J.League Excite Stage (series)
|J.League Excite Stage|
Cover art of J.League Excite Stage '94, the first game of the series
|Publishers||Epoch Co., Ltd.|
The series was based on the J.League, and started with J.League Excite Stage '94. After two more titles for the Super Famicom, which were extremely successful, the series was later ported to the Game Boy Color and PlayStation, but without causing impact.
The gameplay progresses in a side view, similar to an arcade soccer game. There are different formations to choose from, and all the players (except the goalkeeper) can be positioned anywhere in the field. Up to four players (SNES Multitap required) can compete in a series of games that include Exhibition, Full J.League Season, and All-Star Game modes. There are also Penalty Kick, Indoor Soccer (also known as Saloon football), and Training modes. The game boasts a realistic style including bicycle kicks, side tackles, diving saves along with several other moves. Players can strategize to be either neutral, on the offensive, or on the defensive. A complete board game map with all the players as dots appear on the top of the screen. All the players' names are in Japanese. Own goals are treated differently than normal goals and are given their own cutscene.
The two sequels provided few improvements over their predecessor. Unlike in the first title, the goalkeepers can be either automatic or manual. In J.League Excite Stage '95, the penalty shoot-out was modified, switching to a split screen view. The most significant innovation of J.League Excite Stage '96 was the inclusion of beach soccer. This last title is still very popular these days and it is often considered to be one of the best and most complete soccer games of all-time, not in terms of realism, but gameplay and fun.
Between 1997 and 2002, A-Max developed other series of soccer games entitled Dynamite Soccer, and it is possible to verify few similarities with Super Famicom's J.League Excite Stage. These games were released for the PlayStation, except J-League Dynamite Soccer 64.
The following is a list of games released in the J.League Excite Stage series. The first game of the series were published by Capcom in North America as Capcom's Soccer Shootout and by Nintendo in Europe as Soccer Shootout. Instead of featuring all clubs from the 1994 J. League season like the original Japanese version, both versions featured 12 national teams.
|Japanese Title||English Title||System||Year|
|Jリーグエキサイトステージ'94||J.League Excite Stage '94||Super Famicom||May 1, 1994|
|Jリーグエキサイトステージ'95||J.League Excite Stage '95||Super Famicom||April 28, 1995|
|Jリーグエキサイトステージ'96||J.League Excite Stage '96||Super Famicom||April 26, 1996|
|JリーグエキサイトステージGB||J.League Excite Stage GB||Game Boy Color||August 13, 1999|
|インターナショナルサッカー エキサイトステージ2000||International Soccer Excite Stage 2000||PlayStation||August 24, 2000|
|Jリーグエキサイトステージ タクティクス||J.League Excite Stage Tactics||Game Boy Color||July 20, 2001|
The game creator Ryōji Amano (天野亮司) was in charge of the development of the 94 and 95 titles.
- A-Max at Game Developer Research Institute