Reader Review: Pure Football

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Michael does, as he forgoes the tiki-taka to pump it long.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Michael Pannunzio. If you’ve played Pure Football, or just want to ask Michael more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Pure Football (PS3)

Published by Ubisoft, Pure Football offers an alternative to EA and Konami's dominance of the football game genre. With a style similar to that of FIFA Street, Pure Football delivers a 5-on-5 matchup that is... interesting, to say the least.


The Concept: Whilst Pure Football has many flaws, you have to give Ubisoft credit for trying to enter the football market. Campaign mode sees you start off with four little known players (including your own created player as captain) progressively taking on better teams. You can then transfer these players into your team, if you fulfill specific objectives in the match, to ultimately take on a team of legends after 28 days. It at least has a decent number of official players and licenses so you can recognise the best players.

Pure Shots: Similar to FIFA Street’s gamebreaker, Pure Football implements this by offering a perfect shot, once you have had enough shots on goal to fill your Pure Meter. The Pure Shot offered, though, still requires the player to be in a decent position to work successfully, which makes it significantly better than FIFA Street’s alternative.


The Gameplay: Unfortunately for Ubisoft, the concept is the only thing that works well. The gameplay is horrible to say the least. The camera is too far away, showing too much of the stadia background, and often you will lose sight of the ball. The way the ball moves on the pitch feels like it's being played on the snow, and you will notice this especially with lob passes that stop dead on the third bounce.

The Penalty: Unlike any football game that springs to mind, Pure Football has a unique system for penalising fouls. You get a Foul Meter which allows you to foul the opposition multiple times depending on the severity of the foul. However, once this meter reaches its limit, the next foul you concede anywhere on the pitch is an automatic penalty to the opposition. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t penalise you for slide tackles that cleanly get the ball.

The Audio: For the first (in-game) week of campaign mode, eerie Halo-like music plays throughout the menus and matches that doesn’t seem suited to the game whatsoever. It changes after that depending on the venue you play in, but it gets boring quickly. Also, whilst there is no commentary, occasionally voices (either a substitute or a coach) will yell encouragement.

Pure Football? The best way to obtain Pure Points (to upgrade your created player) and to score is to get the ball out wide and cross the ball in for a striker to head or volley in. With the World Cup concluding, and the focus being on Johan Cruyff’s “beautiful game”, it is hard to see how the developers made such an unattractive tactic rewarding.

I’m halfway through the campaign mode, and despite all its flaws I still want to finish it. If you are awaiting the European and domestic league to kickoff and are sick of FIFA, PES, or Football Manager, this game can tide you over whilst you’re waiting for news of your team signing the next David Villa.

Reviewed by: Michael Pannunzio

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Can anyone tell me is mario strikers charged football, or whatever it's called, on wii was any good?

    i need a decent soccer game to play with my partner, as it's getting harder and harder to convince to her to play soccer games with me

      Mario Strikers Charged is a really awesome game. Was one of the first Wii games that I really liked and played alot of with mates. It has online play as well, but seeing how it is quiet old I think the amount of Oceanian people playing it will be minimal.

      Be prepared for a very arcade style of game though, you choose your hero character (Mario or Luigi or Wario etc.) and then choose different types of supporting players (Ghost, Toad etc). These support characters have different strengths and weaknesses like your hero characters.

      There's also special maps and abilities, but I won't ruin it all.. can't recommend it enough..

      Come to think of it, i'm gonna put it out of the dust jacket this weekend and see if I can beat that final boss stage...

    Thanks for publishing the review, David.

    I did finish the campaign mode and was somewhat disappointed. At the beginning of the campaign you are promised that you will play against a team of legends at the end, only for the "Final Tournament" to be 3 matches against international teams you have been playing throughout the campaign.

    Also, some of the requirements to unlock certain players are near impossible. a 4.5 star midfielder (it may have been Iniesta) required you to prevent the opposition from stringing 4 consecutive passes together.

    Another major flaw was the goalkeeper AI, for both yourself and the computer opposition. The goalkeeper will sometimes dive the wrong way, and almost always be out of position to concede shots from a tight angle (more than say 50 degrees) which can, and will be, exploited very easily.

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