The whole point in reviewing a game is to compare it with software already out there, and tell you what's what. Football Glory and Sensible Soccer, for example. You've seen all the preview screenshots, you've heard all the stupid stories about how this looks incredibly like Sensible Soccer (but apparently the programmers have never even seen Sensible Soccer), and you've also heard that this had loads more features than Sensible Soccer. Everywhere you turn, someone's been touting it as a Sensi-beater. This is not true. It doesn't even come close. When it comes down to it, Football Glory is yet another average kickabout-in-the-park when compared to the Wembley Stadium of Sensible Soccer.
The strength of the mighty Sensi is in its passing, and Football Glory directly emulates its method of tapping the fire button for a pass, or holding it down for a shot. But the implementation is inadequate - while Sensi handles passes by slipping the ball in the path of a player, a quick tap of the fire button in Football Glory leaves the ball falling short of its intended recipient so he has to circle around to pick it up. (A slightly-longer-but-not-long-enough-to-be-a-shot tap does indeed get the ball to the other player, but instantly, which is off-putting and unrealistic.) In addition to this, the aftertouch is handled badly. Now aftertouch is great - after Kick Off introduced it, every single football game since has attempted to hone it to perfection. But Football Glory has gone the other way with far too much aftertouch. It's silly that you can be clear on goal with only the keeper to beat, and your gorgeously crafted curving shot will suddenly bend away from goal at the last possible moment. There seems to be an incredibly thin line between exactly the right amount of aftertouch and way too much, and Football Glory has too much. Where it does score over Sensi is with its catalogue of special moves. Back-heelers, one-two passes, overhead kicks, riding tackles, volleys, diving headers and power attacks to give a player that extra bit of oomph can all be brought into play to shake up the game. Or at least they could if they worked properly. The opposition in Football Glory bears down on you all the time, and your only thought is to get the ball up the other end of the pitch and mount an attack of your own.
So as far as special moves go, there's little chance of putting together a lovely one-two or attempting to curve the ball around a defender and then run on to it -you've only got time to try to head the ball away or into goal. The only usable move (usable because you can see the ball coming and therefore have time to try for it) is the overhead kick. It's by no means easy, but very effective and spectacular if you pull it off.
Of course, when playing a computer opponent they perform the special moves immaculately every time, except when they blow it completely. Football Glory falls into the old trap of making its computer players play either perfectly or amazingly stupidly. I'm not sure if this is meant to give the game an edge of realism or what, but at some points in the game, the computer opponent will get things horribly wrong. And I'm not just talking about passing the ball directly to my attacker. On one occasion the goalie attempted to kick the ball out, missed the shot, turned around, ran after the ball and hoofed it into his own net. Comedy? I had to pick myself off the floor.
On top of all this there are all the tiny, trivial bits that on their own wouldn't be too much of a problem, but when added together become a real pain. For instance, if you quit the game when you're a goal ahead, you'll win that match. Or when someone gets booked or injured during the match, the ref and players chatter about it in 'funny' speech bubbles.
Clearly Football Glory is no threat to serious threat to Sensi in the final reckoning. But although I've concentrated on the bad points of the game, it's not a bad game overall - trivial (but annoying) faults aside. There are plenty of options you can mess around with, competitions to enter your team in, and creating your own leagues and cups is always fun. And if you can persuade a mate or six to join in you will find yourself playing along quite happily. It's just that when you've been playing Sensible World of Soccer all month, this, along with almost every other football game, pales in comparison.
People who downloaded Football Glory have also downloaded:
Football Glory, FIFA International Soccer, European Football Champ, Final Fight, Face-Off, Flimbo Quest, Deluxe Pacman, Formula One Grand Prix (Microprose)
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