Brutal Deluxe doesn't live up to their name - in fact they're the worst team Speedball has ever seen. As their manager, it is your job to transform their fortunes. As well as the league system, which consists of 2 8-team divisions and challenges you to advance to the top, there are also 2 cup tournaments, one of which is played out over 2 'legs' with the aggregate score deciding who progresses.
You can play the matches as well, which is the real meat of the game. They consist of 2 90-second periods, and the gameplay is futuristic, fast and frantic, with heavy tackling encouraged to retrieve the ball. Power-ups and tokens appear on the pitch, including ones to make your players extra-tough or freeze the opponents.
The sides of the pitch each include a score multiplier, which you can run the ball through to increase the value of your scoring - the opposition can sometimes immediately grab the ball and nullify this. There are also 5 stars which are worth 2 points each if you hit them (more if you have the multiplier activated), but these can also be cancelled out by the opposition hitting the same star, and their points values only become set after the half. Next to the stars there are 'portals' which throw the ball out the opposite side of the pitch, in the direction it was going.
You get money for the results, and by collecting the silver tokens which appear on the pitch at random intervals. Between each match you can spend these either on improving your existing players as far as they can go, or on buying better ones and fitting them into the team. Your original players can only be improved to a certain extent, so remembering where your signed players are and making use of them is important.
A variety of tokens also appear during the match, some of which boost your team's power for a short period of time, and one freezes the opposition.
Way back in the year 2095 the Speedball-league was unregulated and ungoverned due to corruption and violence. Five years later in an attempt to regain public interest the sport was reorganised: Speedball 2 was born. Another five years pass till a new team emerges. The name of this team is Brutal Deluxe.
Speedball is some kind of a rugby-soccer-handball-mix plus NO penalties for fouls. In fact one of the things you do most of the time is to beat the crap out of the other team. While doing so you try to hit the opponents goal (after you tried to get rid the keeper), collecting coins for extra money, beamers or speed-ups and hitting the extra-point-goals at the sides of the court. The metal-ball you play with is held in the hand and you can pass it to your team mates if you are oppressed too much. Each game has two halfs of 90 seconds. Before a game starts you can upgrade your players by buying power ups and training units.
The gameplay itself is very fast and that is marvelous! You really get into it. The only two bad things are that you never know the name of your current character which would be fine to know when buy the upgrades and the second is that it's quite confusing which player will be yours when your current player disappears from the screen. The computer switches to the player that is nearest to the ball. But sometimes you run in the wrong direction for a time.
There are different game modes that can be played in single player mode: Tournament, League and Manager Mode. When playing the latter you just buy and sell players and get them upgraded and equipped. The computer makes the hard work and controls all of your players during the match.
Maybe the best thing in this game is the multiplayer mode. It is great to play against your friends.
If you decide to play the Tournament be sure to do some practising rounds first. Well at the beginning your team Brutal Deluxe is nothing more than a bunch of losers and you have to fight quite hard to earn your money. But by the time it gets more and more brutal. I bet you'll love it!
The graphics are not superb but very nice for a sports game. Everything is done is the typical Bitmap Brothers metal-look. The sounds could have been better but it's OK because the gameplay compensates everything. If sounds and graphics are more important to you, you probably should try the Amiga version or get the PlayStation version Speedball 2100 which was released autumn 2000.
Due to the confusing player-switch-habit Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe gets 4 out of 5 points from me.
The game is most fun when you play fullscreen and with a joystick - that really beams you back to the late 80s/early 90s.
Very cool futuristic sports game. Purpose of the game is to score in a goal with a ball, instead of kicking the ball, you can run with it or throw it away to another player. You can tackle your opponents. There are no borders around the field, because you play it inside some sort of rectangled building, with high wall on which the ball ricochets.
The Bitmap Brothers affirmed their status as leading action game developer with Speedball 1 and 2, two highly enjoyable futuristic ball games that combine elements of handball and rugby. The simple goal of getting the ball past the goalkeeper is complicated by many "tokens" that allow you to give extra skill to the squad, bribe referee, turn the ball into a weapon, etc. Speedball 2 greatly expands on the concept with bigger pitches, more complex league play, and more. You are scored for injuring your opponents as well as goals, so... let the carnage begin ;)
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