With its goofy-yet-earnest premise and vibrant world full of NPCs, soccer xp feels like a breath of fresh air. However, the fetch quest-laden gameplay eventually outstays its welcome and results in an adventure that fails to live up to its potential.
The physics-based gameplay is a lot of fun to play, and it admirably straddles the line between being a retro sports game while also feeling smooth enough for modern systems. Movement is responsive, passing and shooting feel snappy and the tackling system, while a bit on the arcadey side, is still a great way to add weight and drama to matches.
As you complete side quests and play tournament games, you'll earn XP that will help you level up your managerial ability. This will unlock cool perks, like larger pre-match player ratings or better team chemistry. Sadly, introducing these abilities a little closer to the beginning of the story would have made them feel more useful as you play through the main campaign.
Despite some flaws, soccer xp is a fun and charming RPG-lite adventure that will appeal to fans of the genre as well as anyone looking for something different than their usual FIFA fare. Its charm, humour and pixel art style makes it a joy to explore the world, while the simple pleasure of finding a new quest or challenge keeps you hooked as you work toward your goal of bringing back soccer (or whatever they call it in this land) for everyone.