The 64 version of Microprose Soccer appeared at the end of last year to great acclaim. It was written by Sensible Software, who have since parted company with the Tetbury-based software house, leaving the 16 bit versions to be converted by the Electronic Pencil Co.
There are two basic games you can play; standard league footy (played outdoors, whatever the weather) and a six-a-side (played indoors to some crazy tunes). Both are viewed from over- head (as in Kick Off). The standard soccer option allows you to enter into competition with another player or against the computer in the world cup tournament, international challenge, football league or a friendly match against a soccer loving chum. The indoor version has its own tournament, challenge and league; names and match parameters can be changed in both.
Controlling the ban is made easier by the fact that it sticks to your foot as you run, and a wide variety of other movements are available, including overhead kicks, headers and banana shots you even get an impressive actions replay feature when you score a goal!
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Microprose Soccer, except that it's come out at the same time as Anco's far superior Kick Off. It's also basically the same game as the eight bit versions, and for £24.95 a throw, that's not really good enough. It's a complex simulation that will take a while to master, it's very enjoyable in two-player mode and it's got plenty of options, but it doesn't match up in playability. Kick Off's excellent control method and pixel-perfect passing have set a standard which this simulation can't match.
A couple of other niggles: the graphics are sometimes a bit crude (in the victory salutes after scoring a goal, for example) and the scrolling on both versions isn't all that it should be. That said, take a look at this if you want something a bit more complex and a lot more humorous than your average footy game.
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