Academy of Champions: Soccer Review
Academy of Champions: Soccer box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Ubisoft Vancouver 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Outside of Story, players can participate in Quick Play matches or hop into unlocked mini-games, giving consumers at least a couple more options to extend gameplay. However, Story is the mode of play that will see most of the action. That's because the mini-games and soccer matches are not particularly compelling on their own - when brought together in Story they take on more meaning and feel far more satisfying. There are also a load of items and upgrades, 50 achievement badges, as well as famous Ubisoft characters to unlock, giving the title some meta-game goals to shoot for.

Academy of Champions: Soccer screenshot

Despite the lack of content, the developers did an excellent job incorporating varied control schemes into the game. While Wii Remote and Nunchuck support works quite well, players with Wii MotionPlus and the Wii Balance Board will also find a few more options. The addition of Wii MotionPlus makes controls and gameplay a bit more complex, allowing you to perform chip shots and lofted passes more readily. The Balance Board has limited support, but taking on freestyle challenges by moving your body in time with the action is a good bit of fun (at least for a little while).

The presentation and production values are of very high quality. As mentioned, the game's look and setting are strikingly similar to what's found in the Harry Potter franchise. The quirky, illustrated take on the characters and venues is very pleasant. Animations, while basic, do a good enough job of representing the action. I also enjoyed the musical themes and sound effects, though they're nothing spectacular or even out of the ordinary. The gibberish mouthed by the onscreen avatars is initially interesting, but it eventually seems like corners were cut to save on paying for real voice acting. After all, none of the conversations are nearly as complex and enjoyable as, say, the comical Simlish spoken in The Sims and My Sims franchises.

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Academy of Champions: Soccer is not a must-have game by any stretch. However, it is a very competent collection of soccer-themed mini-games. Still, I wish soccer matches weren't quite as simple as they are, but I doubt the intended audience will mind much. After all, both the mini-games and the soccer are brought together quite nicely in the game's Story mode, which will likely keep soccer-loving kids engaged for hours. What's more, the game's only $30, making it a valuable addition to Wii's kid-friendly library of games.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The whimsy and mystery of Harry Potter is nicely captured in Brightfield Academy, the characters, and venues.
4.0
Control
The game is very easy to control regardless of method. The developers did a nice job of adding complexity and fun with the inclusion of optional MotionPlus and Balance Board support.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
While the sounds are competent, nothing stands out.
3.7

Play Value
There are lots of unlockables and the Story mode is a lot of fun for the right kid. Unfortunately, the five-on-five game of soccer is very rudimentary, and the mini-games don't hold up particularly well outside of Story.

3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Action-Packed 5-on-5 Party Soccer - Learn incredible moves that you never thought were possible on the field. Pickup-and-play controls make AofC playable by kids of all ages. Upgrade your skills and buy equipment to become the very best.
  • Over 20 Mini-Games in a World Full of Excitement - Take part in easy to play mini-games involving goalkeeping, shooting, passing and tackles. Will you be able to master Brazilian Freestyle juggling with your Wii Balance Board?
  • Pelé is your Headmaster - Discover the true value of fair play and respect. The legendary Pelé will guide you on your dream adventure and teach you the skills necessary to compete at the highest level.
  • Immersive Story-Driven Experience - Develop your super skills in the imaginative world of Brightfield Academy. Battle your way to the top to defeat the evil Scythemore Academy!
  • Multiplayer - Have a friend help you out on your adventure or challenge them head-to-head!
  • Unlock Some Famous Video Game Characters - Take control of the Raving Rabbids, Sam Fisher, Altair, the Prince of Persia, Rayman who appear… as kids!
  • Wii Motion Plus - Brand new peripheral is supported in core gameplay.


  • Screenshots / Images
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