Soccer Up 3D Review (3DS): “Kick It Away from Your 3DS”

Soccer Up 3D Logo

When it comes to the most popular sport in the world, soccer is the one that’s always on top. Spanish developer EnjoyUp Games, who has been putting out a decent amount of titles for Nintendo’s DSiWare format has decided to finally release a 3DSWare title, Soccer Up 3D. While we’ve seen yearly releases of soccer sim games like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, EnjoyUp wanted to bring a more simplistic, pickup-and-play game for a more accommodating price. However, is Soccer Up 3D worth your time?

Soccer Up 3D is actually an enhanced version to 2011’s WiiWare release, Soccer Up. EnjoyUp Games listened to some of the criticisms the game received and aimed to provide solutions to those in the 3DS edition. Now, if you’re a soccer sim buff that loves FIFA or PES, I will say right off the bat that this game will probably not satisfy your soccer needs. This is a more basic, old-school approach soccer game that’s not looking to carry any real soccer players or locales.

Soccer Up 3D Gameplay 5

Soccer Up 3D provides a World Cup, Exhibition and Training mode to play around with. World Cup has you aiming for the big trophy that every soccer hopes to win. Exhibition lets you play a single match against the CPU. And lastly, Training has you get acclimated to the controls and mechanics. All of these modes provide for some customization as well, whether you tinker the game time, control setup and stadium you play in. The core foundation of the game is here, but there’s a single important problem…it just doesn’t play well.

Soccer Up 3D Gameplay 1

Controls are more or less easy to grasp for a soccer title, albeit with an additional mechanic known as “After Kick”. This lets you slightly curve the ball after kicking it, which is a nice feature that’s rewarding to pull off. Aside from this feature, the mechanics start to feel less fleshed out. Controlling players on the field is pretty responsive, but switching players is a pain. When it released on the WiiWare, the players would automatically switch. On the 3DS, they give you the option to switch players manually. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well as it should, usually picking a player that’s not closest to the ball. Another severe issue is the slide tackle. The button might as well be labeled in red saying “DON’T PRESS THIS BUTTON!” because no matter how perfectly you position your slide tackle, the opposing player will trip and the whistle will be blown. What’s the purpose of the button/mechanic if all it does is penalize you? There’s no way to take the ball from your opponent except to run up to them and hope your player grabs the ball from them. Another issue experienced with the game is the glitched “injury time”. After doing a 90 minute game, the injury time went up to an additional 40 minutes…and I can say right now that there wasn’t anywhere near that much time that happened in the match that needed 40 extra minutes. This happened twice in similar occurrences during my playthrough of the game.

Soccer Up 3D Gameplay 2

Now, it wouldn’t be a sports game without a multiplayer component. After all, sports game shine quite well when playing with friends. First off, I need to give EnjoyUp credit for how they handled this. The game offers Download Play, but actually provides the non-owner the entire game to play until they quit the application or shut off the system. This is a very welcome approach to Download Play and I hope many other developers take note to this. Now, the multiplayer seems to work decently most of the time, but again, glitches were found here. Some laughable, some not so forgiving. During my multiplayer run, my friend and I were running mid-field trying to take the ball from each other and then suddenly, we were teleported to a corner kick. Another issue (that’s not a glitch) was the penalty shootouts. While in reality, I hate penalty shootouts because it’s nothing more than a game of luck, this shows you where your opponent is aiming to kick. While that may seem handy, that just seemed odd and makes the intensity of a shootout less engaging. The multiplayer is certainly more entertaining than going up against the CPU, so aim to have someone else with a 3DS nearby to get a bit more enjoyment out of the game. There’s no online play, strictly local play only.

Soccer Up 3D Gameplay 3

When you play two hours of the game, you’ll unlock the Mii feature to add your Miis to a custom team, choose the jersey colors and which Mii belongs at which position. It’s a cool feature for sure, but you never really see your Miis up-close in action. Speaking of teams, you do get to choose to play as your favorite nations around the world…except every player has the same generic look to them. The only difference in all honesty when choosing a team is the jersey color they represent…that’s about it. Visually, the game looks ok for a 3DSWare game, but the banners around the stadium are low-res. Animations are serviceable and get the job done for a soccer title. The 3D effect is done pretty well, without it straining your eyes much at all. Audio wise, there’s menu music (only one song in the whole game) and a few lines of dialogue the commentator says. There’s no “real” commentating though aside from “Kick-off”, “GOALLLLLL!” and calls of that nature. Sometimes you’ll hear the crowd in the stadium but it kicks in and out too seldom. The sounds of the players kicking the ball and running on the field are appropriate though.

Soccer Up 3D is an enhanced version to the WiiWare title released in 2011. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t play well enough for me to recommend to soccer fans of any type. It’s buggy and just simply, not much fun at all. While it may be a budget soccer title for on-the-go entertainment at $5.99, think carefully if you want to spend it on this game. It’s not godawful or anything like that, but it’s certainly subpar.

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 10 = Don’t Buy It!

A special thank you to EnjoyUp Games for providing us the review copy for Soccer Up 3D!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for all the latest news, editorials and 100% honest reviews!

SpeedX 3D Review (3DSWare)

SpeedX 3D is a first-person, tube-racer that was originally released for the Android OS by developer Gamelion. It has now been brought over to the 3DS via Nintendo eShop for $3.99. Is it a solid title that’ll grab your attention or something that you can simply bypass?

SpeedX 3D’s premise is all about getting from point A to point B without colliding into obstacles or falling off the track. As you start off the campaign, the speed will be relatively slow, giving you a chance to acclimate to the game’s style. Initially, you’ll be in an enclosed tube with cubes and pillars sticking out that try to obstruct some of your path. Colliding into these will instantly result in a game over unless you have a “shield”, which can be acquired by speeding over the lit-up pads placed on the track. You can collect up to four shields but they slowly deplete over time, regardless of whether you collide with an object or not. The game tries to throw a few curveballs at you by incorporating “hazard zones” such as Blackout, Gravity Well, Hue Shift, Dark Nebula and Plasma Cloud. The hazards make things interesting and dodging cubes, pyramids and pillars certainly a bit more difficult. Aside from hazards, you can receive “bonuses” that give you certain abilities such as Time Dilation, Quake and Space Fold. As with shields, these can be collected by going over the lit-up pads but can used at anytime during your run by simply pressing the A button or tapping the icon on the touch screen.

You can play with two different control schemes: the Circle Pad or Motion Sensor. The Circle Pad provides a comfortable experience but it’s the Motion Sensor that makes the game feel more immersive. Although, if you plan to play the game with the 3D on, then I would avoid Motion Sensor controls since it will cause a strong amount of “ghosting” effect. Speaking of the 3D, the depth it provides is way too deep that I personally couldn’t play with it on all the way. It’s not that my eyes aren’t adjusted to the 3D, as I’ve been playing through a ton of 3DS games with the 3D full blast, but it’s just not easy on the eyes to view in 3D. Visually, the game is very basic looking but it works as that was the intended style. When you’re speeding through space, that looks much more appealing than staying enclosed in a polygonal tube. Unfortunately, you’ll only see the inside of a tube and some of space…with no other environment changes, leading to a monotonous appeal. Also, the draw distance is very limited. While that’s fine when you’re enclosed in the tube, it looks odd when you’re out in space and the track is magically appearing in front of you in a short distance. The one visual aspect that bothered me most was the framerate. It just doesn’t feel “right” with the game’s sense of speed. SpeedX 3D isn’t exactly a graphically intensive game where it couldn’t push a smoother framerate.

Aside from the campaign mode, spanning four stages, each with 12 runs, you can tackle the Endless, Survival and Zones modes as well, testing out how long you can last. There are four difficulties to choose from, allowing beginner players to stick to their speed while the more advanced players can zip through at ludicrous speed. In Endless mode, it’s basically the game’s core mechanic and just goes on until you crash. Survival mode is the same as Endless except you can’t use any shields, making it a sudden death mode essentially. Zones mode is basically the same as Survival except it will have you focusing on collecting fuel on the lit-up pads so that you can keep going as far as possible. Ultimately, each mode plays very similar with only slight variations. SpeedX 3D has an in-game, stat-tracking system but only tracks the furthest point you’ve achieved in each game type. It’s basic, but still a nice addition to have in the game.

For a synopsis mentioning how “great” the electronic music is, it had quite the opposite effect on me. It practically had me dozing off during my playthrough and never engaged me into the experience at all. It’s a shame really. I look forward to the audio portion of a game and if there’s nothing there to engage me, a good chunk of the experience is ruined for me.

Unlike Gamelion’s previous efforts (i.e. “I Must Run” which was a solid, fun title), SpeedX 3D doesn’t have enough that will keep you glued to the screen for more than a few minutes. While some may find enjoyment out of it, it’s still tough to fully recommend to everyone. If you have an Android device, then I’d say you’re better off downloading that version as the framerate is significantly smoother. SpeedX 3D isn’t necessarily a bad game, just a monotonous one that wears off very quickly.

Overall Score: 5.5 out of 10 = Reconsider the immediate purchase…

Order Up!! Review (3DSWare)

When it comes to culinary games, let’s be honest, there’s not much that’s actually solid in this department. Order Up!!, developed by SuperVillain Studios (known for “Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake” and “Tron: Evolution”, both for PSP) and published by UTV Ignition, aims to take a stab at the genre. Question is, does it serve a fine course or does it fall into the same line of shovelware titles?

The first thing I picked up on was the game’s art style and humor. It’s very light hearted but not overly so where it seems too childish. It actually reminded me of a Nickelodeon-style animation from the older shows I used to watch. The 3D effect is also well done and gives you a sense of actually being in the kitchen with a solid amount of depth. You’ll start off by choosing a male or female chef, whom is then deployed to land at the nearest restaurant to work at. Starting off as a tutorial, you’ll be working in a fast food restaurant to get your bearings on how to cook your meals for customers. While you’ll have your stereotypical nerdy manager guiding you through the process, with some chuckle-worthy dialogue, you’ll be pushing food out with ease. Thanks to intuitive touch controls, you’ll become a legitimate chef in minutes and as you get the feel for it, be able to multitask prepping several different ingredients at once.

Upon completing the tutorial, you’ll earn your first restaurant (which is a diner) and it is here where the game essentially kicks off. You now have access to an overview map of the city you’re in, as well as the phone and newspapers to order new ingredients, hire more staff, upgrade kitchen utilities, buy special recipes and call for some cooking tips. When it comes to running a restaurant, it’s about getting the food out as best and quickly as possible to the customer, right? Well, same exact concept is in effect here. Consider it a cooking simulator but with humor incorporated. As customers come in and take their seat, you’ll use the touch screen to click on a table to start cooking for them. Each time you click one of the tables, it shows the current status of the customer’s mood, this way you know which table you should probably take care of first. As the waiter/waitress takes their order, there’ll be some conversation between them, showcasing hints as to what extra ingredients the customer is hinting for. It’s an interesting system and adds an extra layer of immersion to the game’s experience.

When it comes to cooking your food, keeping the meals hot and pushing them out simultaneously is the key to earning better reputation and more money. Cooking the variety of dishes the game offers also doesn’t feel repetitive either, thanks to the cleverness in controls and how to go about preparing each food item. For example, to grate cheese, you swipe the stylus on the touch screen diagonally up and down as if you’re actually grating cheese. To cook burgers, you’ll pay attention to the temperature meter of each side of the meat and flip it by simulating a “flipping burger” motion with the stylus (a counter-clockwise spin). I could literally sit here and type the extensive varieties of ways to cook various different food items but the bottom line is, it’s impressive and doesn’t feel tacky in any way.

At the end of your run, you’ll read what the customers thought of your restaurant, providing some constructive feedback as to what improvements you need to make in your cooking or if you’re doing a solid job and to keep at it. You’ll achieve stars for completing certain stipulations while running your restaurant and once you’ve achieved 4 out of 5 stars, you’ll have to call in the “Food Critic” to see if you deserve that fifth and final star for the restaurant. Should you fail, you can always call them back and try it again so there’s nothing to really fear should you mess up. Once you earn your fifth star, you’ll unlock the next restaurant to purchase and advance to. There are five restaurants to own overall, each getting fancier, as well as adding different dishes, as you progress. Occasionally you’ll also have to play some mini-games such as collect the flying newspapers that the paperboy dropped, slice thrown peppers from a sensei, smack rodents trying to scare off customers, and a few others too. It helps keep the game fresh and changes it up once in a while, which is a nice addition.

Overall, Order Up!! is a prime example of a cooking game done right. It does a great job of making the player feel like they’re behind the counter doing all the work and feels rewarding in achieving perfect standards for the customers. The visuals and audio are surprisingly high caliber for a downloadable eShop title and while it’s going for $9.99, it has the quality of a retail title on the 3DS and will last players a solid amount of time to complete. Even after completion, you can always tackle “Quick Play” to just enjoy the game itself. If you’ve ever had interest in a cooking title or are just looking for something different from your typical genre, Order Up!! is a great downloadable that’s well worth the asking price and ranks amongst the better of the titles released on the eShop.

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10 = BUY IT!

A special thank you to UTV Ignition for providing us with a review code for “Order Up!!”.