Video arcade fans, we’ve got a new release for you to be on the look out for, as Universal Space (UNIS) has begun shipping their latest amusement title, Fantasy Soccer, to arcades in North America.
First revealed in September of last year, Fantasy Soccer piqued interest among many in the community for a few reasons. First, that it was an arcade soccer game in the vein of titles like World Kicks or Virtua Striker, something that hasn’t been seen in quite a while in our business. It was also notable in it’s cabinet design, which mimicked some features from the aforementioned World Kicks (large joysticks, kickable soccer balls at the feet), while building on that with newer tech (linking cabinets for up to 8 players, a player camera, two HD monitors, LED lighting). Third in that it’s a sports video game that doesn’t involve bowling or golf and finally in that it was something original – there is no official soccer organization licensing, so it’s looking to stand on it’s own.
I got a chance to play it at the IAAPA 2018 trade show and came away with a favorable impression. I’ve never been huge on sports games, in that I’ll play them, but they aren’t my first picks. I have never played World Kicks or Virtua Striker…I have played Ultimate 11 and a few soccer games on console, although enough to be well-versed in the differences. From that perspective, I liked what I played and had fun. Having fun is one of the more important factors for me when it comes to gaming these days. I don’t mean to downplay cutting edge graphics, although when you can have a game that looks like it came from 1980 be entertaining, it’s not the primary guiding factor for judging a game to me. That said, I still like to see arcades pushing the boundaries…or at the very least making sure that whatever the graphics look like, they are pushing 60FPS or higher.
On the graphics side, Fantasy Soccer isn’t a tour-de-force there, but it gets the job done and the IAAPA version played smoothly. It is unknown how or what might have changed in the game between last November and now, but hopefully this game will be at Amusement Expo 2019 in less than two weeks, where we can play and compare.
I also hope that UNIS considers doing a standard version of the game (maybe without the “live commentator” monitor) like they’ve done with Lane Master and the Lane Master Pro models; just as something for us smaller operators who might have a clientele that would enjoy something fresh like this.
If you are an operator, you can order Fantasy Soccer from your preferred UNIS distributor now. I’m not sure of the price – I’ve heard a few different numbers above $11k, but you can always shop around and see.
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