The only other single-player mode is Become King, the rather anemic “career” mode. Traditionally a career mode involves increasing the difficulty of opponents and such throughout the campaign. Conversely, Become King feels like a series of ever-tightening hoops to jump through. Each game will have certain win conditions that must be met to progress. For example, the one that made me quit in disgust was “Win a game of Street Power and use one superpower”. Maybe I’m just bad at accruing “mana” or whatever. Either way, I’d constantly be winning 4-2 and have to play keepings off until my bar could charge up fully so I could actually perform that completely unnecessary superpower. Invariably though the AI and/or the camera would screw up, so I would lose the game. Conversely, I could just plow through and forget the superpower and “lose” because I failed to meet the criteria. Hell, call me conspiratorial, but I wonder if variable AI difficulty is even a thing in this game. Maybe they didn’t have the resources or the dev team to actually implement it. Perhaps the hoop-jumping is used as the game’s difficulty modulation. It could be a smokescreen to cover the lack of AI difficulty. Either way, their alternative doesn’t stack up to scrutiny.
I touched on this previously, but it’s worth talking about the tutorials in this mode. It’s another inherent flaw of running four separate modes. The tutorials themselves are competent enough, the problem is they rush the process to get players on board. The tutorials run one after another after another. This meant that while I was on top of all the modes individually, by the time the real game started I was a bit lost as to what I was doing. It was easy enough to pick up, but inevitably some information was lost. Some of it was controls, easy enough to find in the pause screen. Other parts felt a bit more esoteric. What is the point of “strafing”? Which buttons guard the ball, and which ones do tricks? For the last damn time, what is a Panna? Invariably these are the details that are left out from a simple controller map. Ideally the game would space these tutorials out, leave some room to get comfortable with the mode as it actually plays out. Doing one tutorial after another is like learning how to ask someone for directions in four separate languages. Invariably you’ll learn some things, but you’re also going to get all kinds of confused.
Maybe all this exists as a side project to the real meat, the multiplayer. Truth be told I wouldn’t really know since it’s releasing at a time that I can’t exactly play with friends. By the looks of things, it’s populated mostly with modes from single player. The exception is Elimination, based on Street Power. Each team starts with three players with every goal eliminating a losing player and subbing in another from the team. When an entire team is eliminated, they lose. Sounds like a fun mode, but given my issues with Street Power, I’m not terribly confident.