have two options to score: completing nutmegs against your opponent and scoring goals. The prior involves filling up your power bar and initiating a panna. The camera moves to a cinematic and you must hit a sequence of buttons at the same pace as your opponent. Winning the majority of these interactions will show your player crossing-over and dribbling between the feet of your opponent, scoring two points. You can also score in the goal directly but this is only worth one point.
Freestyle is the last game type I encountered in Become A King. Here, you are solo on a stage of sorts. The object is to perform successful combos of linked tricks in two rounds. It takes a while to get the hang of but think rhythmic timing in line with the likes of Guitar Hero.
Controls, Visuals, and Sound
While easy to understand to understand what all the buttons do, the game controls somewhat inconsistently. I had a lot of trouble keeping control of the ball, playing defense, and passing in the direction I intended. Perhaps some of this comes with more time played, but some of it felt clunky from the start. Also, syncing button press timing in the Panna and Freestyle game types was fairly rough around the edges. I often had to hit a button two or three times for it to register.
The game is nothing spectacular visually. The character models are rough, but fun environments and locations you traverse to make up for it a bit. The effects on special powers of each character typically create a light show on the court which is neat. Overall the visuals are fairly basic.
Street Power Soccer has some great songs, including ‘Safari Song’ by Greta Van Fleet which had me rocking! Unfortunately, there are only 10 songs total in the game and their repetition drove me crazy after a while.
Multiplayer and Extras
While single player provides plenty of options to test your skill, playing online is the true test. Unfortunately at the time of writing this article there were not enough online players to find a match. Street Power Soccer does offer local multiplayer though, so I explored that a bit.
The first local mode is a competitive versus style. Pit yourself against a friend at home in all the aforementioned game variants. One bonus though is Elimination, where two teams of three start opposite ends and race to the ball. Scoring a goal will eliminate one from the other team. Be the last team standing to win!
Co-op is also available in the multiplayer component. Team up with your friend to battle the AI in a typical Street Power match, up to 3 v 3. It appears only two players are supported in both co-op and versus.
Finally, through in-game currency you can purchase various outfits, tattoos, and more. You earn this currency through completing in-game challenges such as scoring X number of goals at a specific level. I’m sure the microtransaction component will become more prevalent if this game gains any steam.
For not being a huge fan of soccer, I had fun with the arcade style gameplay and generally easy to learn controls. However the lack of an interesting story, repetitive game types with no real meaning, and clunky movement physics left me with a somewhat sour impression. For a game that retails at $49.99, I expected higher quality. The video-shot cutscenes seem cheap though, and I left expecting more.
On the flip side, if you are a big fan of Soccer this could be a nice addition to your collection. The game really let’s you do a lot of fun things, and I could see the online multiplayer (or even local) being a blast with the right people.
You can purchase Street Power Soccer here in the Microsoft store for $49.99