Label: Code Masters
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
4 Soccer Simulators are just that. Four games that attempt to simulate some aspect of good old British soccer. The four programs are, in order of appearance on the two double sided cassettes:
11-a-side soccer. In at the deep end with the full blown match. The game is viewed, as all seem to be nowadays, as an overhead bird's eye view, with your player highlighted by a little figure one that floats ominously about his head. The pitch scrolls in all eight directions, or rather flip-scrolls and unlike some previous games, your current player is always on-screen. You can change between players by centering the joystick and pressing fire.
The only problem with this section, and two of the other three, is the almost complete lack of any playability. Everything else, bar the game's slowness, isn't too bad, but to say that it's impossible to do anything else other than roll the ball along the ground wouldn't be an understatement.
It's not that the game's difficult. Perish the thought. It's just that it's bloody hard to control. The slowness adds to that, plus the poor joystick response and the fire button which doubles as a 'change control to the next available player' key. Also the 'kick the ball a short distance in front of you' key makes it a little difficult to get anywhere. At least all the rules are there. The fouls are quite funny; the opponent goes for the ball, kicks you, and you go A over T onto the grass.
The following two programs, indoor Soccer and Street Soccer, are exactly the same and suffer from the same faults. The only differences being the backdrops and varying amounts of players.
The final event, the Soccer Skills program, is am much more worthwhile load. It consists of seven events, all designed to get you fit and healthy. Well, get your on-screen person fit and healthy and knacker your joystick. Four of the events are the usual Daley Thompson type sit ups, weights, bar lift and push ups. The other three are useful events and help you practise for the game proper. Dribbling has you controlling a ball around a line of cones, going in and out in the best Bobby Charlton style. This helps you get used to the feel of controlling your man and also helps you get used to dribbling. Penalties and Goal practise give you the chance to take shots at goal and also give you practise at saving them.
Graphics are small, but quite detailed, and monochrome graphics have been used to good effect.
The sound is nothing, but the normal bumps here and there and a whistle sound effect at half and full time.
This would be quite good were it a budget product, but it isn't. 4 Soccer Simulators is Code Masters first entry into the full price market, and from what I've seen, I'd say stay with what you're best at.
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