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February 16 2019

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  Soccer Brawl - ©SNK 1991

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

Futuristic Sports

46 Megs
Japanese Name:

Soccer Brawl

Released On:


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
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Review Introduction:

Years ago, there used to be a program on a UK satellite channel called Games World (anyone in the UK remember it?), which was on every weekday evening and had different content each night. On Mondays, Thursdays and also Fridays, they would have challenge nights where contestants would battle each other in various games to try and win different prizes.

Now, that might be a strange way to start a Neo Geo review, but bear with me. You see, they would play lots of Neo Geo games in the challenges on Games World, and the most common Neo Geo game they had on was Soccer Brawl. That was way back in 1993, when I was still in school and used to play lots of Neo Geo stuff in the arcades (back when I could actually FIND Neo Geo stuff in the arcades actually!). Well anyway, I really wanted to play Soccer Brawl every time I saw it on Games World. The idea of this game was the same as normal soccer, but you had the advantage of being able to beat up your opponents and charge up lasers to shoot them with, which I liked the idea of. You could also score the occasional goal if you really wanted to (laughs)! So, imagine my frustration when I couldn't find it in any arcades anywhere! This was way before Neo Geo Emulation happened, so I couldn't play it that way either and I hadn't got enough cash to buy the real thing. Basically I would always get really annoyed when I saw the game on TV, because there was nothing I could do to play it!


Fast-forward a few years and I am in gainful employment and have a Neo at long last. Of course, one of the first games I got as soon as I could find it was Soccer Brawl, and being as I bought the MVS cart it was only about £10. When I actually put the game on, I realised that a lot of things had changed since 1993. Since then, I had also played one of the all time classic futuristic sports games: Speedball 2 on the Amiga! That's a game that I still play today and although a slightly different style of game, Soccer Brawl just doesn't come close. Although I still enjoy playing most games like Samurai Shodown, this game did seem rather dated. I was initially disappointed, but I decided to sit down a play it some more anyway. Basically, I was quite glad that I did.

Once you get used to the controls and figure out how to score goals, the game becomes a lot more fun! As I mentioned before, as is “the norm” with most futuristic sports games you can get away with slide tackling other players and even charging up your power and firing laser shots at them! Also, charging up your power bar to full when you kick the ball sends it flying so fast, that it knocks your opponents over when it hits them.

The controls are very simple: The A button is used to shoot and the B button is for pass when you have the ball. Both buttons are used for slide tackling when you the other team has possession. By tapping your button when the ball is in the air, you can also perform overhead kicks and diving headers. Once you get used to this, you will actually find it quite easy to play and to score goals.


I remember being impressed with the graphics back in 1993, but they do obviously look very dated today. This game was actually made in 1991, so I can forgive it for that. The animation isn't all that good either, but in this type of game it doesn't really matter all that much. Sports games have never been one of the Neo Geo's strong points.

Sound effects & Music:

Once again, I can clearly remember hearing the music to this game when it was on TV and for some strange reason I still love it. It's not brilliant, but I still think it suits the game well! They rarely make game music like this anymore!


This isn't the best sports game that is available on the Neo Geo, but there is some enjoyment to be found in this measly 46 Megabit cart/arcade board, mostly from the two-player mode, which is usually the case with this type of game. Overall, I would have to say that if you want to play a REAL futuristic sports game, then dust off your old Amiga or get an Amiga emulator if you must and try Speedball 2… no game (not even its sequel on the PSOne/PC) have been able to match the sheer class of that game!

Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 7/10
Game play: 7/10
Replay Value: 5/10

Overall Rating: 7/10

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2020 Super Baseball
Another Futuristic Sports Game for your Neo Geo!

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