Football Association (also called Soccer in some regions of the world) is without doubt the most popular sport in the world. During the 80s, it was believed that the MSX computers were gonna be the worldwide standard of personal computing (probably Commodore said the same with their computers) and the company Konami created a football videogame.
A funny fact is that while it is the more popular sport in the world; it was not known by the same name in the countries where the MSX computers were more popular. Meanwhile in Europe is called Football (in all the languages spoken in the Old World), in Japan is called Soccer so it’s probably one of the first videogames released with different names at the same time.
Another funny feature are the virtual football players, cousins of the virtual athletes of the succesful game Track and Field. It looks like Konami toyed with the same idea of Nintendo of having a character appear in many of its videogames, but probably did not continue with the idea to avoid problems with Nintendo.
Platform: MSX Computers
Controller: Keyboard or Joystick.
As advertised in the old magazine, the game is simple to play, better with a joystick than with the keyboard. The game happens in a field with a horizontal view and allows to choose from various teams where the only changes are the colour of shirt and hair (moustache included) and color of the skin I guess that considering the limitations of hardware at the time, it was made to easy distinguish one team from the other while playing.
The names of the teams are always the same, Eagles versus Stones although the game allows to change the names of the teams (only with one player game). According to the times, the virtual football players use very real shorts up from the knee, but I swear, I cannot explain the line above the short with the same colour of the skin and the impresion that they are using really short shirts.
Considering the classic joystick only has one button, how to perform different actions like passing or shooting to the rival goal depending of the time pressing the button: quick pressing is a pass, longer is a shoot. With the joystick you can tell where to pass or shoot. When the player do not have the ball, the button allows to change which virtual footballer to control. If the rival is gonna shoot to the player’s goal, the control automatically goes to the goalkeeper, which only can move inside the goal and the button is used to dive.
The player can choose from five different difficulty levels. I highly recommend to start with the easiest, 1, since the game can be a bit hard. If the match ends with a tie, the score is decided with penalty kicks. The truth is this took me by surprise and it was quite funny.
This game was probably the base which Konami used to test their designs of football videogames, later developing such succesful sagas like International SuperStar Soccer and Winning Eleven.
The game is really quite funny, and the duration of a match is adecquate por a quick play. Can be frustrating starting with difficulty levels 3 or higher, so I recommend start with 1, or 2 if you’re accustomed to play football videogames. Real funny game.
As a child, I already read of this game in a spanish magazine, and for years I searched this game failing to find it… for the Commodore 64 (personal computer more popular in Mexico). Later I found it was for a different kind of personal computer, more popular in Europe and in my life I had heard of it. Thanks to the emulation I’m becoming a kind of fan of the MSX computers.
During the 80s, it was simpler finding videogames of baseball than of football in my hometown; because the football ones were not very good with graphics and this particular game caught my attention.
Actually, it was really fun to play, and it became my starting entry to the world of MSX computers.
Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.
Console Icon taken from Retroarch.