15/12/2019

⚽ GOLAZO! | Review | Nintendo Switch "A 90's Inspired Arcade Soccer Romp" ⚽ #GolazoTheGame

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GOLAZO! Evokes the memories I had of playing footy games like Football Champ in the Arcades and the awesome TECMO World Cup series as well as taking inspiration from the SNK football games such as Super Sidekicks.
The game takes on a 7 a side, cartoon, no rules approach to footy games that I simply love in an era when we are swamped with ultra-realistic dull football simulations that have lost their identity and character.
The game is, however, slightly let down by a few small things that annoyed me so let’s take a gander at what I liked and disliked about this little gem before we sum it all up.
BACK OF THE BOX QUOTE
"21st Century Football Champ"
LIKED
  1. This game is unashamedly fun and goes out of its way to be a smiling game of soccer with a limit on tactics and rules which works really well on the Switch when you want to jump into a quick game on the train into work.
  2. The art style really reminds me of the lovely looking Football Champ Arcade game and the Super Sidekicks series and I love it. The managers are over the top caricatures of vaguely familiar world managers. Although the managers have no impact on the game which is a shame as they are just shown before the match and that’s it.
  3. There’s a really cool bonus ability system whereby you can get a Power Shot, Power Tackle or Speed Boost for a limited time in the game when you complete a certain number of tackles, shots or speed boosts in the match. 
  4. If you get a shot in near the end of the match that could be a winner then the camera slows right down giving you a dramatic slow-mo event that leaves you on the edge of your seat as you watch it either ripple the net or agonisingly fly past the past by inches. This is a great little feature that reminds me of 'on the buzzer' shots in NBA JAM!
  5. The passing feels good although the lofted passes are a bit hit n miss and there feels like there could have been a through ball option here.
  6. Scoring long-range screamers are loads of fun and the main method of scoring goals in GOLAZO!
  7. The couple of tricks you can pull off in-game are fun to do but not necessary to master as you can quite easily use good passing to win games which I appreciate as this gives you a nice gameplay choice.
DISLIKED
  1. The tutorial felt a bit light as it went through literally the bare minimum without explaining the bonus boost system at all which was odd. I think the game could have handled this better with some challenges related to the skills they want you to practice. The corners, for example, could really do with a tutorial as it feels very much hit n hope.
  2. I found that switching between players was often annoying as it wasn’t switching to the next closest player to the ball which is often what you want to happen and sometimes I was finding that the auto switch wasn’t giving me control of the player closest to the ball when the ball broke out on the edge of the opposition area which led to me swearing at my Nintendo Switch
  3. I often found that the  Goalies were a bit hit and miss in their ability to save simple shots straight at them and yet at other times they are pulling off world-class top hand saves plucking footballs out of the top corner after a 35-yard rasper!
  4. In terms of rules, there are no real rules except for when you hack someone in your penalty area and you will concede a penalty for this type of tackle. Apart from that anything goes including back passes and outrageous hacks as you are pulling the trigger to shoot. I would have preferred a game of relaxed rules rather than no rules at all as it does lead to some frustrating moments when you get hacked on the edge of the area and nothing is given then the opposition go up the other end and you mistime a tackle in the area and give away a penalty
  5. The game modes are slightly bare bones. There’s a cup option within each continent and then there’s a World League style option and that seems to be it. A custom Cup would have been nice or a custom league. 
  6. There is a total lack of player stats even in its simplest form of just having a star player who is that bit better than everyone else. I’d have liked to have seen a bit more of an effort in this respect as even Sensible Soccer had the Star Player in each team and maybe even the ability to name your players would have been nice (Custome Teams anyone? Chip Shop FC vs AFC Kebab Shop)
Summary
Fun football games have been attempted in recent times with games like Sociable Soccer, Legendary Eleven and Active Soccer 2019 but these have all missed the mark in many respects with the notable failure being Sociable Soccer on Steam which was abandoned after the Sensible Soccer guru walked away from the project to concentrate on getting a version of Sociable Soccer into the Apple Arcade.
So how does GOLAZO! Fit into this sub-genre of fun footy games then?
Well, it does a lot of things right and a few things wrong. It feels really well suited to the Nintendo Switch as a pick-up and play footy game when you have friends over. Me personally I still play Pro Evolution Soccer 4 when my friends come over but maybe next time I’ll crack out GOLAZO! To warm us up for the main event!
GOLAZO! Is a genuinely fun football game made with love for the nostalgia of the classic arcade games. I’m a fan and I think I’ll keep coming back to this little gem and I’ll also be hoping for a new GOLAZO! In a few years that might just build on this formula and expand on it slightly.
Due to the small issues I have with the game and the fact that it feels like a niche style of footy game that maybe won’t appeal to everyone I’ll award it a melting rating and recommend it to anyone who loves the Football Champ & NBA JAM.
GOLAZO!  - OUT ON: PS4, XBOX, SWITCH  and PC for around £10
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)

MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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