Super Sidekicks 1cc strategies

Burning Fight!!

NIS America fan & Rent Free tenant
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As far as I'm aware, the difficulty rating for the SNK Neo-Geo soccer games is

Sidekicks2 > Sidekicks3 > Sidekicks1 > Neo Cup '98 -- not sure about U11 since I've never put time into it.

So, after doing a 1cc of Cup98 for fun with Hong Kong, I've decided to tackle Super Sidekicks 2 and win the real deal.
Now, SS2 might be the most blatantly cheaty soccer game of all time, and SNK really wasn't a master of arcade difficulty balancing; there are a lot of very promising games that are ruined by overly greedy AI cheating, such as 3 Count Bout aka Fire Suplex. If you try to play SS2 the normal way you'd vow to never deposit a coin into a cab with it ever again, it's that bad.

How does it cheat?
-Terrible automatic player selection: pressing C will never ever bring the player closest to the ball, the game goes as far as selecting someone OFF-SCREEN to not let you control the guy you want. Not only that but I've noticed that if you insist on not switching players and chase the ball with only one guy, he will get slower and ineffective.
-Time taken to perform a kick/pass: there's a significant delay between pressing A and having the player "SHOOT!!!", which combined with the next cheat makes you very vulnerable to losing the ball anywhere near the opponent's goal area.
-Overly agile opponents: In the beginning (first 2 matches) the opponent will be fast but manageable, but after that if you try to play the game like a normal person every time you push a button to do something suddenly an opponent player close by will become very fast and intercept your ball. This gets to ridiculous levels on the semi-finals onwards as the opponent is so fast you always lose the ball on the kick-off, there's literally no time to kick/pass no matter how fast you mash A or B.
-Can't score goals: No matter what you do, the goalie will always block goals unless you're in the first, second match at most. You can do the fanciest plays and there will be a very small chance you'll score, which is terrible when matches go by insanely quickly.

In my opinion those three points make this game the shittiest of the series since it's borderline unplayable and one of those quarter munchers that are bound to be abandoned the first day on the arcade and replaced quick by an operator. But the presentation is cool and the difficulty is always alluring to brain damaged people like those that pursue 1 credit clears. So what can we do?

This is the strategy I'm following after playing this game for a while:
-You'll have to condition yourself to NOT expect to control the player closest to the ball when swapping players with C; in fact when the opponent is on the advance, usually pressing C will get you a player offscreen (in the direction of your side of the field). You might be tempted to not swap players ever but this is a bad idea, in fact the selected player will get a speed boost to get closer to the ball which resembles the CPU cheating, so it's preferrable. Always swap players if your selected player is too far from the ball to be effective in defense.
-Since the opponent will always have the upper hand defending from your kicks and passes, especially later on, you'll have to keep the ball airborne as much as possible. The developers were smart and made a delay between receiving an airborne ball and getting out of dodge so passing with B normally isn't supposed to be effective at all, but there's a great exploit with headers.
What you will do is wait for the airborne ball to be close to the receiving player. The player will raise his hand and that's how you know he's ready, but don't mash B yet. Wait until the ball is closer to the player's head. Now you can either press B to perform a header, or A to perform a bycicle kick or a longer header "pass" depending on the humor of the player. That's the core strategy you'll rely on in all matches.

The importance of doing this will become very clear once you realize you can chain headers to cross the field without opponent interference. The opponent is helpless while you perform headers with B, and you can (ideally) get into this setup where you have two players in your team who naturally gravitate towards the opponent's goal (midfielders and attackers) pushing forward but always being close to receive an airborne ball pass.

1700029279368.png

This way, you can pass the ball with headers back and forth, in a zigzag motion between these two players in a very consistent manner, you just have to be patient and only hit B when the ball is in range, otherwise you'll miss and ruin the move.

It seems this was an oversight by the developers since this is the only type of move you can do that's consistent and where your players will not fumble artificially to give the CPU advantage.

This is a cool move by itself, but here comes the great part and what makes a 1 credit clear viable: if you do everything right and reach the opponent's penalty area (usually right at the edge, before having the goal + goalie on screen), then do a kick with the A button...

1700029724896.png

...the game's AI will spawn the goalkeeper incorrectly (come on, do you really believe this game doesn't cheat off-screen? :D) and the AI will behave as if it were intercepting a harmless pass. Look at the goalkeeper running backwards to intercept it, and your AI player too, reaching for the pass.

This is the only consistent way to score, especially at later matches, and therefore the only way to 1cc the game. Now fortunately, doing this header chain isn't that complicated, however there's a big problem in setting up the two players correctly to be able to do this. The most consistent way of doing this is immediately after kick-off:

If YOU have posession during kick-off: the game will randomly choose to pass to the player above or below the center line. Setting up the header chain is incredibly easy: Just press B to kick the ball airborne in the opposite direction. There will already be players trying to reach their attacking positions close so you just have to do the headers correctly. This IS the easiest way to do this, however in the semi-finals the opponents will be too fast for this strategy as they'll always take the ball from you on kick-off; there's literally no time available to kick/pass the ball away from the opponent.
If the OPPONENT has posession during kick-off: the opponent will either pass the ball to the player on the top or bottom of the center line. The ideal move is having the ball go down the screen, as your player will be able to easily intercept the ball. Get the ball and immediately hit B to the opposite side of the field diagonally to initiate the chain; if you did this right an attacker/midfielder should be in range to receive the ball and do a header. In the semi-finals this will be incredibly difficult but it's still somewhat doable, instead of outright impossible.

Continues next post...
 
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Burning Fight!!

NIS America fan & Rent Free tenant
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The cool thing about the kick-off is that you could theoretically keep scoring over and over if you're consistent enough against the opponent, but you're not going to have this luxury on the last two matches which are ball bustingly difficult. Plus you might just not be able to score due to sheer bad luck.

Since we can't rely on kick-off 100%, we need to establish a strategy during normal gameplay and this is the difficult part, since it will be common to setup a header chain with the wrong players: if they gravitate towards the center line they will give up on it, so to speak. Sometimes a hero attacker will go back to continue the chain but not always. I still don't know how to ensure consistency for this strategy, it seems that the formation of the team plays a HUGE role on it, and my experience is having a team with 2 midfielders is the best (Ivory Coast, Ireland) but I'm playing with Finland right now because the geniuses behind the game decided to pair those two teams with opponents with the same kit color (ie Ireland vs Mexico), which makes playing those matches incredibly annoying and confusing.

Another thing that helps is that you don't necessarily have to start doing headers from the center line, sometimes I managed to be closer to the penalty area with two headers to reach the area, and another one for the final bycicle kick, and the goalkeeper seemed just as confused. This is another thing I should investigate.

So I guess the 1CC hinges in figuring this stuff out. The farthest I got was to the finals but that's the most luck-dependent match of the game.

(sorry for the bad audio, OBS is being a pain in the ass now that I'm using another scaler to capture video)

For defense, if the opponent enters your side of the field it will be incredibly hard to convince the CPU to NOT score. Keeping the opponent out of your side of the field is of utmost importance, especially on the last two matches. I've observed that the overt agressiveness of the CPU on those matches happens mostly when they're attacking on your side of the field, when you're in advantage the speed becomes reasonable again. To defend, if you intercept the ball on your side of the field, pass it to another player with B and kick it away with a well timed A button press, across the center line, this is the only consistent way I've found to get the ball off your field and turn off "AI MUST SCORE" mode.
 
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Burning Fight!!

NIS America fan & Rent Free tenant
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If anyone knows any tricks post it here, it would be greatly appreciated. I mostly created this thread to maybe help someone searching for strategies in the future and to not forget how it's done later. I'll try to investigate further in the weekend.
 

Neo Alec

Warrior of the Innanet
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@BBH has videos on all the games (not just 1CC's, but also the videos in his Neo Rank Masters) series. I believe sports aren't really his forte, but he's still the first I'd consult for game strategies.

 

Burning Fight!!

NIS America fan & Rent Free tenant
10 Year Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Posts
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@BBH has videos on all the games (not just 1CC's, but also the videos in his Neo Rank Masters) series. I believe sports aren't really his forte, but he's still the first I'd consult for game strategies.

Yeah I don't know how he is so good in so many games, but unfortunately no SS2 from him. lol.

I came real close today but the last match is literally a coin toss. Look at how many goals I scored and tell me I wasn't supposed to win the game:
2023-11-15 20-43-55.mkv_snapshot_20.55.475.jpg
 

Neo Alec

Warrior of the Innanet
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There are videos of him playing the whole Neo library.

Wait for me to complain years from now when I finally do a video about it. I'll dig up this thread.
 

theMot

Reformed collector of junk
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I remember playing these janky old soccer games on those big rear projection Megaloo cabs back in the day with mates. Good times!
 
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