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Ocean Software Ltd
1987
Sport: Action
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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52,53
Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

Ocean make it 2-0.

Matchday has achieved cult status - can Matchday 2 improve on what many still consider to be the definitive football game?

At first glance, the game seems very similar to its predecessor. The player takes charge of a six man football team and has to play matches against either the computer or a friend an attempt to win the League or the Cup. This is where the first improvement becomes obvious. Not only can you play solo against the computer but you and a friend can gang up on it, both playing for the same side in a desperate attempt to prove human superiority. During a solo game you control the on-screen player who is in the best position to reach the ball and when playing in pairs you get a player each.

The second major improvement in the game is the addition of the 'Kictometer'. This is a kick strength indicator which affects the distance of each shot. The 'Kictometer' ranges, broadly on a scale from one to three with three being the hardest kick. To use this facility properly, the player has to keep his eye on the meter to decide when to make the best shot. Thankfully the meter can be set to shoot at a set strength throughout the game.

Basic tactics can now also be decided by the player, though you only have a choice of attack or defend. One feature removed from the game is the ability to play a full 45 minutes per half.

Gameplay has been improved to allow players to make headers, backheel the ball and barge opposing team members. Another improvement is the realism of deflections. In real life the ball's angle of deflection is affected not only by its original flight path but also by the movement of whatever the ball was deflected off; this has now been taken into account.

All of the above refinements (and others too numerous to mention in this limited space) make for one fine football game and even if you own the original game, the sequel has enough enhancements to make it worthy of purchase.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

RELEASE BOX
C64/128, £8.95cs, £12.95dk, Out Now
Spec, £7.95cs, £14.95dkcs, Out Now
Ams, £8.95cs, £14.95dk, Out Now

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 68/100
1 hour: 70/100
1 day: 70/100
1 week: 70/100
1 month: 70/100
1 year: 60/100

The C64 version doesn't quite match the Spectrum or Amstrad versions for playability. But even so, across the board, the game's a winner. Overall it is an improvement on its predecessor and is now the best football action game for micros.

8/10
5/10
5/10
8/10
881/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Despite the lack of colour, the Spectrum version of the game is every bit as compelling, frustrating and enjoyable as the other versions. The characters move around the pitch slightly faster on Spectrum turf than on Amstrad turf, and this makes for a marginally better game. A minor niggle is the fact that it is sometimes difficult to spot your player when there are several others jostling for the ball. Every bit as exciting and as playable as any other version.

AMSTRAD VERSION

The graphics are wonderful. The gameplay is slow to watch but plenty fast enough when it comes to playing. All of the new additions make it slightly harder to master than the original but get the hang of the 'Kickometer' and you'll soon be bitten by the footballing bug. Thankfully the computer's skill level can be raised or lowered to give you a more balanced game.

Graphics: 8/10

Audio: 6/10

IQ Factor: 5/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 906/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100

1 hour: 75/100

1 day: 75/100

1 week: 80/100

1 month: 80/100

1 year: 65/100

C64 VERSION

Unfortunately, something seems to have been lost in the translation to the C64 - the game is not as playable as the other versions, though it is as colourful as the Amstrad and more so than the Spectrum versions. It's still a very competent soccer game and interested C64 owners would not be disappointed.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 6/10

IQ Factor: 5/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 838/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 50/100

1 hour: 65/100

1 day: 70/100

1 week: 70/100

1 month: 60/100

1 year: 50/100

Screenshot Text

The Spectrum version highlighting the colour change option which is very useful if your T.V.'s not quite state of the art.

C64 version - not the best version on the gameplay front, but colourful and well animated.

The superiority of the Amstrad version is clearly visible. Shame you can't see the game's playability.