So there were these two nuns, and one says to the other, "Do you believe in life insurance?" And the other one says...oh, sorry, have we started doing the review now? Erm, I'll tell you the rest of the joke later, Hutch.
Apologies for that, readers. You joined us a little early. Anyway (sounds of paper shuffling), let's get on. Jimmy's Super League, yes indeed. This is another management sim from the Beyond Belief stable. In fact it was programmed behind that pile of dimly-lit straw next to the horse feed.
You've got a team of eleven strapping young feller-me-lads raring to go and play a tough game of ninety minutes, two halves and a spell in the sin bin.
Everything is controlled from a main office with a PC on the desk, a phone and a filing cabinet. You simply move the cursor onto the telephone or computer or whatever and you can go for a quick training session with the lads, play the game, look at very long lists of names and numbers and so on. There's masses of highly exciting detail on each bod, even down to what they had for breakfast. This is actually very important to a player's mental and physical agility, and can mean the difference between them being sick on the pitch or not.
All this detail is fine and groovy, and it adds a lot of atmosphere to a pretty boring game. But this doesn't hide the fact that it's still just an okayish footie management sim, and all you really need to do is select eleven players. Amongst the list of names you'll find that of the internationally famous W Scribo - art critic, deep sea diver, wok assembler and part-time pipe cleaner. Where would Beyond Belief be without him, eh?
The best bit is the game itself. You get both a commentary and an edited goal-mouth graphical action sequence. A David Coleman-type chap sits and watches each game carefully, making suitable comments in a scrolly line box. like "Nobel prizewinner W Scribo has the ball. He passes to W Scribo, famous author who gets into position and shoots. But it's a great save by the Scribo twins (both minor Norse gods, of course) in goal!"
A side-on view of the goal shows some enterprising dude rushing on (it's usually our fave, Sir W of Scribo MBE) to have a shot. You can watch with bated breath as he whacks the ball at the net. If the goalie is alert, he can get in the way, otherwise it's a classic goal of the sort which will crop up on A Question Of Sport in years to come.
What Super League lacks, of course, is an action packed 90 minutes of full-screen on-pitch action. The only way you can get an idea of what's going on is to read what the commentator is saying. It's like an extremely weird cross between listening to the radio and watching telly.
The only other fault of Super League is that it's as slow as almost every other management sim. You keep wondering whether your Speccy has crashed. I know that the computer is actually making lots of lovely calculations while you're watching a blank screen, but couldn't they display a little animation or show us the latest stock and share prices or something? Even Ceefax would be more interesting than a screen with the words 'Please Wait' on them.
So, in conclusion, Jimmy's Super League is proof that management sims are getting better. Most people still prefer a shoot-'em-up, but mannie sims (as they're known in the biz) have reached new heights, it would seem.
Sick as a parrot or over the moon. It depends on whether you like management sims. This one is pretty okayish, actually.
A league is actually 3.456 milesA league is something plumbers come to fixThe Human League was a crap New Wave band.
This is perhaps one of the saddest offices I've ever seen. I'd rather work in a mortuary than have to look at those green walls. Urgh!