Quick! Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Is this a footie game I see before me? How has it escaped the clutches of Dr Marcus? Maybe he was too busy chatting with his pal Simon Bates. Anyway, here we go, here we go, here we go.
Hot Shot is a footie simulation, played from an overhead viewpoint. You take the role of an international side and can choose your team from the humble Englan, Wales, Scotland or Ireland (Republic or Northern) right through to the mighty Brazil or Argentina! The teams are organised (confusingly) from the First through to the Fourth Division, and you must attempt to steer your team to the top of the league. The players can perform sliding tackles and headers, but be careful if your are prone to a bit of foul play, 'cos there at the bottom of the screen is the ref complete with his card collection. (And I'm not talking about PG Tips picture cards!)
Hot Shot gives you the option of changing the length of the game between 10, 30, 60 or 90 minutes. The middle two seem the best. This is because the computer usually gets at least one goal in, and thus the shorter the game length you choose, the less time you get to equalise, let alone win!
The gameplay is very much like Match Day II, with you controlling whichever player is nearest the ball. This causes the usual problems, like when you have two players at an equal distance from the ball, nine times out of ten you end up moving the wrong one in completely the wrong direction. But you can dribble (Ugh! You messy readers! Ed) and boot the ball in different directions with different amounts of power. And fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how confident you feel, your goalkeeper is computer controlled and moves automatically, (a trifle too slowly for my liking,) to whichever side of the goal is under threat.
The dilemma that must face programmers of these games is in the area of game scale. If you opt for nice big player sprites, then you are only able to show a small area of the pitch at a time. On the other hand, if you choose to show as much of the pitch as poss, then this is at the expense of the players who will be teeny weeny dots! Hot Shot of course opts for the large(ish) sprites. This means that although the sliding, tackling, and heading, is quite nice, when it actually comes to shooting at goal from any distance over about ten feet, or even passing up the field to any of your team mates, then a large amount of guesswork takes over. To its credit, Gremlin has tried to overcome this by showing a display of the pitch in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This shows the whereabouts of the ball, but apart from this does little to alleviate the luck element.
Gazza Lineker's Hot Shot is a straight arcade football game in the style of Match Day II. Its sprites aren't as big, but it's a faster, smoother game than Match Day. If you're a footie sime fanatic, or in the market for your first arcade football game, then you'll probably find Hot Shot a fun game If you already possess most of the other football games on the market then you won't find much new in this one. Mind you, if you do have most of the other football games on the market then you're no doubt soccer loopy and I'm probably wsting my breath!
An enjoyable game, which despite having little new to offer to the seasoned Speccy football player, compares favourably with its rivals.
The length of this goal sequence is quite an accurate representation of those Brazilian commentators who get carried away and go GOOOOOAAAALLLL!
Gerroff! I never touched him ref!