After having a device called the Super 8, which allows you to play SNES, Super Famicom, NES and Famicom games all from your Super Nintendo console, for quite some time, I wanted to import my first Super Famicom game. The very first game I imported for the Famicom was Soccer, a straight forward, no nonsense game that required absolutely no translation to get started. I’m not a huge soccer fan, by no means, nor do I understand any Japanese, but I felt I had made a good choice in making Soccer my first Famicom import, so why not make my first Super Famicom import a soccer game as well?
After checking online, I just couldn’t find one that sparked any interest, so I settled for a soccer game someone had already imported. J. League Soccer Prime Goal 2, now I’m not sure if that is the true title, but that seems to be what everything lists it as. I feel a simple Prime Goal 2 would suffice. Once the game arrived I set everything up, gave the game a quick cleaning and popped it into the Super 8.
Once I got to the main menu screen I initially thought perhaps I had made a bit of a blunder in not doing any research on this game and exactly how much language would play a role within it; I just blindly assumed it was soccer. Although, at first, it seemed that language was going to be a bit of a hassle, the reality was that only two options on the main screen were indecipherable, the other four were actually quite straight forward.
I started off with the obvious choice of 1P vs COM and quickly realized I was going to need to go into the options to change the difficulty, as I could never hold on to the ball for more than 10 seconds. Not only that, but my goalie didn’t seem to be able to stop anything what so ever. This was going to be a learning experience, but if the main menu was fairly straight forward, how hard was the options going to be?
After a bit of mental deducing I scrolled down to the bottom option and chose the one on the far left side. After backing out of the menu I went straight back into the game where I noticed now I could do absolutely nothing but win, although the opposing team’s goalie is still very good at his job, but the rest of the team seem to have taken horse tranquilizers before that day’s match. At least I successfully navigated the options menu and found out where the difficulty settings were.
Starting a match is fairly straight forward. After you’ve decided which mode you want to play you are given a selection of J. League Soccer teams. Pick your team and the opposing team and then you’re sent to pick your pitch plan and positions, followed by the the opposing team’s plan. After the team selection and managerial things are taken care of, its time for the kick off!
Prime Goal 2 is basically what you would expect from a soccer game, and provides all the same soccer fair as you would expect from FIFA of that era. Your objective is to score as many goals as you can while making sure the other team doesn’t score any, or at least fewer than you. Given Prime Goal 2 is a soccer game, Namco did give it a few interesting quirks which lead me to believe it may be more of an arcade style game play than simulations.
The normal field of view is a nice top down view, but on a few occasions you’ll find yourself in a more broad screen view. The initial kick off starts in this view, just as a nice artistic touch, but during gameplay you will find the game being briefly interrupted by a match up screen to determine who wins any on-pitch tussle. I have no instructions for this game, not to say I could understand them anyway, so I have no clue how to work these things, I just button mash and hope for the best. An interesting touch to an otherwise sport title.
After playing Prime Goal 2 I feel as though this was the correct choice for my first Super Famicom game, even though it wasn’t me who imported it. The gameplay is simple, the menus are fairly easy to navigate, even for someone with zero Japanese language understanding, and overall the game is fun! Sure its a sports title, sure its soccer, but Namco threw enough arcade style into this game to make it challenging and fun.