Great Soccer


                            “Ole!” and so forth.



I wonder how much this hand model got paid.


PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous


GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: 10/27/85 – (JP), 1986 – (UK)


Remastering games from previous generations is all the rage today in the gaming industry. Remasters don’t cost as much as a full game to produce, and fans still scoop them up as if they never played the game before. I don’t quite understand the phenomenon myself. Unless the upgrade is significant, i.e. a graphical/audio upgrade from SD to HD, then what’s the point? I will, however, make an exception for Sega’s Great Soccer. The game is a much-improved remake/remaster of Sega’s SG-1000 atrocity, Champion Soccer. And while I would normally cry laziness, Sega refined Great Soccer to the point of playability. Sure, there’s no additional content to be found in the game: once again, no teams or stats to choose from (we’re still in ’85, lack of content makes sense). You can, however, pick up a controller and start kicking a soccer ball with relative ease, and that’s more than I can say for Champion Soccer.


Great Soccer (J) [!]000

                                 I’ll show you “In goal”…


So yeah, how ’bout that foozball? Pick from three difficulties on the selection screen – Amateur, Semi-Pro, and Pro – and get to kicking. Amateur is like kicking a soccer ball to yourself, the opposing team hardly does anything. Semi-Pro gets a little tougher: balls get kicked out from under your feet, but with perseverance, you can make goals. Pro is like playing your first soccer game ever against Brazil: you won’t really know what’s happening, and you will lose hard.


There’s a red arrow that hovers above the player you control at all times. You can pass the ball to other players that have a grey arrow above them with Button 2. Button 1 propels the soccer ball forward, hopefully to a good place, like into the goal or between one of your opponent’s eyes. When you approach the goal, you’ll notice a red arrow (which you can control) pinging back and forth between the goal. Control the arrow away from the goalie, then launch the ball into the goal for jubilation and merriment. Repeat several times and you have yourself a perfectly cromulent soccer game.


Great Soccer (J) [!]001

                       Doesn’t feel so good, does it, CPU?


Great Soccer is better than I expected, and not nearly good enough to be called ‘great.’ While the game is an adequate representation of bare-bones soccer, it’s also the kind of circa-launch sports title that, like Nintendo’s Baseball, needs an additional player and some alcohol to merit more than a ten minute play window. I’m too tired to drink and I don’t have any friends, so, sorry Great Soccer, I will live to goal another day.



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6 thoughts on “Great Soccer

  1. I really don’t care for these Master System ‘Great’ sports titles. The European 8-bit computers of the time had far better sports games.

  2. I love 8-bit football (ok ‘soccer’) games. There’s such a charm to them compared to the more realistic games like the Fifa series. Games like Great Soccer fit a niche between Subuteo table football and true simulation games.

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