Review – New Star Soccer
Be a player. Just not this one.
With FIFA and Pro Evo continuing to improve at a rate of fucking amoebas, fans of the football genre must be feeling more bored than a coma victim whose parents mistakingly think is a massive fan of Coldplay. But with decades of slow but steady refinement behind them, taking on the big two at their own game is like Audley Harrison talking himself into a boxing match with Godzilla.
New Star Soccer is a very different look at the genre though. Instead of worrying about team tactics and the like, NSS puts you in the boots of a single player as you manage their football career and their lifestyle. Energy and money can be used to improve your player’s life – their personal relationships, how they get on with their team, manager and fans and what car and house they have – or on training (via some neat mini-games) and therefore improving. Get everything right and your happy player will perform better, earn more money and will be more rested before matches. Neglect your girlfriend and sponsors and they’ll piss off. Spack every chance like the reincarnation of Emile Heskey and you’ll get put in less often by your teammates.
On the pitch the game plays out in a Football Manager-esque text commentary until your player earns possession. Tapping the ball allows you to pass or shoot and thanks to the excellent controls, you can play some exquisite balls around the park. Where NSS truly excels is in how satisfying it feels to play well. Chipping a through-ball into the path of a team mate and seeing them score is just as rewarding as perfectly volleying an unstoppable shot into the top corner from distance.
As simple as it is addictive but deep enough to keep you hooked, New Star Soccer is a strong contender for my own personal game of the year. It is literally that good and with a recent update adding more improvements, this is a great example of an iOS game that keeps giving.