When Legendary Eleven was released the game included a few glitches that would completely break the game. Eclipse Games had already promised a patch that would mainly fix this issue but they were actually hoping the patch would be available before the game’s release date. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but I decided to wait a bit more until the patch was ready. Finally, some time ago, the patch has now been released. Unfortunately, while it does make it so the game isn’t broken anymore, it still does not make the game better than what you already expected.
In this special review, I’ll focus on what Legendary Eleven is now and add a few comments of how it compared before the patch.
Legendary Eleven‘s idea is not to simply be a sport simulator but to be closer to a fun arcade styled game from the 90’s. This is immediately noticeable by the existence of Super Shots and the really simple default controls which they tried to set most of them to two main buttons. If you aren’t comfortable with this setting, though, the game offers two alternate configurations in which the controls are set to something closer to modern soccer games.
When on defense, the game offers two different options to steal the ball and a button to switch characters. When attacking, you have the options to pass, do a through pass, lob pass, and shooting. Moving and running around your player in the direction you want works well and feels responsive. The problems start to arise when you try to do actions with the buttons. While you see that the game is reacting to your inputs, the sluggish animations make the game feel slightly clunky. When trying to steal the ball, this doesn’t feel that bad, specially when sliding. The problem becomes more apparent, though, when trying to dribble or when trying to shoot. It always feels like you need to do those actions at least one second before the moment when you really need them. This is specially noticeable when you want to interrupt your charged shot because an opponent is approaching your character.
One of the game’s features are the super shots. These are activated when you fill your energy meter at the top of the screen. Similar to how it worked in Super Mario Strikers, you can fill this meter by doing successful passes between your team. Any kind of pass works but longer passes give more energy than shorter ones. Alternatively, you can also fill your meter by doing a successful dribble. If your rival gets the ball, your energy meter will start losing power until it you either recover the ball or it goes completely empty again. If you manage to fill your meter (or at least fill most of it) and get close to the opposite team penalty area, you’ll get a “Super Shot” icon above your player. By pressing the shoot button (and charging if you still needed to fill the meter), your player will do a special animation and shoot very likely unstoppable ball. Also, once this animation is activated, your character will be invincible to any attempt from your opponent to steal the ball, so it’s pretty much a guaranteed goal.
The game also has a card power-up system in which you need to pick a set of 6 of them before the match. These cards will be used passively through the match. Unfortunately, this is a feature that you’ll easily forget about it as it barely makes any change to your gameplay strategy which will mostly consist on learning when to dribble when on offense and knowing when to steal the ball when on defense. That’s really what Legendary Eleven’s entire gameplay can be summed up to.
For free direct kicks and penalty kicks, the game has a simple system that is a bit confusing at first but makes it really easy to do good shots once you get used to it. You simply aim where you want the ball to go and then hold and release the shoot button when the aiming circle is as small as possible before it grows back again. The only issue here would be that if you mess up and hold the button longer than you should, there’s no way to try again as the circle’s size doesn’t change anymore and will be stuck.
But the biggest problem with Legendary Eleven isn’t even from its gameplay. I didn’t want to release this review until the patch they promised was done, but even after that, the game is still quite glitchy. Like I mentioned at the start, the game was originally released in a really broken state and didn’t let you comfortably play the way you want. There were so many things that caused the game to break, some of them were even caused by the CPU controlled team. After their 100 MB patch, the only positive thing I can say about the game is that at least it doesn’t make your matches unplayable. I’m not going to go into details into what the glitches are in this review, but let’s just say that something as simple as using the home button can cause them.
The graphics are decent but just that. While you can see that some work was placed into the players, the rest of the game’s visuals are either too simple or overall generic. The ground texture on the field is one of the biggest examples of how generic the textures can be and how more work could be done to make them look better. The crowd in the stadium is really simple but I guess it does its job. But then there’s also the issue that something as simple as the countries’ flags designs weren’t well planned, so you can end up in a stadium were, apparently, the whole place is filled with Italian flags, even though Mexico’s flag is actually programmed in the game.
Before the match, I also found that the text for the (pretty much useless) bonus cards is too small which makes the descriptions hard to read comfortably. This is specially noticeable when playing in portable mode.
The game features two graphic modes, one for portable and one for docked. Unfortunately, the graphic mode is decided at the moment a match starts but not while it is going on. This means that if you start a match while in portable mode, but then decide to switch to docked mode, you’ll immediately notice the low resolution textures being displayed on the big screen. Interestingly, though, you’ll also get a higher framerate. If you do the opposite, while the game may look a bit sharper on the console’s screen, you’ll easily notice a framerate drop which makes the game less fun to play.
With the patch, one of the most noticeable changes was in the graphical area. It seems that the developers at Eclipse Games decided to optimize the game in some way, but (I’m guessing by mistake) they actually reduced the graphics quality for both docked and portable mode. One of the most noticeable places where the graphics look really worse is during the penalty kicks. Shadows seem to now be completely gone in portable mode and the blur effect is now used in places where it wasn’t before and wasn’t needed.
The audio of the game isn’t really well done overall. For the menus, it all works as it should but it just contains the basics. For example, there’s only just one music track that you’ll be hearing all the time you are not playing a match. And this is the only track that exists in the whole game so you better get used to it.
During matches, the game depends mostly on its ambiance sound effects. Unfortunately, they aren’t good either so the games always feel too empty. It sounds more like if the teams where playing in the middle of a park instead of a stadium. The only time you really feel the crowd of the stadium is when there’s a goal. Besides that, there’s also an announcer that speaks when ever there’s an event such as a goal, throw-in, or free kick. If there’s nothing of that going on, though, you’ll just be hearing a few grunts from the players, the sound of the ball, and park-like sounds.
Legendary Eleven offers only two game modes, one of them which is also available to play in multi-player mode. There’s Championship mode and Exhibition mode. In Championship mode, you have the option to play through continental cups or a world cup. The difficulty of any of them will mostly depend on which team you choose to play as. If you choose one of the teams rated lower, you’ll feel the matches harder than if you pick one of the good teams. Besides that, there’s no difficulty option so it mostly depends in if you want to handicap yourself or not. Sadly, this mode doesn’t offer any multi-player mode in any way.
The other game mode that Legendary Eleven has is Exhibition mode. This mode is, as expected, the ability to play a soccer match with the settings that you want. You can choose the length of the match, what happens if there’s a draw (golden goal or simply end), and the weather, which doesn’t really affect the gameplay. This is also the only place where you can play in multi-player and it’s only available for two local players. You can also choose to play against a CPU opponent, but this isn’t much different experience than what you’ll encounter in the Championship mode. As an additional note, there’s no way to do a match between two CPU controlled teams.
Besides the already mentioned modes, the game doesn’t give that much of an incentive to keep playing it besides unlocking bonus cards and its multiplayer. Unfortunately, as I previously mentioned about the former, the card system is pretty much pointless. The extra abilities that it gives you will barely affect the way you play the game.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Legendary Eleven was provided by Eclipse-Games.