Commodore User

Street Sports Soccer

Author: Mark Patterson
Publisher: Epyx
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #61

Street Sports Soccer

Street Sports Soccer is the third Epyx offering set in the streets of New York (or whatever) and if you ask me it's rather a case of selling coal to a coal mine. A game needs to be something special if it is to succeed in the software football scene where around about thirty titles are currently available.

I will admit Street Sports Soccer takes me back to my days of car park football when I was in school, but it doesn't quite make the grade. To start with, you select the pitch you want to play on, street or park, each with the customary obstacles like oil and manholes, although some of the hazards supplied by man's best friends are not to be found. Rather than five-a-side or the more traditional eleven, your team consists of three members handpicked from nine of the local delinquents, both boys and girls. They all have special skills and weaknesses but as in real life there's one player who causes everyone to scream 'bags first pick' and a person who trips up on their own feet who the captains are all too happy to give to the other side as a hindrance.

The American unfamiliarity with this bastion of British sports is clearly displayed in the game text when 'hottest soccer moves' means passing and heading. A few automatic moves have been included such as overhead kicks (well, that's what it looks like to me) but the sprite quality places a large dampener on the effect.

Street Sports Soccer

One feature which gives Street Sports Soccer a minor advantage is the ability to change the team member you control by pressing fire and up on the joystick. This way the player under your guidance isn't left standing on the far side of the screen with you mentally willing the computer to give you access to someone nearer the ball. Still, the feature does not make up for the appallingly bad flip-screen scrolling with totally fails to follow the ball, or the players for that matter, and makes the game very hard, not to mention confusing.

Passing is pretty straightforward, hit the ball to the nearest player, but when you take a shot the ball can be aimed at either the upper corner, middle or lower corner of the goal (not that your shot is always on target). Offsides are also included in the package but on a three-a-side game offsides don't exactly work too well so it's best to rush the defence rather than pass upfield. Penalties are awarded for any bumping near the goal mouth, though I never came across one in all the time I played.

Extra features are abundant such as tossing a nickel to choose who gets first pick. When a goal is scored, the scoring player plus the nearest other team member run at each other, jump and slap hands in mid-air with a mistimed smack sound.

Street Sports Soccer is not the best, nor is it the worst, football game on the C64. It plays sluggishly and the sprites are too slow and chunky to give the game any real action feeling. If you ask me, your money's better spent on Microsoccer.

Mark Patterson

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