Review by Larcen Tyler
Reviewed: 09/25/01 | Updated: 09/25/01
Could this be what we know as XLS?
Being a big fan of soccer games, I have devoted myself to collecting classic soccer games wherever they may be found. Alas, I have found that finding them requires me to look high and low for them, but the results are often worth it. After finding this little gem and popping it into my Genesis, I thought to myself, ''Maybe this isn't Major League Soccer, but Extreme League Soccer instead!''
Why call it the XLS?
Because calling it soccer meets NFL Blitz just wouldn't do (especially since another game I reviewed got that label! :) ) I felt that comparing it to the now-defunct XFL (Extreme Football League) would do better, since it had all of the harder hits but still retained penalties. Why it retained the penalties is beyond me, but it's still a unique combination in my book!
The graphics are good, even by today's standards. You'll see players go flying across the pitch as they fall victim to vicious sliding tackles, sand or water flying off the pitch as the ball bounces, and even little bits where you'll see one team member celebrating and the other one complaining about who just scored on who! About the only thing you won't see here is blood!
For a system that was known to have limited speech capabilities, this one actually sounds pretty good! You'll hear the announcer say things like 'Kick off,' 'Free Kick,' etc. You'll hear players groan and yell when they get tackled or kicked! You'll even hear the crowd cheer or boo depending on what's going on down on the pitch.
The Genesis controller allows you to pull off various types of maneuvers flawlessly, including passes, shooting, sliding tackles, kicking(!), and even diving! Whether you're a newcomer or a professional in soccer, you'll find these controls are easy enough to pick up and play!
Soccer purists may not find a lot of replayability out of this due to the more 'extreme' style of play than what they're used to. Arcade fanatics, though, may definitely want to play this game over and over just so that they can enjoy the thrill of sliding into two opponents at once, or kicking their opponent halfway down the pitch!
If it were released today, we might be able to call it the XLS, but since we didn't have the XFL back then, I guess the term Head-On Soccer really hits the target on the head (sorry about the pun!) If you're able to find this game somewhere, then definitely take the kickoff!
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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