Super Shot Soccer is a new soccer game that Tecmo has released for the shrinking but still sizeable PlayStation market. The fact that it's coming out for the old PlayStation instead of the much more commercially viable PlayStation 2 limits its audience from the get-go. Potential customers will be further confined to gamers who not only still actively buy games for their PlayStations, but who are also interested in soccer games with a somewhat quirky twist. For those people, Super Shot Soccer is a pretty fun game that's a little short on options but not bad on offering up some well-rounded soccer gameplay.
Super Shot Soccer is a pretty no-frills sports game. It contains four simple game modes: world tournament, international league, international cup, and test match. The first three modes are all tournament game types that use various methods of elimination, while test match is a standard scrimmage option that lets you simply select two teams and jump right into the fray. Only test match allows you to play against a second player, so if you're into sports games for human competition, Super Shot Soccer provides you with few options. In fact, no matter what mode you play, you won't be doing much of anything except playing the core soccer game that Super Shot offers. No wacky training modes, minigames, or other diversions are to be found here--it's just soccer, soccer, and more soccer.
To Super Shot Soccer's credit, the gameplay it offers is quite solid. You've got the standard assortment of moves at your disposal, including short and long passes, a slide tackle, and a dash when you're dribbling the ball. Unlike some other soccer games, Super Shot is surprisingly skills-based. For instance, passing is by no means an automatic affair, as you have to meticulously aim your passes toward the other players on your team if you don't want the opposition to intercept the ball. You won't be blindly running down the field, passing from player to player, and then effortlessly knocking the ball into the goal in Super Shot Soccer, which makes it feel much more gratifying when you do score. This helps make the gameplay seem more true to life.
Running counter to that sense of realness is the addition to Super Shot Soccer of a variety of strange special moves for each team. Some teams have two moves, while others have three, and all of them can be accomplished at will by simultaneously pressing L1 and one of the main face buttons. These moves run the gamut of weirdness, especially in the context of Super Shot's otherwise serious gameplay. For instance, the USA team's Freedom Goddess move erects a giant Statue of Liberty on the field to block an opponent's shot. Other moves enhance your player's speed, let you pass the ball with impunity, or stun nearby opposition players. These special moves do add an extra degree of strategy to the gameplay, but ultimately they feel incongruous in a soccer game that generally comes off as pretty realistic.
Overall, Super Shot Soccer is a fairly solid and original soccer experience for PlayStation owners. Its core gameplay is well made for the most part, although the appropriateness of the special moves is questionable. The game's biggest flaw is simply its lack of variety. It does feature 32 teams and a huge amount of prematch customization, including player formations and offensive and defensive strategies, so if you're happy just playing match after match, you'll have a lot to come back for. Those who crave more than an endless stream of tournaments will want to keep looking, though.