Psycho's Soccer Selection (Ubisoft) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Psycho's Soccer Selection
By Ubisoft
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #88

The Zzap reviewers were incredulous to find shower-murderer Norman Bates had endorsed a footy compilation - all apart from Phil "Pub Trivia" King, who pointed out that 'Psycho' is also the nickname of Notts Forest and England star, Stuart Pearce!

Psycho's Soccer Selection

One might well ask, "What does an England player know about football anyway?" but Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce is a true pro. In fact, he's one of my favourite players with his rock 'ard tackling and rocket free kicks. With all those years of Cloughie shouting in his ear, what the 'young man' doesn't know about footy isn't worth an Accrington Stanley season ticket. So why ever has he endorsed such a dreary compilation of soccer sims?

It kicks off with Kick Off 2, a not-too-brilliant conversion of the legendary Amiga game. It's a fair attempt with the full quota of league and cup options, and the famous push-along dribbling. Trouble is, it's got more than its fair share of flaws, including sluggish scrolling, unintelligent players and a tiny, useless radar scanner.

Send It Off!

Far worse is World Championship Soccer, a chronic conversion of a dodgy Sega coin-op. As with Kick Off 2, it's an overhead-view, up-and-down-the-screen jobbie. However, here the ball is glued to your foot for easy dribbling. And thick computer goalies make things even simpler - by approaching from a wide angle you can dribble straight past them to score! Play is further spoilt by a confusing control system: the shot-height control stays the same, no matter which direction you're facing. Even a full World Cup tournament can't stop this slimy sim shooting well wide of the target.

Come On You Reds!

An innovative mixture of management and arcade action is on offer in Manchester United. Not to be confused with its superior sequel (Man Utd Europe), this isn't a premier league title contender. Selection of players and formations is good, but let down by a dodgy match section.

Simple hit-and-hope footy takes place on a horizontally scrolling, overhead-view pitch, with no frills and few thrills. Ball-glued-to-foot dribbling and the limitation of shooting straight ahead make for dull donkey-style play, while good computer goalies ensure ultra-low scorelines.

What A Loada Rubbish!

Last, and most definitely least, is one of the most appalling games (never mind soccer sims) ever to 'grace' the 64. Fighting Soccer is yet another chronic coin-op conversion with no feeling for the game whatsoever. If the hazy, monochromatic graphics don't put you off, the snail-paced 'action' certainly will.

Worst of all is the piddle-poor responsiveness of the controls - the players take about half a second to follow your joystick movements! The only minor amusement is the way the players jump miles into the air to head the ball.

Step Into The Shower

When you can buy both the best two C64 soccer sims (MicroProse and Emlyn Hughes) on budget, the temptation to splash out up to £20 on four far inferior footy games is about as strong as Birmingham City's defence.

Mark Caswell