In the world of football it's a well-known fact that Kenny Dalglish is magic. In fact, there are some who believe that there's absolutely nothing this stonking great giant among footballers cannot do. He's up there at the top of the first division, Scotland's most capped player ever, and a corking good manager to boot. At the end of the day he's just basically your all-round Mr Marvellous, one of the greatest toe-pokers ever known to man.
Right, that's the crawling over with, now to the game in hand. On paper this, the second of a trio of Kenny capers, sounds like simplicity itself. Note the operative word there - "sounds". It kicks off with several natty piccies of Mr Magic, holy of holies, offering you a positive plethora of sporting options. Up to four friendly footie fans, each kitted out in one of nine difficulty levels, can take part in matches, which last anything from ten to ninety minutes. There are two default teams, the reds, Kenny's, and the blues (the opposition),though as the whole shenanigans comes in a cool, crisp shade of monochrome you can't really tell them apart. Still- nice to see a bit of consideration for the color-blind.
But hold it! There's just one more thing before the whistle blows - a quick word from the Scottish Spitfire himself. Kenny lets out a few gems of worldly wisdom, meaningful things like "Play fair, but hard", before sending you out on the astro-turf to get your hairy shins kicked in. 'Ere we go!
The first thing you notice is the pitch. Basically it's a weird horizontally-scrolling rectangle of turf which takes up about a third of the screen and lurches up and down a bit just for good measure. The second thing you notice is the players. Twiglets. They look like they've just recovered from a six-month hunger strike. And they run like it too, poor lads.
Control passes automatically to the stickman nearest the ball. On the kick-list are flicks, chops and three different lengths of pass, and that's it! Dribbling is mostly a case of the ball sticking to the foot, unless you make any hasty moves, in which case the leather bladder just rolls away. Yikes! Fouls aren't recognised, but corners and throw ins are, and if you score there's the added bonus of a jubilant picette of Kenny giving you the imperial thumbs up.
It doesn't take a degree in shin pad maintenance to telly you that this'd be footie action at its most rudimentary, even if it worked. It doesn't. For a start the ball is a lot more intelligent than the computer players. For reasons presumably known only to itself, it occasionally veers off at 90 degree angles and travels so slowly when you throw it in that you've got time to run into the pitch and catch it yourself. Very bizarre.
Aha, but there's still hope if you want to win. I managed to score three goals just dribbling up to the goal and tapping it in. Skill? I nearly saw some once.
Like I said before, Kenny Dalglish is magic. "I honestly believe he has been blessed," Don Revie said of him once. So it's official. Kenny Dalglish is holy and everything he touches turns to gold. And from that I can draw only one conclusion. He never touched Kenny Dalglish Soccer Match.
A turkey which just about scrapes into the GM Vauxhall Conference. Top of the league stuff it ain't.
Dribble, dribble, pass, pass, GOOOOAAL!
I spy with my little eye a team wearing blue. (Well, I would if they'd bothered to splash out on a few different colours to identify the team. Is this a lost cause or wot!?)
Note the absence of the typical footballer's distinguishing marks. Not a designer perm in sight.