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A.P.I Review: Puma Street Soccer
Developer: Pixelstorm/Sunsoft OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Infogrames 1-2 Player
Game Type: Soccer Memory Card
Review Date: July 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

There are so many soccer titles presently on the market that any newcomer must offer something original in order to snare the confused gamer. Simply tying up a brand name is no longer good enough because the war out there involves facing the 'big guns' such as the FIFA, UEFA and ACTUA head on. Don't get me wrong, it does help a little and PUMA is not a sports brand to be sniffed at.

Street Soccer's main force is that it takes the game back to it's grass roots... where it all began... Puma Street Soccer is a four-a-side soccer game that takes place on the parks and parking lot's of the big city.

Sound & Vision

Graphically Puma Street Soccer is quite smart in appearance. In fact I would go as far as saying that it looks as good as any other brand presently on the shelves.

The miniature 'stadiums' attempt to remain close to their theme as trees and shrubbery line the Park venue, while houses surround the City Street pitch. However, I failed to spot a plane landing at the Airport, or indeed a boat sail into the Port venue. For the record you can also play on a Parking Lot and a special Puma garden venue. Rather playing to a capacity crowd, which would be way over the top, three or four small enclosures house a few dozen spectators who merrily bob up and down while waving their national flag. Quite cute really.

Each of the players have their own identity and are instantly recognizable by their skin color or hair style. With only three outfield players and no substitutes I dare say you could get to know all of your team intimately... if that's what turns you on. Their movement is quite fluid and they hold a range of the usual trick moves... run, shot, dribble, pass to a team-mate, cross, lob, fake shot, sliding tackle, tackle, volley shot, back heel lift and strong bodycheck. Were you to ask which other soccer game they reminded me of I would lean towards ISS Pro, which is certainly no disgrace.

There is a healthy selection of camera angles in which to view the game. Both side lines, both goal lines, both isometric angles and the traditional overhead. All are playable because the venues are quite compact. The screen holds about a quarter of the pitch at one time with an on screen radar picking up all movement.


Game options include three difficulty levels, match length from six to twenty minutes, golden goal and referee strictness. Each of the 32 available national teams have six squad members to select from. Teams include world favorites Brazil, the formidable Germans, current world champions France, home nations England, Eire, Scotland and Wales, and minnows such as Israel and Japan. Real name players are not allowed therefore you will have to do with cheering on the likes of Fletcher, Fritz and Zorba the Greek.

Game modes include Exhibition, Puma World Cup, League, Cup Tournament and Penalty shootout. Need I explain? I don't think so!

At the start of a game the ball is dropped into the centre circle and the player with a small icon at his feet challenges for it. On screen is a team power bar. Every time a player takes a shot at the opponents' goal the bar will fill up a bit. When the bar is completely full, the team will have the chance to perform 3 PowerShots, which are more precise than normal shots.

The small pitch and reduced number of players all leads to a fast and furious game of soccer. But don't expect to rattle up basketball scores as the goalkeepers are eager to impress and remain on constant alert.

In case you are interested here are a few tactics that can be changed throughout the game.
Strategies include:
1. zone half pitch: each defender cover a part of the pitch. They also take care of the player in possession of the ball, of course.
2. 2 markers half pitch: the opponent in possession of the ball is marked by two defenders. This strategy is good to try to steal the ball from the opponents. But, in this case, you have one defender against two strikers.....
3. 2 markers all pitch: another variation on the 2 markers strategy. Double-marking takes place everywhere on the pitch
4. Attack half pitch: it seems to counter attack, but the defender in an advanced position is near the half pitch line, so he is in a good position to get the ball from his teammate - for example a one-two.
5. Man to man marking half pitch: the defenders strictly follow their opponents, when they are in the defending team half of the pitch. This strategy is really useful against skillful and speedy teams.
6. Man to man marking all pitch: it is like the man to man marking half pitch, but it covers all pitch. It guarantees good protection all over the pitch, but a quick run may put the defence at risk.
7. All back: it is similar to man to man marking, with the defenders that strictly follows the opponents when they are close to the defenders goal.
8. Counter attack: with this strategy, 2 defenders try to steal the ball from the opponent team, while the third goes ahead and tries to position himself in such a way as to be on the receiving end of a passage in case his team-mates succeed in stealing the ball.

GRAPHICS: 15/20 The problem with Puma Street Soccer is that gameplay is reduced to pass...pass... shoot! Pass... pass... shoot! This is great for a hour or so but then I began to yearn for a bit more depth... a little more strategy... a lot more outfield building.

I suppose having a shot a goal every few seconds is not dissimilar to working in a sweet shop. You soon get sick.

Worth a rental for a day or so.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 10/20


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