Commodore User1st December 1988
Published in Commodore User #63
Emlyn Hughes International Soccer
It doesn't seem too long ago that I found myself praising International Soccer as the hip and trendy footy game on the C64. Since then, we've had a plethora of footy games.
In International Soccer, the controls were the usual eight directions plus fire to pass and shoot, but it was this very simplicity I may add which helped to make the game so enjoyable. Emlyn Hughes International Soccer improves upon this by using a revolutionary form of clutch which allows you to leave the player in control running with the ball without having to touch the joystick. This way you can select the type of shot required by pulling the joystick back or forward. A quick tap on the fire button along with a vertical jab on the joystick makes the player do a nifty little side-step, thus avoiding any approaching member of the opposition.
In the olden days a tackle meant running the ball from under the feet of somebody, but Emlyn Hughes International Soccer updates this with sliding tackles. A backheel can be used to escape the onslaught of an aluminium studded boot, by holding down the fire button, and flicking the stick backwards and forwards in a quick succession to perform the move, and works really well, allowing you to execute some excellent David Rocastle-like moves.
Throw-ins, free kicks and corners are handled automatically, the penalties (yes, these are included) can be handled manually in much the same way as a formal shot. The goalkeeper can be controlled by the human player or by the computer.
The on-field controls are really just the tip of the iceberg, there are a whole maze of sub-options the most important of which allows you to edit your team and boost their individual skills. Energy, names and strip colours can also be edited, and not just for your chosen team, but also for the other seven teams in the league.
Best of all is the inspired option which allows two players to co-operate on the same team so you can blame any mistakes on a genuine person rather than an inanimate computer image.
Graphically, Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is a pretty unimpressive with chunky sprites which don't add much to the original, although the animation and increased movement, is a definite improvement. Diving headers, three step goal kicks, sliding tackles and a few more additions have been thrown in on top of the basic movements making the game far more fun to watch. Sound is limited to crowd noises, and the occasional blast on a horn in the background.
This isn't quite MicroProse Soccer, but it's still a vast improvement on many of the football games available.