Review by cfamgcn

Reviewed: 04/19/06

Good soccer game for your NES? Goal is the answer for that petition. Goal! is a classic soccer game!

When I was 7 years old, back in 1996, I received a wonderful gift, a NES. I got 11 eleven games, and Goal! was one of them, among games like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Punch Out!. That soccer game was for me the beginning of playing any kind of soccer games, and at least for me, it's a classic.

Of course, I already had seen games like International Superstar Soccer Deluxe or FIFA series (even for the N64 or PS1), but I didn't have a SNES yet, so, I began to play Goal! - produced by Jaleco - The first thing I noticed was that this game had surprisingly some modes to play. It had World Cup, Versus (two players), a kind of training mode and the option of password.

Goal! had 16 teams to play with, like Argentina, Brazil, Italy, England, and some more, and despite the lack of the players' real names - who were represented with numbers, for example, goalkeeper was number "1", defenders were "2", "3", "4", "5", etc. - I really felt that those teams were like in the real life, for example, if you chose Brazil, then you can expect a speedy team, and with any European team, your defenders would be better. Let's talk about the different modes a little more:

The World Cup Mode was simple: Choose one team and get the title of Champions. Luckily, you had to play about seven or eight games to do so. The games were very exciting, and they were even more exciting if it was the final, for example. I still remember the first time I won the World Cup. I was playing with the team of Argentina, and my opponent was Argelia (I think so). I was losing 0-2, but I finally managed to win 3-2. It was really difficult, and when the time went out, for me was like the team of my country (a South-American team) won the Cup. But I didn't stop playing after that, because I began to play with the weakest teams to find some challenge (there wasn't an option to change difficulty or something like that). Ok, let's keep going: in the Versus mode, you could play with a friend, and some times (even though that my friends were all playing ISSS) the matches were interesting, but there is not too much to talk here. The "Training" mode (I don't remember really what was its name), put you with three choices of a coach, and you simply had five chances to make goals. This mode was weird compared with the other modes, because the camera had a zoom very near to the players, though the graphics look great in that way. The best thing of all was that this mode was really challenging if you wanted to make all the goals, because you had to be very good to keep the ball and not lose it. Of course, the password option was to input a code that let you continue your game in another opportunity. Though it was really long, it helped you a lot because you had to play seven or eight long games before you could win the cup.

Mmm... the graphics looked pretty good for a NES game, especially when you scored a goal. A guy with your team's color would run with a lifted arm, celebrating obviously his goal. The graphics looked good also when the result of a match was a draw and you had to score penalties, but it was too bad there wasn't a mode to play only with penalties. The animations were ok, and that's how we have a standard game for NES if we talk about graphics. About the sound, well, I still remember the music (it's been played in my mind!), but not because it was good, but because I played it too much. The sound part of this game was weak. You heard the same music all the matches you played! And that music wasn't good. I remember they were only three or four different tones for the whole game. One tone was on the presentation screen, another one was on the selection screen, and the other was when you were playing (I don't remember if there was a different music for the "Training" mode). Oh... I almost forgot... the players had a sound when they were running with the ball, that was really annoying. I don't know how to talk about it, but was like "crack, crack, crack", the whole match (along with the terrible music). In general, the sound wasn't even close to games like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., etc.
In conclusion, should I recommend this game? If you are a "modern" player, you have played (or you own) Winning Eleven series or FIFA series games, maybe you won't like this game. But I still recommend you to buy it (I have seen it for two bucks somewhere) and see why at least in South America it was kind of a hit. In my opinion, it was a classic, and the fun I had with this classic I would not change for the next FIFA for any system.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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