New Star Soccer is basically a bunch of mini games crammed into a football sim. Your role is as a young player starting out and hoping to become the next Ian Rush.
You start off playing for a little known team, every match you play presents you with a screen where all the actions in the game are listed as they happen. When something happens involving you then you have to play a little mini game, these are normally either trying to move a man to intercept the ball, try to get the ball to another player or score. Things such as wind and players positions change to mix things up a little. After each game, depending on your performance you impress or annoy your boss, team and fans. Impressing these people is important to the number of chances you get, the more chances you get the more chance you have to re-impress them!
When you aren’t playing a match you are presented with a story screen, which gives you access to other menus. Most of these menus are somehow tied into other mini games such as the player stats, improving these stats make the mini games slightly easier. Stats are improved by playing more mini games but require energy to play, the less energy you have the less matches you can play and you have to spend money on energy drinks to gain more.
I do like how NSS manages to bung so many interesting mini games into a coherent story, the better you do in any of the games will effect you throughout the game. For example, consistently impressing the sponsors in a card memory game will earn you more money, which in turn will allow you to buy more energy so you can train more. My favourite game is the horse racing, no skill is involved as it is just luck who wins but since I spent most of my wages on buying horses early on in the game it’s a quick and easy money spinner for me (which led to me buying a mansion, which in turn makes your character relax so you are more happy/require less energy drinks)
The mini games are fun, they are short and there is enough variety that you don’t get tired of them, plus the overarching story and fact they are so integrated into how well you perform in that story means you try hard to succeed in them.
The only real gripe I had was that the game doesn’t celebrate your success much. You might get man of the match for a 10 out of 10 performance but when I finally won both the Champions League and the English Premiership as Ipswich there wasn’t much fan fare at all. I’m now as far as I can take the club and there doesn’t seem to be any indication from the game that I’ve done well, I’m not sure if it ends and makes me wonder why I’m still playing now that I’m at the peak of my career.
Still, it’s a great game that theoretically is designed so you can play in short bursts although it’s addictive nature does mean that you may have to keep an eye on the clock.
Update: Apparently there is going to be an end game! You can buy new star soccer from Amazon for £1.99