The NBA franchise is among my favorite in sports and I’m not alone in that opinion. Since it has been quite some time since there’s been a new release of it (and there’s no way to play it on Switch) other players have had to step up to the challenge and while there have been a few games that have tried (and unfortunately generally failed), nobody seems to have been able to capture the essence that made it so special. Street Power Soccer, in principle, is an attempt to adopt that style of play to the sport of soccer, which is an interesting idea, but it struggles with its kitchen sink approach and unfortunately commits a stylish own goal. Working with and capturing the impressive moves of a very wide variety of notable athletes from around the world does provide a visually-impressive foundation to work with. This is best seen in the Freestyle mode, which plays a bit like a rhythm game with you initiating moves and then executing the associated beats or balancing to pull them off. While it’s a creative approach the issue is really how muddy the control feels here compared to the game’s desired precision in simply choosing your next move. The result is just cumbersome and a bit off-putting. The Trick Shot mode is next up with a sports variation on the old physics games where you control the angle and power of your kick and try to hit various objects. This works well enough but there are sometimes objectives to be met that the game explains very poorly, resulting in confusion over what precisely you’re supposed to be doing. There are multiple modes then that capture more of the NBA Jam experience and ideally this would be what drives it all home, replacing the basketball action with soccer… and having each player’s many impressive moves bringing home the flair. Unfortunately, if anything these matches are a bit too light on strategy and meaningful defense so while it looks pretty cool for a bit it doesn’t do well in terms of longevity. If you’re a massive soccer fan and some of the talent who helped with the game’s motion capture are your heroes it’s probably worth picking up to enjoy for that aspect of things but if you’re just a straight-up sports fan looking for a Jam-like experience this just doesn’t quite deliver on that promise.
Justin Nation, Score: