Microprose Soccer (Microprose) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Microprose Soccer
By Microprose
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #46

A not very Sensible footy sim... Zzap Sizzler

Microprose Soccer

Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go - only another year before the world cup. Will Brian Clough ever get to be the manager of England? Does Kenny Sansom tie up his left or his right boot first? Will Gary Lineker opt for a red, white and blue all-over spiral perm. Who knows the answer to these and other crucial footballing questions? Not us. More than our job's worth, that - we're just supposed to describe the game.

Well, that's wrong for a start because there are *two* games: traditional Association football and American Rules Six-a-Side.

Both can be played in a number of different ways; two-player friendly (one-off footballing frenzy with a mate), soccer/indoor league (up to sixteen players in competition against each other). World Cup/All Star Tournament and Microprose International Challenge (designed for solo play against computer-controlled teams).

In addition to basic tackling, running and dribbling, there's yer whole range of possible moves. You can volley the ball forward, flip it backwards overhead, chip it, and perform banana shots (curl it left or right). There's full goalie control and the program allows for corners, throw-ins and goal-kicks.

Control options allow you to choose match-length, banana power, team colours and auto or manual player control. Phew!

If the weather option is switched on, chances are that your outdoor match could be interrupted by thunder, lightning and rain, plip-plopping on the surface of the pitch. Select replay if you want to see a slow-motion tele-style replay of each of your goals as they occur.

KH

If you're anything like me, you'll probably be dead keen on the idea of football but not overly desperate to get yourself out on to a freezing cold field in a pair of drafty shorts in the middle of winter. Brrr!

With Microprose Soccer you even get to play in an absolutely brilliantly simulated thunderstorm and your feet don't ever get wet! Not only that, with so many options and possible modes of play, you'll probably burn those horrible shorts and never opt for footy on one of those chilly pitches ever again (well, not in January, anyway).

It's great having two different games (the six-a-side's my favourite) but what I like best about Microprose Soccer is that it's not too serious. Where else would you find something as silly as a banana shot and a soundtrack that wails "good-by-eee" totally out of time?

GH

I thought Microprose were going to market this as a full-scale soccer sim with a six-a-sider thrown in free.

Even with the extra game, it still seems a bit expensive to me. Oh well... Apart from that, this has got to be one of the best soccer sims I've ever seen.

Little touches like the wacky soundtrack (you've just got to hear it, believe me), rain on the pitch and the banana shot really make it something special. I'm still convinced that Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is the best footy sim so far, partly because the menu system in Microsoccer is sometimes slightly awkward to control (make a mistake and you end up switching sides in the middle of a match).

If you've got loadsamoney, get them both. If not, stick with Emlyn, and make sure you get Microsoccer later on. It's got something which many games lack - a brilliant sense of humour.

Verdict

Presentation 90%
More menus than you can eat bananas (and there's even one of those). Up to sixteen player participation and options to save and load in games.

Graphics 88%
Unusually well-defined overhead graphics - the best we've seen in a footy sim.

Sound 75%
Pretty basic sound effects but very silly in-game musical accompaniment. Jolly title tune.

Hookability 78%
All the options take a bit of time to work out.

Lastability 90%
So many different ways to play football you should keep going for a very long time.

Overall 90%
The best overhead footy sim we've seen so far. Buy this and Emlyn Hughes and you've got the two best footy games on the C64.