Guts N Goals (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Compete in a retro pixel styled soccer match where you get to smack around the ball, and other players, with bats and other weapons.  Guts N Goals is a madcap multiplayer-centric soccer game available for most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Play control is simple.  Just press a button to swing your weapon.  You’ll hit the ball when nearby, and also other players, too!  If you can deplete another player’s energy, they’ll be out of commission for about 3 seconds, but the same can happen to you, too!  Hold down another button for a charged shot to send the ball further or dish out more damage.  You’ll choose to play from a selection of wacky characters that include a skeleton, female boxer, cowboy, lady octopus, ninja, and more!  Each character has their own special skill that you can activate with another button.  Some moves are more offensive, like the female boxer’s punch glove.  And some are more defensive, like the lady octopus’ ink.

There are several modes of play.  In Grand Prix you’ll play a set of soccer matches mixed in with bonus games and challenges in between.  Most soccer matches have you try and score two points first, while the bonus game challenges will have you do things like try to score a goal on a field blocked off by cones in a maze.  You can also play these challenges separately, or play Versus mode where up to four players can compete.  You can also shop for new characters, colors, and weapons to unlock, of which there are TONS!  There are other modes, too, but I wasn’t able to unlock them because the game is so darn hard.

Which brings me to the main problem I had with this game: the high difficulty of the CPU players.  I wish you could’ve lowered the difficulty, but I couldn’t find where to do that if it’s available.  Plus it’s hard to see your character when everyone is all bunched up on the field.  But if you have a lot of friends to play with, you might enjoy this one.

Kid Factor:

Guts N Goals is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, and Tobacco Reference.  You do smack around other pixel players with crazy weapons, but defeated characters just lay down for a bit.  For such a violent game, I expected there to be lots of pixelated blood splattered around the field, but there really wasn’t.  I don’t understand the suggestive themes part.  Yeah the female boxer and lady octopus wear swimsuits, but they’re so cartoony I just can’t see them as suggestive.  Didn’t really notice any tobacco references either, but then, I wasn’t able to unlock ALL the characters, of which there are tons.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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