Amiga Power1st September 1994
Published in Amiga Power #41
European Football Champ
Were Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neil, Karim Abdul-Jabar and nineteen of their basketball-playing chums suddenly switch their allegiance to football, this would probably be the result. It's a fast-moving, high-scoring, running-repeatedly-from-one-end-of-the-pitch-to-the-other-and-scoring-goals type of football game that couldn't be further removed from Sensible Soccer. But is it actually enjoyable enough to be a decent game in its own right?
No. Basically. "Hundreds of frames of superb animation taken directly from the coin-op" is the boast on the back of the box. Well, maybe, but what about the thousands of frames they evidently left behind? "Spectacular stunt shots and tackling moves." True, but the players move so jerkily that special moves are hard to spot.
Far more serious though is that European Football Champ falls into the ancient football game trap (and here's where the basketball comes in) of not actually requiring any skill or tactics at all. From the kick off, you just run along with the ball towards the goal, occasionally (but only occasionally) swerving to avoid defenders, and then boot it at the goal.
Half the time it'll go in and half the time it won't - whether you punt it straight at the goalie or attempt some sort of daring shot from the wing - and that's it. The whole process takes but a few seconds, and then it's the other player's turn to try.
Scores depend on how long a game you choose to play, but they'll generally be of the 18-16 variety. And who actually wins comes down to which teams you pick. With me plumping for Italy and Steve M picking (as he generally does) Scotland, I always lost, Steve scoring about two goals for every one of mine, simply because all his players ran slightly faster.
It's not supposed to be a serious football simulation, of course - there's a comedy fat referee who keeps falling over, and fouling is positively encouraged - but it doesn't really work as a fun arcade game either.
Oh, and Neil West was quite obviously suffering from some form of temporary madness when he gave it 64% in AP15. It's only worth just over half that.
The Bottom Line
The very worst sort of football game. Backwards and forwards you'll go, backwards and forwards. It's actually more like playing basketball than football. No - tennis, in fact. Only without the taxing strategy. About as poor as it gets.