Commodore User1st June 1988
Published in Commodore User #58
Peter Beardsley's Football
Away th'lads. Geordie England star Peter Beardsley gets the tremendous honour (?) of endorsing the first Amiga football game. Not just any old football game too, but one based on the European Championships. Grandslam could not have picked a better time than this to release this game, with Beardsleymania at its peak, and millions of people having been thrilled by the European championships. Does the game match up with all this entertainment?
Before you kick-off you are given a rather nice little Peter Beardsley badge and poster to stick on your wall and lapels respectively. Once you're looking the part, run down the shop and score a few crates of McEwans and you'll be all set. Before you get the chance to kick a ball, you must decide which of the eight teams you wish to be, whether you want a one or two player game, and how long you want your matches to last. At least when I chose England they managed to give me a white shirt, even if the shorts were the wrong colour!
You control one of your team's players with an arrow sticking out of his head. Instructions state the player who is in control is decided by the one who is nearest to the ball. Note: the previous statement is a complete lie. The player who is in control should be decided by who is nearest to the ball, but isn't. This is the game's main fault; often, you pass the ball directly to one of your team-mates and he will stand there with the ball at his feet, and his hands on his hips!
This fault, which could have easily been corrected, ruins what could be a reasonably good football game, by making it impossible to play decently, let alone win (that is, unless you know the Ferdy cheat mode - which I'm not going to tell you!).
Apart from this fault, the game is otherwise straightforward. You can pass and shoot to different degrees of power by holding down the fire button for different amounts of time. The goalkeeper can be made to dive in different directions, but this is not a wise idea as he only seems to be able to save it while standing up!
Another of this game's intriguing features is every now and again the computer team decides to stop playing completely, and they don't allow you to carry on either, so you have simply to wait until time runs out before you can continue.
As you can see, the game does have some very nice graphics, and it plays relatively smoothly too. Had more time been spent to make it playable it could have been very good, yet Grandstand confused their priorities and decided that ensuring all the teams had the correct away kits was more important. Which is why I'd sooner have put my money on Eire winning in Germany than buy this game.