There aren’t that many alternatives to FIFA, and each year, it’s becoming more and more prevalent. Sure, there’s PES, but with less and less licences each year, and its constant absence on Nintendo platforms, you can’t really call it a true rival. There’s no real choice, and Eclipse Games from Spain decided to make their own version of a classic arcade football game from the past. Legendary Eleven has got style, it’s got gameplay, but… the game’s not really finished.

Our portal couldn’t recommend the game because of the bugs. It’s really unique in its way, but it has too many problems. How come? Today we speak with Eduardo Jimenez Chapresto, the founder of the studio. What went wrong and what to expect?

Your studio is known for many different projects. What made you think about making a new type of arcade soccer? The lack of more casual FIFA alternatives? 

Exactly. We’re gamers and we’ve been playing games for a long time (we’re all in our mid or late thirties). We remember the old arcade games from the 80s and (in our case) most importantly the 90s with fondness. We thought there’s a ‘hole’ there in the current games. There are lots of platformers, beat’em ups, shooters, but there almost no arcade football games. And we believe they are fun, so, why not try one ourselves? 🙂

I dig the seventies aesthetic. Why did you choose it? Was it really the golden age of soccer? Or maybe you felt that the lack of licences won’t be that important that way?

Thanks! It’s good to hear you like the aesthetics. Not everyone agrees.

Our line of thought to end up with the 70s/80s aesthetic is kinda similar but reversed to what you say. We start from the assumption that we can’t afford licenses for real clubs or real players. We decided to try to emulate the gameplay from the games in the 90s so, at some point, we say, how about not going only for the arcade mechanics but also for the aesthetics from that era.

We decided to try to go for it, asked a concept artist to do some work with those ideas in mind, and a bunch of iconic players as references (Valderrama, Socrates,…) and we ended up with the visual style you can see in Legendary Eleven. In my opinion it was the right way to go, but I don’t think everybody likes the style as you do. I suppose younger players may not get the humor in there.

FIFA (and EA) owns almost all the licences there are, and KONAMI owns the rest. Is it bad for gaming? Did you try to get the rights to names and teams? Do you think the FIFA situation is basically a monopoly?

We didn’t try. We assumed we couldn’t get them. I’m not sure how important that is, on the other hand. KONAMI has been releasing games about clubs for years even without the licenses. Is it such a big deal if instead of Real Madrid you have Madrid F.C. (or whatever) and instead of Raúl you have Reul or stuff like that? I don’t think so. It even lends itself to funny jokes and you kinda remember the game fondly partly because of that.

I also don’t think that monopoly is the right word to describe it (for what that word really implies). FIFA has some exclusivity on the rights, fair enough. There’s a clear alternative to play simulation football: PES. And then, there’s alternatives to playing more arcade style football games (like Legendary Eleven). Users have a few options to choose from, particularly on PC.

After playing your game, I can honestly say that it is really unlike any other. It’s great to see the teams from the past, as well as counties that don’t exist anymore. But your game currently has a lot of issues — you told me that yourself. Why is that? Was it your eagerness to release the title before the World Cup that made you miss some of the biggest bugs? 

Yeah, it’s a shame but it’s what happened. First, I’d like to apologize to anyone affected by it, I’m sorry these bugs slipped by. We’re doing our best to fix them and release patches ASAP.

I suppose part of the reason the game released with bugs is due to trying to have it for the World Cup. We had initially thought we’d have it earlier on Steam Early Access so we could iron out a few bugs and then release it on consoles. We were told to try to have, at least, one console platform ready for the World Cup and we did quite a bit of crunch (5 months) to get the game ready by then.

The thing is, we did quite a few dozens of hours of testing, both before and after the game passed certification for the Switch. The most annoying bugs everyone is complaining about we didn’t see. It may sound surprising, but I think it has to do with how we play the game (doing almost no sliding tackles and thus with few fouls). I’m not sure what happened but thing is, now we can’t do but fix the bug and release a patch. And the part that depends on us is already done (in Steam the patch has been out for a while) and we’re waiting for the patch to go through certification to publish it in the eShop. We hope this will happen soon.

What do you think about Nintendo Switch? Is it the perfect platform for the game? Do you think that portability and the ability to have two controllers on you all the time is more important than raw power? 

In this case I believe the Switch is a great platform to play the game due to the 2 things you mention: portability and the fact that it has 2 controllers by default. We believe the best way to play the game is with a friend and a console that comes out of the box with 2 controllers helps with that. Also the fact that you can carry the game with you is great for many players (like myself) who can’t make use of the family TV as often as they’d like but want to still play games. And for games where graphical fidelity is not the main appeal this game mode is particularly useful.

Any love for Wii U in the studio? What do you guys prefer to play? Any favourite Nintendo games?

We all had a Wii U and played quite a few games there. I’m surprised how the Switch is somehow the next logical step after the Wii U and how much better the Switch is performing.

Favourite Nintendo games? Zelda BotW is certainly a highlight among the team but then again, who doesn’t like that game? We play quite a bit of Mario Kart and for this game we played a lot of Mario Strikers too. I’m not a big Mario fan but among the team Mario games are quite popular too, Mario Odissey being particularly well liked.

Is Eclipse Games (cool name by the way!) all about soccer? Are you going to watch the World Cup? Any favorites?

Actually, most of us are not huge fans of football. I’ve always liked World Cups (and Eurocups) because somehow they feel different to the normal club competitions. They feel less about the money and more about the sport, like Olympics. But we’re still no big fans of the game (I personally used to play basketball for instance). Still, we’ll definitely watch Spain games in the World Cup and maybe the final (they are always interesting

How hard is it to release a patch on Nintendo Switch? When do you hope to fix the major issues of Legendary Eleven?

It’s actually relatively straightforward, but it takes time. It also has some constrains that are a bit restrictive but so far we haven’t been affected by them. So far it’s been a relatively smooth process with the only bump being a bug they found in our patch which was definitely our fault (and which is already fixed). Definitely a lot easier than previous platforms.

Legendary Eleven is out for Nintendo Switch and PC.

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