A couple of weeks ago, I was in the rather unfortunate position of going on holiday, just as the World Cup started, with a fairly football fanatic fella (nice onomatopoeia, young man Harry). As you can imagine, with up to three matches on the go every evening, I spent a lot of time watching him staring at televisions screens in Corfu bars, dancing on my own and drinking myself into an Ouzoulus stupor. As if that wasn't sad enough, once the 'real' football was over, we'd then proceed to a small bar near our apartment where we'd play arcade football. It is then with some, er... 'happy nostalgic memories' that European Football Champ appears on my desk - and blow me it isn't an exact copy of the arcade game I'd been stuck on! Brill.
Most of you should be familiar with this particular footy game as it seems to be the one that crops up most frequently in pubs, clubs and er, airports. It's the side-viewed one, where the fat, bald ref keeps falling over, the screen zooms in when ever something exciting happens, and when the ref's not looking (or laying on the grass) you can perform a sort of flying 'knee in yer face' illegal tackle that's popular on the school playing fields. Probably.
This is a quite impressively accurate conversion, with everything crammed in there nice 'n' tight, only lacking the speed and smoothness of the original. The controls are neatly arranged, with either a single tap or a quick double-tap accessing low or lobbed shots for attack, and sliding tackles, illegal tackles and punches on the, er... defensive side of things. Special moves like over-head kicks, flying headers and back-passes are all initiated automatically depending upon your position and the height of the ball when ye olde fire button depressed be.
You can choose from nine teams, and play as either one or two players, with the two humans either playing against each other or in co-operation on the same side against the computer. Other than setting the length of the matches, there's not a lot more to tell, but this is a fair footy game that, while not looking as attractive as your state-of -the-art football stuff today, it certainly outdoes many of them in terms of playability.
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