The third entry in the Kick Off series is the first that offers a isometric view instead of the old top-down view. In the game there are four competitions (World Cup Finals, League, Knock Out Cup and the challenge). There is several options for game speed and ball control to suit both novice and skilled gamers. Each of the 32 teams in the game has a distinct style of play, ensuring that no two games are alike. Each team also has "key players", such as Liberos and Wingers, who play a pivotal role in how that team plays. Kick Off 3 offers two styles of play: Arcade and Simulation. The difference is that in the Arcade mode you can switch of rules to focus purely on reflexes.
Kick off 3 was a great football game back in the days it was made. It was the first to give the player the possibility of kicking the ball in eight different directions. That feature allowed it to be called a real soccer game simulation. The amount of control over the ball and the unique view, were typical for this game and were so good, many clones used it.
The game may have a slight downside in the difficulty to control the ball. This may cause problems for the inexperienced players. There are other gameplay differences as well. First off you need to select the mode in which to play. You can work through the standard friendly or league matches, or take part in a championship where you play against 30 other teams (each of the 32 teams in the game has a distinct style), one by one, until you reach the Anco All Stars at the end of the game. There are certain players, which roles in the team are more important. These are usually Liberos and Wingers. Their performance can decide how that team plays in general. Of course different teams have different players.
If you want to, you can even take part in the World Cup tournament. I suggest you start by qualifying. You naturally also get to choose the game speed, decide on the tactics and stuff like that.
As you can clearly see from the screenshots, the game has a side view, which does represent a certain problem. It's not easy to orientate. You can't say how far you are from the goal, are you near an out and similar important information. It's a flaw that has already been avoided in some other games, but they decided to use this view anyway. Still the graphics are very nice.
But all of that isn't half as important as the gameplay. The game seems to be really slow. Also it's very difficult, so I suggest you try out the practice mode first, to learn and control the ball. Apart for its appearance the game isn't nearly as good as it should be. I tried to like it, but I just couldn't
The game will still appeal to all the fans of the Kick Off series and people who like football (soccer). IT does have a lot of good points after all. This game only works with a joystick.
The legendary Kick Off series goes on! The first KO game that was NOT made by Dino Dini, the legendary creator of the most famous football game ever made for Amiga, is still great, maybe even the best football game in its time! The old, legendary top-down view has been switched to isometric, giving the player a larger visible area and maing some great moves available. There are many modes in which the game can be played so I highly recommend you to get it!
Note: You must have a joystick to play Kick Off 3!
Anco Software was well known for especially Kick Off 2 when they decided to release Kick Off 3. Unlike Kick Off 1 and 2 the game view has changed so it's similar to Sensible Soccer and similar games from that period. This was mainly caused by that the original designer of the first two games in the series, Dino Dini, left Anco Software.
Not only the game view has changed in the game. There are also several more features in the game and the graphics are a bit more detailed not to mention the greatly improved menu interface. Still - Kick Off 3 is too much "Anco" as there are Anco league, Anco cup and even an Anco team. I have never been much of a fan with football games featuring fiction players and/or teams. Still there is a great selection of different tournaments and teams to choose from and you can also setup the game to include offside and all the other official football rules.
I wouldn't say that Kick Off 3 is as good as the first two games in the series but it's close and if you are a football fan this game is a must as it offers many new things compared to other football games from this period.
People who downloaded Kick Off 3: European Challenge have also downloaded:
Kick Off 2, Kick Off 98, International Sensible Soccer, Kick Off 97, Sensible World of Soccer 96/97, Goal!, Ignition, On The Ball: League Edition (a.k.a. Anstoss)
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