We recently spotted Casey Powell Lacrosse on the Xbox store, and being lovers of all things weird and wonderful we thought we’d take a break from the norm and give it a go. In a lot of ways it’s very refreshing to have a sporting title which isn’t the usual yearly adaptation of Madden or Fifa, and we have to at least give them bonus points for giving us something a little different to play when we’re in need of our competitive fix.
After a disconcertingly quiet (silent) loading and title screen, we’re greeted with some decent rock whil ewe browse the menu. It’s fairly extensive and we were quite disappointed to dint that the Academy area wasn’t quite what it sounds like. While it gives the option to add or edit players, teams, leagues, and even referees, there’s nothing in the title as a tutorial, and this is one of the times we’ve really missed that.
While we’re usually fans of games which let you get on with things without holding your hand, over this side of the pond Lacrosse is a pretty rare sport. As such, not knowing the rules was a little bit of a sticking point, and while the help menu can give assistance with the different game modes, there’s nothing in there which points out the rules of the game, leading to us being caught offside more times than we care to admit.
After browsing through the controls for a little while and getting used to them, we jumped in to find a game, which is reminiscent of NHL, only without the ice. The goals are small, and while the pitch is larger than the normal, there’s never enough room to get by without a little pushing and shoving.
We tried all the game modes we could, Be the Player was what you’d expect, as was the standard team modes as you work your way through leagues or competitions. Unfortunately, though we tried our best to get into an online game, there were no takers even after waiting for ten to fifteen minutes. Unfortunately not the only let down of the title, and it certainly has a very dated feel. Not awful, by a long way, but as you may expect with it being one of the rarer sports in the world, it’s lagging behind in graphics and game mechanics, feeling like a Fifa title from five or so years ago
One other bone of contention here is that though Women’s Lacrosse is a fairly large portion of the sport, we’ve seen no female teams, leagues, or referees included in Casey Powell Lacrosse 16, which is a shame
The Run down
Graphics: 6/10: It’snot the worst graphics we’ve ever seen, but the visuals here are certainly lagging behind a little. While the lines are fairly smooth, it’s the animations which let the graphics down mostly, and while there is a nice intro to your first game, it’s disappointing to find the same intro with different team colours for every match you play
Story: 4/10: Again as a sports title there’s not much to expect, however the addition of the Be the Player mode seeing you work your way from college to the professional arena, there is a little narrative here at least.
Sound: 4/10: It really feels like the sound for the title was slapped on as an afterthought. With a completely silent loading screen and title, we actually checked that our TV and headset was working correctly before continuing. Another downfall of early days sporting titles, the commentators have a very limited vocabulary which will get repetitive.
Replayability: 5/10: There are awards to go back and get here and there, and of course the season may keep you coming back. The Multiplayer mode would have added to this but as above, after over ten minutes of searching we were unable to find even one Player Opponent on Xbox Live
Satisfaction: 5/10: Well it’s definitely different to the yearly sporting titles, and it’s not an awful game. However with a price point of £39.99 or $€49.99 even die hard Lacrosse fans may want to think twice before grabbing this one outside of a sale. With the graphics, animations and mechanics as they currently are, it’s feeling dated already.
It’s not one we’ve hated playing, by a long way, but we’re left feeling considerably underwhelmed. We’re looking forward to seeing where they take the title in future, and the advances which they make, but for now it might be one to pick up on sale if you fancy a real break from the mainstream sports goliaths. As ever, our full video review and Parent’s Guide can be found above