Amiga Power

Soccer Stars

Author: Rich Pelley
Publisher: Empire
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #11

Soccer Stars

Er, thanks, Matt. Actually, as soccer games go you couldn't really plea for two finer than Kick Off 2 and Microprose Soccer. Or, at least, if you did, no one would hear you.

Completely ignoring its dedicated following of people who think it is crap, we still make Kick Off 2 a reputable number 7 in our Top 100 Games. Playing in the familiar up/down scrolling arcade-style with you ceremoniously controlling the player nearest to the ball, its indisputable selling point was that it plays nothing like football at all. The ball, you see, doesn't stick to your feet (you have to use short kicks to dribble) so at the end of the day it ends up more like a giant game of pin ball, or (more probably) something. It sounds weird but boils down to a fast, frantic if slightly tricky at first little animal, its only problem lying in the rather puny graphics. I reckon that if I actually liked this sort of thing, I'd like Kick Off 2 lots.

MicroProse Soccer is back on familiar ground. Again, a bird's eye supplies the view, but for your ease the ball sticks to your feet whilst dribbling. Trick shots also lie conveniently at hand - headers, swerves and overhead kicks are but a swift and trouble-free wibble of the joystick away. The slick programming, the delicious graphics, the sound (for which an appropriate adjective escapes me) and the distinct lack of flaws in gameplay help add up to a game to certainly give Kick Off 2 a run for its money.

You see, every gameplay ingredient in the above two games has been carefully selected and expertly blended to give near flawless results, with every nook, cranny, bit and byte of the Amiga's memory used wisely. Congratulations go to Kick Off 2 for the sheer combination of gameplay options available - up to four footy-game-fans can join in at once (if you could ever find them, and an adaptor) on rival or the same sides playing with or against the computer. MicroProse Soccer flaunts an indoor football option which is far better than the outdoor version in my opinion anyway.

Indeed, in the hectic world of Soccer games, Kick Off 2 and MicroProse Soccer really are sheer bliss. Any sign of management is thankfully ignored, option screens do not have to be waded through, merely called up when desired. And whilst in play, you can actually see, move, tackle and kick when and where desired. And, thank someone, not one celebrity footballer rears his head.

Oh, and the other two games on the compilation? Gazza 2 and Emlyn Hughes International Soccer - they're both so bad they're not even worth talking about any more. Handy really, as there wasn't room anyway.

The Bottom Line

Kick Off 2 I'd give 92, MicroProse Soccer's worth 90, Gazza 2 about 35 and Emlyn around 30. Giving an average 61.75. Which rounds down, as I'm in a bit of a bad mood, to...

Rich Pelley

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