Weak. That's the best word I can think of to describe SK's graphics. Colorful? To an extent. But flat and boring describe them better. The backgrounds in particular look very flat, like they have nothing to do with the levels themselves. The animation is alright I suppose, but this game had a pretty poor artist. I just don't like the characters. There's not a lot to like about the graphics. One plus is you can change Soccer Kid's outfit to almost any colors you want. But what's up with the letterboxed screen? It's not like this game is pushing the Jag's limits, a full screen should not have been a problem.
Strike two is the sound. I think I heard some people saying they like SK's music, but I really can't stand it. It gets on my nerves big time. The soundtrack is that cutsey, ultra-synth sounding 16-bit stuff. It's really busy and I just don't care for it. The sound effects are alright, but once again, they get on my nerves. They're clear and work for this type of game though, so that's something.
The controls are one area where the game is pretty solid. They're not great, but they get the job done. My big problem with controlling Soccer Kid was jumping off the ball. When you jump off it you get a sudden little push in mid air, that will CONSTANTLY screw you up. You'll try to compensate for it, but it'll catch you sooner or later. Handling the ball is a little stiff too. Overall the controls are good enough for an average platformer.
The gameplay is flat out average. Nothing makes Soccer Kid stand out from other platformers. It does what so many have done before it, but it doesn't do it better. In fact there are some problems with the gameplay, namely the game is cheap. You will get hit in SK most times not because you did something wrong, but because you can't see very far in front of or above Soccer Kid. The game is very hard because it gets cheap little hits on you, not because it's challenging. Three hits and you're dead. Not only that but the one audience this game should definitely appeal to, children, will be turned off from it because it is so difficult. The only things that keep the game above water are the solid platforming aspects. It does have some decent levels and it does most of the bare minimums to make a good platformer. It just falls short in so many other areas.
I didn't expect much from SK, and that's a good thing, because if I had my hopes up at all I wouldn't be able to take it. As it is, Soccer Kid is a poor, but not horrible game. Like so many sub par games before it, there is some fun to be had here, but not that much of it. If you're a hardcore platformer, then by all means go for this game. But otherwise I really can't see the appeal Soccer Kid would have other than as a collectable. Sorry Songbird, I know you meant well, but you should have just passed on this one.