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Golazo! review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Klabater
Developer: Purple Tree
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No
ESRB: E

Soccer, or as the rest of the world calls it Football is a sport beloved by many, but in terms of video games it is represented by a select few. The titans of the digital genre consists of Konami’s PES series and EA’s FIFA offering. These titles are great for players who want the most riveting simulation, but not so great for those that just want to kick a ball around. This year nestled between the releases of the titans of the genre is Golazo! (Spanish phrase for “amazing goal”), a newcomer who’s looking to bring the game back to the masses.

Weary of simulation or manager style titles, Golazo! is an arcade soccer game which uses a simplified control scheme. While it means folks will not have to worry about holding down numerous buttons just to ensure your player will run down the field right, it also means you won’t exactly see much breathtaking action in the game either. My biggest gripe regarding the controls for this title is switching players while on defense. I find that I have to cycle through the entire team before I get to the player closest to the ball handler and by the time I have control, the ball handler has already ran off.

The title features 32 international teams, but in keeping with the arcadey nature of the title, there’s very little overt differences other than cosmetic kind. There’s an odd effort of providing a caricature of each team’s coach, given the tactical options are so sparse and the same across the board, the decision to include these coach images just seem weird. All the players can utilize power ups which is earned through repeated use of certain actions like shots, tackles and sprinting. To further make it friendly to all players, most of the rules are ignored (although I did see a penalty kick in one match). I find the exclusion of rules to be a little too much, as it means players will never be incentivized to play the game “properly”. Goalie AI is somewhat bi-polar, some matches they will literally be an unbreachable wall, while in other matches the opposing strikers will run laps around your keeper.

Keeping with the simplicity mantra, Golazo! has three modes. A quickmatch mode which serves as a vs. CPU/vs. Player mode, the International Cup mode mimics the format of the World Cup, and World League acts as another tournament mode. It would’ve been much more appreciated if there was an inclusion of a training mode where players can work on fundamentals.

The core of Golazo!’s gameplay is fine, It plays like a soccer game from the 16bit era. However in making it accessible, the team at Purple Tree omitted a little too much. The game is certainly worth a fun afternoon jaunt with some friends, but it’s not exactly going to be training the next wave of digital footballers.

Klabater provided us with a Golazo! Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-