[UPDATE 7-4-13: IT'S A HAPPY ENDING! Sometime around the middle of June, APBA Soccer players who'd purchased the game from the gameco started receiving packages of corrected cards for the three clubs - Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal - as well as a few goalkeepers who had apparently been mis-carded as well. The gameco shipped these cards out unsolicited and on their dime, which was the right thing to do. I'm happy to report that this set is now being sold with correct cards. It's a great set, I personally am in the midst of a Cup Tournament using all 20 teams. I'll let you know how it goes.]
I take the responsibility of writing about and reviewing games and products very seriously. Personally, I inform many of my purchasing decisions by reading reviews and opinions made by those who I’ve come to trust. It is the great honor and responsibility of oneforfive.com to be considered one of those trustworthy sources by many in our tabletop-sports community.
I say that in preface to this review of the newest release of APBA Soccer cards – the 2011-12 English Premiere League set – because I need to remind myself of that great responsibility before I get started here. I don’t want to write a bad review of this card set. I’ve said it before, I really love the APBA Soccer game and want it to thrive. I’d hate to set its progress back.
But here’s the thing: despite the cards looking better than ever, despite the clever solution to the problem of Tim Howard’s goal, until the game company reprints the entire Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal team cards, this set is unplayable. Don’t buy it yet, because, right now, the 2011-12 APBA Soccer EPL Card Set is a $44.00 paperweight.
These three teams – the three best teams last year – are missing all offsides and foul numbers on their player cards. If you play APBA Baseball, imagine if the three best teams in the baseball set were missing all 13s and 14s on their cards. You just couldn’t play the set at all, could you? That’s the soccer equivalent. All three teams are missing PRNs 47, 48 and 49. Those teams simply can’t be played, and without Man U, Man City or the Gunners, this set is useless.
What’s most disappointing about this mistake from the gameco. is that it was made at all. Another inaccurate release indicates a systemic problem with the release of the soccer sets. Who is proofing these cards? How in the world could this set – released two-thirds of the way into the next season, by the way – have been released with such glaring omissions on the player cards? Why is it that the APBA Soccer community can’t rely on any release to be made in a timely manner with accurate cards? It’s beyond frustrating.
I’ve been putting off writing this article for awhile, because I didn’t want to do it. It felt disloyal to a game that I really love. The fact is, however, that I owe it to you readers to give you the truth about this card set. Hopefully APBA Games makes it right. If those three teams are reprinted soon, and offered free of charge to those who have purchased the set, then this will hopefully end up as water under the bridge. Will the damage be irreparable, however, to the company’s already shaky reputation for the “accuracy” of their soccer cards? Time will tell.