A character creation app masquerading as a soccer game.
Arc Style: Soccer 3D is the latest addition to Arc System Works’ little-known Arc Style series and their first 3DS eShop release outside Japan. But despite the publisher’s pedigree with the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series of fighting games, this simple soccer game does little to stand out in what is becoming quite an impressive library of 3DS eShop titles.
Arc Style: Soccer 3D’s gameplay is beyond simple. You control individual team members using the Circle Pad, and all the game’s actions, including dashing, passing, shooting, and using special skills are mapped to the face buttons. This design works well, and allows for an easily accessible experience perfect for those unfamiliar with the genre. Sadly, however, the rest of the game does little to use the simplistic controls to its advantage.
With two game modes, World Tournament and Exhibition, Soccer 3D does not have much to offer. The only difference between the two is World Tournament forces you to play through 10 matches against international teams without the ability to save in between, while Exhibition allows for short free play sessions as well as multiplayer matches. This would not be nearly as much of a problem if the game afforded some form of reward for playing through the World Tournament. As it stands, however, the gameplay has little more depth than what you would expect from an old Game & Watch game, as each match feels virtually the same, with an occasional rise in difficulty causing the game to be more frustrating than hard.
That being said, Soccer 3D does offer some rather interesting customization options, which allow you to edit your team’s body types, face, hair, uniforms, and special skills. This is by far the best part of the game and it is disappointing that it could not have been included within a better overall title.
Arc Style: Soccer 3D is not the soccer game enthusiasts have been waiting for from the eShop, nor is it a game beginners should play, lest they be turned off soccer games entirely. It just feels as if the developers spent all their time tweaking the character creation options while ignoring the gameplay until the last minute.