Platform Previewed: PC Platform Available: PC Developer: OutOfTheBit Publisher: OutOfTheBit Release Date: April 6, 2016 (Early Access), TBA
What makes arcade games fun? There are several elements that we can consider. But more often than not, what ultimately draws us to play arcade is to win. Winning is the core of playing, it supercedes any other reason, and same goes with playing sports. Super Arcade Football, developed by OutOfTheBit, is a very good combination of both. According to its developers, the game “is a fast action, modern take on the classic football genre”.
The focus of arcade action games is on the user’s reflexes, and are often played in short sessions. Super Arcade Football is fun and fast. Unlike regular sports games such as FIFA that runs on real time, Super Arcade Football‘s game timer is fast-forwarded, first half is done in less than 3 minutes. It can be quite overwhelming in your first few tries, but gradually, as you get to learn how the controls work, how to switch players, and adjust to the fast-paced setting, you’ll eventually get the hang of it and finally score some goals. The controls are smooth, and easy to figure out. In navigating the menu however, I have noticed that it’s not yet quite polished considering that this is an early access. An example, on the lower right part of the screen it says DEL to exit/back but if you press the delete(DEL) button on the keyboard it doesn’t do anything, because the correct key is ESC to go back to the main menu, and Backspace to go back to the previous option. Another would be that the mouse functionality is no longer utilized after the main menu, and you have to rely entirely on the keyboard or controller for navigation, which I think shouldn’t be the case since this is a PC game.
I’m not really a fan of sports games, but I had fun playing Super Arcade Football on local co-op. Arcade games are “random” especially when played vs. another person and not AI. It could provide various situations in which you have to change or vary your strategy to win. It took me a while to figure out how to do the multiplayer/co-op since I was playing it on keyboard. Unfortunately, local co-op could only be played using controllers (the game features full controller support), keyboard vs. controller is not possible. It would be great to have this option though, or better yet, for those who do not have controllers, an option to play co-op on the same keyboard – like utilizing the numpad.
One element of an arcade game is having rapidly increasing difficulty levels. Super Arcade Football is still missing this element, albeit developers promised that they would soon be incorporating a career mode. There should be a difficulty level or something in this game. The game is challenging, yes, but it lacks the gist to attain the feeling of accomplishment, something that you usually find in games with a level-up system or a reward system.
I don’t quite understand the relevance of the number of stars assigned to a team, whether this be an indicator of how good a team is, or the popularity, and how it can affect the level of difficulty (if there’s such) when facing AIs, and as to why Argentina is the only team with a full 5-star rating.
I love how they incorporated humor into the gameplay through the slide tackle. You can literally hear the player groan in agony accompanied by the sound of bones breaking in a very comedic way that somehow makes brutality light. However, there’s also a bit of a bug or I’m not sure if that’s how you call it, because during the time when the AI/player loses the ball after a slide tackle, as the defensive lies supine on the ground, nobody really claims the ball until you get up or let another one of your players take the ball.
Currently, the game has 3 modes: Quick Match, Tournament, and Custom Tournament. Tournaments can either be World Cup or Euros (European League), and for the custom tournaments you can choose the number of human players. There are also 3 environments to choose from: Standard (Grass), Winter Wonderland (Ice), and Indoor Madness (Indoor). The Icy field is the most challenging and fun to play with because it’s very slippery, but it still has some bugs. There was a time during a kick-off that players didn’t really do anything no matter what button I clicked. Currently, there are 57 teams to choose from, we hope to see more at launch. The game is promising when it comes to customizability. The only downside for now is that the save option is not yet available, so all your game progress, including tournament scoreboards, will disappear when you exit the game.
The game is pretty well-polished considering that it’s still on early access. The graphics are simple, cute, and fitting, for it being a top-down game. Dirt lines and skid marks don’t disappear, so the field is pretty much covered with them when you’re nearing the game’s end. It’s one of those games that is fun even with little aesthetic components because there’s a mental and dexterity challenge to it.