Gary Lineker, eh? What a star. He's got the talent, the legs and the slightly unusual nose needed to succeed in the tough world of professional football. More power to his proboscis, that's what we say. That's obviously what Kixx think as well, for they've gathered together four footy games and released them under the Genial Gary banner. And here they come now, scampering through the ' player's tunnel in tight formation. Hurrah!
GARY LINEKER'S SUPERSKILLS
Superskills is famous as the game which actually portrays Gary (nose an' all). In order to get Gary into shape for the big game, you have to embark on a gruelling succession of squat thrusts, press-ups and weight lifting. In other words, you waggle the joystick furiously while the Gary sprite hops around the screen. To be fair, there's a bit of variety later on, with Gary hopping over tyres while keeping a ball balancing on his nose (or something.) There's also some management stuff thrown in as well, but lists of numbers do not a game make. Basically, it's all pretty much of a muchness. Whatever that means. Gary Hooker's Superskills is more like Gary Lineker's Decathlon, really. How quaint.
Hello, the name of Gazza is conspicuously absent from this 'un. That's because it isn't a Gazza game. Or something. It's a straightforward Match Day arcade dashabout, with big graphics and lots of fun hacking action. There's a bit of variety in that you can fiddle around with your team, a la Superstar Soccer but much better. Tackling and Shooting skills can both be altered, but to be honest their effects are a bit tricky to spot (all the players look the same, y'see). Lots of smart stuff and good bits, the best feature being the giant animated scoreboards that pop up when someone scores, or there's a throw-in, or what have you. Yes, I like this one. Quite a bit, in fact. Just a pity it's so easy to beat.
GARY LINEKER'S SUPERSTAR SOCCER
A bit creaky, this one. It hails from the early days of 1988, and to be honest it's showing its age in a crumpled, doddery sort of way. The idea behind the game is a bit clever - you have to choose your players, fiddling around with some management-ish number lists to get an optimum team strength, then rush out and take on the opposition in straightforward arcadey fashion. The trouble is, the two halves don't gel very well at all. The management bit seems to rely a lot on luck, while the arcade footy section limits you to controlling the goalie or the centre forward (the Speccy takes care of everyone else). It's fairly interesting, in a nostalgic sort of way, but as a game it doesn't come up to scratch.
GARY LINEKER'S HOT SHOT!
Yup, it really does have that cringingly tasteless exclamation mark on the title. Oh, the game? Take my advice and stick to giggling at the title - the game isn't worth bothering with. It's another flakey old doo-dah, written back in the days when everyone thought Kick Off was a really neat idea. Yup. Hot Shot! is yer basic overhead fast-moving scrolly sort of affair. It's full of movement, and, er, that's it. The game doesn't even fit into the "fun for five minutes category," mainly because you'll get completely fed up after thirty seconds. Not particularly inspiring. I think you'll agree I'd say Hot Shot! was reasonably playable but, to be honest, it isn't - so I won't.
Oh dear. Gary isn't doing himself any favours by having his mug plastered all over this compilation. Italy 1990 is a simple, fun little game. The other three are distressingly bad. Let's be fair and ask an independent third-party for their verdict. Billy Bigshoes, famous variety hall comedian of the 30's - what do think of it so far? "Rubbish!" And there you have it.
TOP THREE WORST SOCCER TACTICS
The anti-jink. This appears to be a normal jink until the last possible moment, whereupon you throw your weight violently in the wrong direction, crashing painfully into your opponent and falling down.The goalie kick. When an opponent's shot at goal misses, and the ball goes out of play behind the goal line, pick up your goalie and boot him down the field.The cavalry charge. Not only is this tactic frowned upon by UEFA, but setting up a cavalry charge without altering the opposition requires a high degree of stealth and cunning. Do not forget - if the opposition realises what you are up to, they may appeal to the referee, or set up a brace of cannon, or something.
Eric fled. That flying bowling ball meant business.
"300!" gasped the Hunchback of Swansea City spookily.
This un's called "Lying on the floor and looking a bit ill."
Alex and Roger prepared to catch the ball. It was an exciting day.