Sorry for any unpleasant smells during this review but (thanks to a rather dodgy curry, and via a rather crafty extension lead for my Speccy) this round up of Empire's soccer compilation is being brought to you from the comfort of the toilet. Aahh - that's better. (Flush.) Off we go then.
KICK OFF 2
It would be a crime to mention Kick Off 2 without at least one reference to the 16 bit version, which as possibly the best footy game ever, and to Kick Off 1 which, Speccy-wise at least, really was a pile of old jobs. (Flush again.)
KO2, however, is good stuff. The action is extremely fast, frantic, overhead and, as ever, best enjoyed with a pal. The main differences between this and the original is that you can't get the ball to stick to your feet, but there are a variety of tweakable (if rather ineffective) options to alter everything from team tactics to wind. Ahem.
This one's pretty top too. With larger more spritely graphics than Kick Off 2, Microprose Soccer boasts all sorts of matches to choose from, including an international challenge, American rules six-a-side or simple two player games both indoor with walls or outdoor where it may even rain. In fact, for speed, presentation, realism and trick shots (including overhead and banana kicks), you cant get much better than this.
Despite what thoughts the name may call up, Gazza 2 is actually a competent little game. Reasons for this include the smooth left to right scrolling, a simple look and pleasing controls and speed which easily equals Kick Off 2. Most importantly, the game also involves a complete lack of Gazza himself, give or take the picture on the box, from which the eyes can be diverted at ease. There aren't any cups or leagues or competitions to enter, but Microprose Soccer provides enough of these to kind of cover up for it
EMLYN HUGHES INTERNATIONAL SOCCER
This one's a complete let down. It foolishly attempts to combine both a management and a slightly more advanced arcade game in one. This creates a heap of unfriendly menus and a disappointingly unrealistic and awkward arcade game. Half your time is spent studying the instructions to see how to actually play the thing. Thanks, but no thanks.
This comps a bit of an 82er as Emlyn Hughes lowers the mark considerably. None of these games are available as seperate budgies, so getting your hands on two of the best and one still highly enjoyable footy games for the asking price is still a bit of a barg.
The banana's got hold of the ball and he doesn't want to give it up. Run, banana, run.
In a desperate attempt to gain attention, Bertie pulled his left arm off and threw it at Wally.
It's a free for all. Somebody came over the tannoy and said that the donuts were ready.
While Jerry Jnr wasn't looking, Tony managed to sneak off.