Soccer Story showed up on multiple platforms, blending the idea of a soccer game with RPG and minigame elements. As the concept and whimsical designs suggest, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. (After all, you have a panda as a team captain.) But while the soccer segments are capable enough, what really makes the game stand out is the RPG side of things.
Soccer Story begins in a world in which only officially licensed soccer matches from a big name corporation are allowed. At a past match, a goal exploded and disaster struck, providing the perfect excuse to tear it away from the masses. The player character, one of two twins that the player can pick between, loves the sport though! Especially since their father was a player in that fateful calamity of a game. When a futuristic ball crashes into their room, they end up getting an opportunity to pull together their own team.
This means a number of things for the RPG segment. There’s light adventuring here! You’ll travel around different areas, advancing a story and making soccer dreams come true. This initially manifests in just finding the ball, scoring your first goal, and getting a team back together. Once you get a team, you can invest in them to build up attributes like speed to improve their performance in soccer matches. Since the ball is an electronic marvel, you can summon it while running around to complete certain objectives for rewards or complete challenges involving skills like dribbling. It’s got personality.
Now, the thing is, someone shouldn’t go in expecting Inazuma Eleven-style RPG antics from Soccer Story. This isn’t that. Yes, you can upgrade your characters’ skills, do a bit of recruiting, and it is a story-heavy adventure. However, the actual soccer matches are more traditional and don’t have the same tactical approach as the Level-5 series. It also lacks some of the earnestness of that title.
Instead, it’s better to compare Soccer Story’s elements to Golf Story. While they’re from different developers, it’s a far more apt comparison. Both offer more traditional takes on their respective sports’ actual activities once you start taking part in matches or heading out on the course. There’s also the same sense of humor in each, as well as the inclusion of little minigames and challenges tied to soccer or golf.
Especially as the actual soccer games aren’t incredible. Matches are relatively basic, skills aside. You can take part in matches on their own, with teams made up of ordinary players, toddlers, and the elderly. But it isn’t particularly in-depth and it can take quite a bit of time to score.
Novel is a good way to think of Soccer Story. It’s a fun passing amusement. It isn’t the Inazuma Eleven successor I’d hope for. But if you liked Golf Story and are waiting for something to play before Sports Story shows up, it is a good fit.
Soccer Story is available for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.