|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ MICROPROSE SOCCER (c) MICROPROSE/SENSIBLE SOFTWARE ★|
Microprose believe the way forward in football sims is total realism; the ball can curl, the weather turn nasty and Brazil are better at the game than Oman. You play the way the big timers do, and that's for keeps, strictly all or nothing.
The choice when playing the Micoprose game is, should you play in the warmth of an indoor stadium to American rules (like a wimp) or outside, like a real macho type in the teeth of a gale, to real Association Football regulations? Naturally on this side of the pond, we are more used to the butch side of things and so it is here that most people will look first for action. There are four real football derivatives. an International Challenge, a World Cup, a League and also a Soccer Friendly (when was pro football ever friendly?). The teams are recognised international sides (although some are more recognised than others), all with differing abilities. Oman have mastered kicking the ball and the Cameroon goalkeeper catching it, while Brazil can drill the ball past any keeper from the changing room.
In the 'Challenge', you play against successively better teams until you're knocked out (rough game this soccer), while in the League you play friends and neighbours in round robin fashion.
The World Cup is the tournament to win though. You flick through the results screen watching the tale of the championship unfold until the day comes for your match.
Waiting to play sounds as dull as ditch water; though it's worth watching the results as upsets occur and give an indication of who the next round opponent may be (if you get there, that is !).
So the footie begins, and it's time to put the ball where your mouth is. The view is from overhead which is fine. What is off putting, however, is the lack of colour. One team wears light shirts, the other wears dark, and the shirt of nearest player to the ball on your side flashes.
It's quick and the players are easy to direct although the lack of colour means that it's sometimes hard to tell who's who. Even playing against the infernal machine life is not as simple as it has been in the many sims before. Kick-off rules must be obeyed and you must pass the ball to one of your own men before touching it again. True to form Microprose give a list of the basic rules of soccer in the handbook and most of them apply to the game on screen. The only exception to this is the off-side rule (on the grounds that even 128k cant work that one out!).
Dribbling the ball is no problem, just keep your joystick pressed in the right direction and off goes yer'man. Kicking is a real pain in the foot though, because the controls are dead sensitive. If you try and wellie the ball by keeping the fire button depressed, its likely to send the ball sailing over the nets, too short a press and it grinds to an embarrassing halt just feet from you.
The variety of kicks is a great bonus for the game, with both forward and backheel kicks present - but so are some interesting and quirky trick shots. Firstly, there is the 'whooaaa!' a backward somersault kick, which generally occurs when you're attempting a hard backheel. Suddenly you see a pair of boots facing upward and the ball racing back down the pitch.
Most fun though is the 'vhaa?-WHOOSH!' otherwise known as the variable power banana shot. You can choose the strength of the curl at the start of the game, and it's much easier to score with the ball almost turning 90 degrees on 'hi power.
Unfortunately the other side get the ability too, and they don't hesitate to plug shots in from obscure angles for hours on end.
Sliding tackles are another feature that can catch you unawares. Generally the opposition slide in taking your feet, and the ball from under you. If its raining however, then watch out if you try to slide in on someone. You're liable not only to get them but also end up at the other side of the field as the grass gets more slippery by the second.
The rain effects, which are accompanied by rumbling thunder and lightning flashes can effect all the outside games. As the ground gets soaked the slides get longer and the ball ceases to roll well. You can see the rain hit the waterlogged pitch, and occasionally a flash of lightning highlights the games border.
Obviously the U.S. rules six-a-side escapes such a cold and miserable fate (unless they've leaky roofs). Ostensibly the game is the five-a-side that we all knew and loved in the school playground, with an extra man (you don't say) and rebound walls. The game is much faster, and features wandering goalies who've a tendency to try and shame their opposite number by scoring.
As an extra game it's great fun. and it too features a variety of different competitions, all basically the same as their outdoor counterparts. But with four quarters and a smaller playing surface everything seems a little more frantic than before. You can't help getting drawn into the pace of the game, whether you're holding on to a lead or chasing goals to sneak a draw in the dying seconds. It would be a real nailbiter if your fingers weren't too busy on the keypad.
Microprose Soccer is a fun footie simf but it does have limitations. Graphically it's no high flyer, its competent but needs more colour A little more brightness may have limited other areas but it would've come in handy when trying to discover which man in
that pile of slide tacklers is yours. On the other side of the coin though, the accompanying music is good, and the effects inject fresh fire into a sim for the first time since Matchday. The thunder and lightning may he totally peripheral, but they greatly enhance the game and reveal the care that went into the original design.
So while its not the best looking game in the history of football, Microprose have done as thorough and professional a job as always. Still par for their course, it's more than a sin gle game, and complexity ensures a long and enjoyable game life. Its dual format gives great instant appeal and extra variety and prevents over exposure to one form of gaming.
FIRST DAY TARGET SCORE : beat a third seed team
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CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.