New Soccer Star 4 is (as the name implies) a soccer simulation with plenty of activities to keep you busy on and off the field. If you simply judged this game by appearances, you would probably pass it by in lieu of games with better graphics, controls, and sound. If you are searching for an in-depth simulation is which you can create a character from nothing and turn him into the big cheese, then you might want to give this game a closer look.
In NSS4, you are in complete control of your player’s life, everything from his personal life, how he trains and how he performs on the field. You can choose who he spends his free time with, what equipment he trains on, and if he will succumb to classic celebrity temptations such as gambling, drinking, betting on the races and the all important decisions- to use performance enhancing drugs or not. With all these sides, you can almost forget that the main course of this game is playing soccer. You can either simulate the game or control every move your player makes, or doesn’t make. Everything about NSS4 seemed to make more sense, was easier to learn and find than it was to actually play a game of soccer. When you do find the option, you are greeted to a field and players rendered in a strange way- almost like 16bit quality in 3-D.
As mentioned previously, graphics are not the selling point of this game. They are just bad- reminiscent of Oregon Trail if the travelers played soccer instead of hunting rabbits. There was plenty of effort put into creating your player in regards to skills, personality and lifestyle but there is almost no customization of the player’s appearance. Hair and eye color is basically it. All the various menus are designed well and more information is given than you will probably ever need. But all of this methodical detail is forgotten when you actually get to play soccer and see what sums up to a foosball table without the rods and handles. Sound (when it worked) felt just as dated as the graphics and was otherwise unremarkable.
Where NSS4 looses points in graphics and audio, it picks them back up in creativity and innovation. There is just so much to do in this game beyond actually playing a match. You can read newspapers that have you mentioned in the article. You can practice your skills, which will help the control issues, or you can send your player to rehab (if he chose to take the performance enhancing drugs). For true fans of sports games, especially soccer, I think there is a lot to offer. For gamers looking for a casual gaming experience with pick- up and play ease, they need to look somewhere else. I won’t buy this game, mainly because I don’t play sports titles but the graphics would stop me if I did.