Sports Masters (Empire) Review | Amiga Computing - Everygamegoing

Amiga Computing


Sports Masters
By Empire
Amiga 500/600/1200

 
Published in Amiga Computing 58

Bring along your pump bag and meet the Sports Masters...

Sports Masters

Just as many struggling recording artists decide to release sad and lacklustre remixes and "best ofs" towards the end of the year in an attempt to revive their flagging careers, so too do software companies attack the market with dire compilations of ancient games that were best forgotten.

It was a welcome change then, that when Sports Masters arrived in the offices shortly before Crimbo, boasting four great titles from months and years gone by, at least three of them were just that.

Advantage Tennis

Unless players themselves, very few people in this country seem interested in tennis until Wimbledon comes around, but not me. Not any more. I'm a year-round tennis fan, and it's all thanks to Infogrames' excellent Advantage Tennis.

The first thing you need to do is train and adopt a strategy, and Advantage Tennis allows you to do just that by setting your strength (pone or two-handed shots required), style of play (attacking or defensive) and specialities.

Once this is done, you're ready to play, either against a human opponent or the computer. Your aim is to amass a fortune and become the world's top-ranked player by winning as many tournaments as possible during the busy season.

This is no mean feat since you begin at the very bottom of the rankings, but fear not - you can practise against the opponents of your choice and enter loads of exhibition matches before you jet off around the world with your tennis gear and tin of Raljex. Gameplay is absolutely superb - it's incredibly realistic, and fast? - oh no, I'll say it's fast; in fact A1200 owners may find the speed a little too much.

The game is very well presented, with a crisp, clear court. I just can't think of a major fault - you'll be hooked in minutes.

Indianapolis 500

A bit of a dinosaur in terms of age, Indy 500 still knocks the spots off the majority of offerings we've seen since it was originally released.

Basically, the Indy 500 comprises drivers steering what appear to be customised Formula One cars around a track so elementary in design it makes Scalextric look like a map of the human nervous system.

Admitt3edly the cars do reach speeds of 200mph, and the number of racers and size of the track are suck that collisions are commonplace, but still...

Speed is prominent in the game too, and from your first person perspective in the cockpit of the car you can almost feel your cheeks wobble as you race distances between 25 and 500 miles (that's where the name comes from, see) using keyboard, joystick, or the preferred mouse control.

But that isn't all that's on offer - good Lord no! You can choose to compete for one of three teams, racing either in their pre-set machines or in your own car, which you can almost completely customise.

Jump straight into a race and you'll find yourself in last place in the rolling start, whereas by qualifying you can jump up the field. Spectacular crashes or posy overtaking manoeuvres can be replayed from a number of different angles.

Indianapolis 500 is a fast, furious and fun racing sim that's well worth looking into if you missed it first time around.

European Championship 1992

Here it is - the duffer of the pack. This Tecmo coin-op conversion might have been viewed slightly more seriously about two years ago, but with two superb footy games already on the market, on a budget label or in a compilation is really where this Elite effort belongs.

It's a one or two-player game as you would expect, viewed from the touchline with little of the pitch visible at any one time, the teams being the participants in last year's Euro championships - with the noticeable exception of the eventual winners!

Playability isn't the problem - it's a very easy game to get to grips with - but the lack of options, absence of speed and poor quality graphics make for a game that is best avoided.

PGA Tour Golf

Choose from four courses in this EA classic and compete with up to three opponents in a four-round tournament against all the top US pros with the aim of achieving glory and walking away with a stonking great amount of cash.

That's the idea, but try striding onto the fairway and hitting a perfect drive straight off - ha! - fat chance.

That's why we're given the option of practising beforehand on any course, or on an individual hole, a putting green or a driving range. It's a very easy game to play, the Stroke Bar at the bottom of the screen making it very easy to play reasonably accurate shots after a bit of practice.

Viewing from behind your strokemeister, you are afforded loads of options during a game that make the whole affair a joy to play.

Graphics are great and what sound there is is very convincing. PGA Tour Golf was far and away the best game of its kind on its release, and although now showing its age just a little, it still offers much to the hack 'n slashers among you.

Verdict

I'm a fan of sports and as such may be slightly biased, but Sports Masters is certainly the best compilation I have come across. It offers superb value for money by anyone's standards - you'll be instantly addicted and thrilled by it for hours on end.