Review by KeyBlade999

"A complete miss."

~ Review in Short ~
Gameplay: Basic soccer. It has more than a few problems, to say the least. It's horrible.
Story: There is none.
Graphics: Practically only white and green, and mostly just the former.
Sound and Music: The music isn't exactly good, and you only get kicks, sliding, and whistles for sound effects.
Play Time: Can't be sure. It was so hard to play past even the first tournament match. One game can last two to ninety minutes.
Replayability: Very, very low. It just controls horribly, and the computer AI is overly difficult. Not fun at all.
Recommendation: Just stay away from it, period.

~ Review in Long ~

Goal! is an oldie sports game, based on soccer. This game has been around for a long time (the sport) and is quite popular, though it is rarely made into a video game, unlike with basketball, football, and baseball.

But it's soccer. Does its very name stand up for what it's worth?

There's not a whole lot you take with the history of this game. It was created by Jaleco. in 1993 for Nintendo's handheld GameBoy.

The Games Themselves:
First and foremost, don't necessarily take that 1/10 rating at first glance. You need to understand the problems with the game to understand what I'm coming from, which I'll mention soon enough. So, how does a single match work out?

You'll begin a game by selecting the teams by country. (I haven't noticed an AI difference, though that kind of is possible.) Then you choose the formations, then you get to change those formations. Those are all personal opinion and strategy for the player, though they don't really seem to do much.

Before the game, there will be a coin toss to determine which team will have the first possession of the ball. As for the game itself, you'll need to move the ball into the other players' goal. After the coin toss, you want to take possession of the ball (if you currently lack it) with a sliding tackle. You'll be controlling the flashing player.

Once you have possession, you'll want to be making it straight to the opponents' goal to make a point. This is often best done by simply passing the ball. If you make it to the goal, you'll need to kick it one more time into the goal for a point.

On defense, as mentioned before, you'll want to take possession with sliding tackles. You are also able to regain possession if your goalie catches the ball shot by an opposing player, which actually happens quite often.

If the ball goes out of bounds, a player of the team opposing the one causing the event gets to throw it inbounds.

If a player is fouled, a penalty kick may be allowed -- it is basically a free shot. Penalty kicks are executed by using a certain D-Pad combo -- it can be a high shot, low shot, one to the right along the middle, one to the left along the middle, or a combination of two of those.

Additionally, fouls may result in a yellow card or a red card, if violent enough. Two yellow cards or one red card equal an ejection from the game. A foul's violence/stupidity determines the end result.

As for game length, that time is decided prior to the game's start. When you choose the options, you'll end up choosing each half's time (one to forty-five minutes); therefore, the game can last two to ninety minutes.

The Game Modes:
There are three single-player modes and one mode allowed for multiplayer. I haven't been able to test the latter mode, though I am quite sure that is something like a head-on-head. Anyways, there are three game modes: Exhibition, Super Cup, and Penalty Kick.

Exhibition mode is a simple game as outlined above. There is no real consequence for losing, nor is there one for winning. It's not a tournament, so I guess one could call it a practice game. It is followed by a game of Penalty Kick.

The Super Cup is a tournament mode. You'll basically use one team for the whole tournament, though don't expect it to be all that easy.

And Penalty Kick? That's really nothing but a penalty kick competition between two teams. It lasts for about five kicks per team.

So, What Is Wrong?:
After all of this stuff, the game actually seems to come out to be pretty good. And I guess it could have been, had it not been plagued by a few problems.

The In-Game Camera: No, I don't mean like a camera you can take pictures of yourself with. Rather, I mean the camera that lets you see what's going on on the field. The camera has a whopping two settings for the majority of the game's length. There is one mode where it is close up to the player, and one where it's far off in the sky. The camera will often switch between these two modes, making it a disorienting experience to figure out who has the ball.

Who Are You?: A simply described problem, though one that shouldn't exist in the first place. The two teams have differently-colored jerseys, as could be expected. Given the low-quality graphics of the game, you and your teammates look exactly alike. Except that the character you control will flash between the colors of the two teams, and not very quickly. You can often glance across the screen, looking for where you are, and not even know who you are, because you skim over the opponents' jerseys. And imagine how it is like on the zoomed-out camera, with everyone running around like maniacs.

AI Difficulty: This game seems to honestly expect us to play like a pro. There is no kind of difficulty or handicap setting to ease off the difficulty. The difficulty of the computer-controlled opponents is insane, when coupled with other issues. Getting past the first round of the Super Cup is a game in itself.

Formations: Simply put, these don't really affect the teams at all. They run around like maniacs for the most part.

Lack of Controls: You can move, kick, do a sliding tackle, and block the ball if you're the penalty kick goalie. Soccer games often allow much more than that. Just because it can't touch your hands (unless you're the goalie) doesn't mean you should limit the controls to the characters' feet. Where are the headers, the chest blocks? Not to mention you don't even get a choice to use your hands in the game.

Okay, you probably know that problem with a lot of GameBoy games where they have just one color pasted on the game, then use it in varying shades and tints, right? If you've ever played Pokemon Red, Blue, or Green, I bet you know where I'm coming from on this.

Well, this game has that problem, though kind of in reverse. Whereas the previous problem has the color pasted on black and white graphics, this does it in reverse. You'll get green and white for the majority of the time. Given you'll see the field a lot, that is where a lot of the score here can be drawn from. And the field?

It isn't green pasted on white. No, rather than give us the realism of a green, grassy soccer field, we get a glaring white one. There are a couple of guys on it and bunch of grayish lines. Of course, the biggest insult is that there is green on the field: the netting for the goals.

In short, the graphics are not really good at all. Perhaps the best you'll see is the game's logo at the title screen.

The game has one background music track for most of what you'll be playing. It has more of a techno theme, and it's pretty simplistic: just a few "beeps" and "bloops" repeating every few seconds. It's more of something that should be a platformer game. It really doesn't fit here and, with its lack of simplicity, it just doesn't really add up to being good in any way.

As far as sound effects, there is little in that area to mention. You might hear kicks, whistles, and sliding, but that is honestly it for the most part. No crowd, no vocals, nothing like that.

PLAY TIME: 1/10.
This isn't coming solely from the amount of time you'll spend playing this game. Why? Well, this category has to be a mix of that, and how much fun you actually have when playing. After all, it won't matter if Final Fantasy is two thousand hours long if no one has fun playing it, right?

This game, honestly, does seem to have the ability to last many, many hours. However, there are so many issues with the gameplay alone that all of the fun is sucked out of the game. It is nearly impossible to enjoy this game at all. So it's not even worth the time to find out how long it could last.

Like with how long you'll spend playing, it doesn't matter how well the game plays a second time if there is no fun in doing so. And there isn't any fun in doing so. It seems to have had the ability, though. After all, it is a sports game, and there is no way any two games in such a game can really be alike, right? But there are so many issues with the gameplay that it is just not worth it.

THE END. Overall score: 1.4/10.
And that's my opinion on the old GameBoy game called Goal!. It truly is a game you should skip over next time you go old-game hunting. Conceptually, it was actually quite good; no one can deny that. But just a lack of care in the programming of the gameplay mechanics really drained all of the fun out of it, and that is not the only issue here.

In short, just stay away from this.

Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/12

Game Release: Goal! (US, 08/31/93)

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