J.League Excite Stage

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J.League Excite Stage
J.League Excite Stage
Cover art of J.League Excite Stage '94, the first game of the series
Genres Sports (soccer)
Developers A-Max[1]
Publishers Epoch Co., Ltd.

J.League Excite Stage (Japanese: Jリーグエキサイトステージ, Hepburn: J Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji) is a series of Japan-exclusive soccer video games developed by A-Max and published by Epoch.


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 (Super Multitap by Hudson Soft is 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.

Screenshot showing the game in beach soccer mode from J.League Excite Stage '96. Notice the sand being used as the surface and fewer players on each team.

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 Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji' 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 Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji' 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 Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji' 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 Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji 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 Intānashonaru Sakkā Ekisaito Sutēji 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 Rīgu Ekisaito Sutēji Takutikusu 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A-Max at Game Developer Research Institute

External links[edit]