Back to the 90s, there is a worldwide fever about the 8bit consoles, but the videogame industy is not able to keep up with some aspects of the globalization as we know it right now. In Japan there is a series of videogames from the company Technos Japan starring a curious dude called Kunio Kun, basically an equivalent of the western Archie, where a high-school student helps his mates whenever he can, even defending them from bullies, or winning endless sports competitions against rival schools. In this case, a football competition.
Ussually, the story of every game has two common features: Kunio is the hero and the game itself is an eulogy for comic violence at every step. The first videogame with Kunio as star, was known outside Japan as Renegade which noticeably edited to match the looks of the movie The Warriors, this hampered Kunio’s popularity outside Japan (at the time) and lacked enough steam to bring later games featuring this character, because they would require heavy modifications.
Company: Technos Japan (distributed by Nintendo on America and Europe)
Platform: Nintendo NES
Controller: Console default
The first entry about football association on the videogames saga of Kunio known in Japan as Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen and had Kunio helping his schools’s football club win the city’s tournament against other rival schools.
Trying to attract players outside Japan, and considering that Kunio was at the time not very known outside Japan, the game was heavily modifyed deleting every reference to the school tournament replacing them with references to the Football World Cup, trying to cash on the popularity of the game being relatively close in time to the World Cup 1990 in Italy.
Other significant difference, is that while the japanese game had animations used between matches, they were removed from the western port. Instead, the western port allowed the videoplayer to use any of the teams available in the game, while in the japanese game only the Kunio’s team was available.
Before the start of each match you have to specify the tactics the team must follow at the field. It is recomended you select the options of teammates making fouls, and shooting scarcely at the goal. The game only fields 5 virtual soccer players per team, although it allows to make changes at the start of each match. Nither offsides and foules are sanctioned.
So, you can freely kick your rivals without risk of a penalty being called. Also, every footballer after receiving certain amount of fouls, stays in the ground until a goal is scored, the first half (or the match) finishes.
I agree that while it is a questionable tactic from an ethic or sporting point of view, it is very useful to winning games.
The controls are quite simple: with the pad you can move the controlled player, with one button you can pass and with the other shoots at goal. You can only control the team’s captain and when it does not have ghe ball, at pressing the right button, the teammate with the ball will shoot at the goal, or pass the ball.
If the teammate passes the ball to the controlled footballer, and this presses the button to shoot at goal at the right time, can try a super shoot which rarely can be stopped by the goalkeeper who ussually flies of the field (with the eyes really wide open, a very frequent image in videogames starring Kunio), along with the poor loser who happens to be in the way between the ball and the goal, even if it’s from the same team.
These Super Shoots can also be executed when the footballer takes a certain amount of steps with the ball. There are only 5 super shoorts per half per team.
These are the available teams at the game:
It’s interesting that the teams marked with an asterisk, did not play at the World Cup in 1990. Japan is quite understandable, and France has certain football tradition, but Mexico is strange, because at the time did not have the pedigree and respect it has right now, probably because it was the first country to organize two World Cups. What a foresight of the developers thinking about the game selling in aztec land.
You have to consider, that besides the colors, there are differences in the team’s skills. Argentina and Mexico have the best Super Shoots, while West Germany has the strongest players, and Cameroon’s are the quickest and the weakest physically.
The field can also change, some games are played in ice, other in concrete, which can affect the way the virtual footballer move and how travel the ball in the passes. I particularly hate the field with stones in it, because it trips the players sending them to the floor.
The final team to beat is West Germany, except of course if the videoplayer chooses to play with that team. In that case, the final match is against Argentina.