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Becoming a Soccer Star

By Pamela Blalock on November 06, 2009 | System Focus | Comments

Becoming a Soccer Star

There's nothing quite like tripping avatars and scoring on their goalie. That is what I have learned from my time with the soccer mini-game in Free Realms. I like to trip dudes and take the ball right out from under them. It is a tactic you will become quite familiar with while on your way to becoming a soccer star in Free Realms.

Mechanically, you can play as a soccer star relatively well. The controls are awkward though and they take some time getting accustomed to. The scheme seems like it would be much more at home on a controller than a keyboard. If you like Free Realms you will learn to live with it. If Free Realms is more of a passing fancy you might not want to deal with the uncomfortable control scheme.

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The tutorial will teach you about the controls and power ups. To begin, you need to talk to Manager Landon. He is south of Snowhill and marked as a soccer ball on the main map. The Snowhill soccer field has access to the tutorial which I suggest completing before working on the first quest Manager Landon will give you. In the tutorial, you will be briefed on the control scheme and the overall set up of the mini-game. Matches are three on three and consist of two halves (each lasting three minutes). The goal you are trying to score on will always be fixed at the top of the screen. You do not control the camera during soccer matches. This means you have limited vision of sorts and it can make controlling your character feel like it is on a grid. The spacebar or left-clicking will do a number of things. While on defense it will make you slide and kick the ball out from under other opposing team members. While on offense, with the soccer ball, spacebar and left-clicking will kick the ball. Holding either of those buttons down will charge up the kick. Your alt button on the right side of the keyboard or your right-click on the mouse will let you pass the ball. Your ctrl button on the right side of the keyboard will dodge opposing team members.

The tutorial will also teach you about power ups on the field. There are three types of power ups for you to grab during a match. The first is a toughness power up allows you to get up quicker if you are knocked down. The next is a speed booster power up makes you run faster. The last is a charge speed power up increases the rate at which you charge up your kicks. To easily identify the power ups this is what they each look like. The toughness power up looks like a person with red ribbons around him. The speed boost power up looks like a shoe with wings. The charge speed power up looks like lightning bolt.

Manager Landon will start you on your soccer adventure with "Snowy Scrimmage." To complete this quest you visit the Snowhill soccer field and select the question mark for the quest. Win the scrimmage and the quest will complete. Return to Manager Landon and pick up the new "Meeting the Team" quest. For this quest you will talk to members of the Snowhill soccer team. They are nearby at a picnic ground and are all in one area. Finish this by talking to Golden Leg Eddie at the picnic area. He'll ask you to find the "Perfect Mascot" for the team. The mascot is a dog in close proximity to the picnic area and soccer field. You just need to click the dog and then return to Golden Leg Eddie. He will give you a new pair of cleats, money, and experience for completion.

The next quest will simply require that you hit level two. At this point you will be very close to leveling. All you have to do is complete a single match to make it to level two. You do not have to win the match since you are still awarded experience if you lose. Once that match is over, you will return to Golden Legs Eddie for your next assignment. "Slowing the Snowspurs" is the next quest. You must beat the Snowspurs in order to complete the quest. The mission also requires that you not get knocked down 15 times. If you are knocked down that many times the quest will fail and you will have to try again. For the win you will receive a new pair of soccer star shorts, money, and experience. After this quest you will be level four and ready to pick up the "Goal Stopper" quest.

In the "Goal Stopper" quest you must defeat the Goalstoppers without them scoring five times. This quest will offer a soccer star ring along with money and experience. After you have stopped the Goalstoppers return to Golden Legs Eddie again. He will require you to hit level five before continuing. Compete in a few matches to hit level five. Once you are level five another visit to Golden Legs Eddie is in order.

Right now, leveling the soccer star job is available to everyone until soccer star level five. After level five, you must be a member to continue leveling the job to 20. Getting to level five is an easy task but pay attention because matches do get harder as you level up. With the uncomfortable control scheme you will need to practice to really master the job. Do not be afraid to participate in scrimmages or lobby games to hone your skills. You will still level the job even if you lose a match so do not be too discouraged if your team loses.

All in all, the soccer star job lets you enjoy a taste of the sport without the grass stains, scraped knees, or throbbing headaches. This is not a high simulation version of soccer but it does the sport justice inside a massively multiplayer online game. Not to mention, it is not a tile matching game which makes it a vast improvement on what is already present in Free Realms.

Pamela Blalock / I write about MMOs at [link=www.examiner.com/mmo-in-national/pamela-blalock] Examiner.com[/link]. games, writing, cats equals happiness.