Upon first impressions of the screenshots, it's fair to assume that New Star Soccer 5 would be a modern, hopefully deeper attempt at the 90s Sensible Soccer games. Besides the appearance of the match engine, I feel that this game should not be compared to any Sensible Soccer game. New Star Soccer 5 simply does not deliver the same quality of gameplay and overall polish as the 90s favorites.
In this game, there is much focus placed on the life of the athlete you play as. You will be able to choose which skills to train in, you will be able to take part in social activities with friends, teammates, and a girlfriend. You will have the chance to build your relationship with your manager and the fans, and you will also be allowed to spend money on many items and properties. Most of the time, the way you must perform these actions is by playing memory games where cards will be flashed with different images on them, then they will then be flipped over and and scrambled, and you will need to match two of a kind. That's all there is to it, and it isn't any fun.
The developer chose to implement a DRM-like system of player creation and in-game updates where you must manually create an account with a password on their servers, and every single time the game updates after a match, for example, it tries to connect again to their servers. The problem is that the connection to their servers fails almost every single time the game tries to reach them to save your progress. This means that you will need to retry the connection over and over, until it works, each time the game fails to connect to their servers, and it happens extremely often.
The career mode allows for the player to go through a maximum of 20 in-game years, and after that you will need to retire that player and begin a new career with someone new. With your player, you will go through his early development as a teenager all the way to a veteran in his late 30s. There is a simple contract negotiation between you and the clubs, there are transfers, there are relegations and promotions within the leagues, and there are international competitions for both club and country. There are some major flaws with all of these features. Very little of what goes on both in the player's career and on the pitch actually makes any sense. Match ratings are almost totally broken, with the game giving your player a low rating or a high rating apparently not reflecting anything that occurred on the pitch. Your 17 year old player will become club captain and be called up to the national team for doing nearly nothing. It's as if these events were scripted into the programming of the game no matter what you did as a player or how well you played the matches. How well your club performs in cups and championships seems to be artificially altered by more scripted programming, having nothing to do with how well you play or even if you play in the matches at all. Choosing to skip a match and not playing in it makes no difference at all in what happens in the game world or how well your club performs. If the programming of the game wants your club to win or wants you to have whatever random rating, that's exactly what will happen.
The way the match engine looks is what drew my attention to this game, and coming from playing the Sensible Soccer games in the 90s, I was hopeful to relive a modern take on those games. I was very disappointed. The match engine has many problems, including those related to your teammates' and opponents' AI. Everything seems scripted and the other players on the pitch will not do more than precisely what they were programmed to do. Asking them to pass you the ball can produce some senseless and ridiculous moments. Every match played is almost identical to the last, and can be won by using the same exact strategy as before. The controls are imprecise and can be frustrating at times. The shooting and passing mechanics perform inadequately and rarely the way you intend. It's also really obvious that the game is intended to be experienced by people playing primarily as strikers, and secondarily as attacking midfielders. Every other position won't make any sense at all. If you want to be part of the action on the pitch, you will need to travel the entire field and play out of position almost always. Even as a striker and as an attacking midfielder, if you actually want to be part of the match, you will need to run all over the place and play out of position a lot of the time. In addition to New Star Soccer 5 having all these problems and looking and feeling like a mobile game, it's just not any fun. There are rarely any moments where your actions will mean actual accomplishments, as the game is playing itself down to all the events it has been scripted to do.
New Star Soccer 5 is mediocre.