Company: Renegade Software
Plataform: Commodore Amiga
Controller: Joystick with one button
New decade, in North America a rebirth of videogame home consoles is developed, meanwhile in Europe the fire of videogames stayed alive in the personal computers market such as the ones compatibles with standard MSX and the Commodore 64. Eventually, the next generation of personal computers came aboard, such as the Commodore Amiga.
Football Association is a sport quite popular in Europe, feauturing titles which up until today, are remembered fondly with their fans. We have written before about one of the most popular ones, specially of their funny features, which later were adapted also to other succesful title of the time: the series Sensible Soccer.
The styles of the football association videogames were different among many titles, but one of the most successful at early 90s, was the bird’s eye view, which is supposedly how a bird would look at the field from the sky. This perspective was commonly used in videogames for the predecessor of the Amiga, the Commodore 64, and it was a very logical step to exploit that style of videogames. But while the ussual videogame showed a big player on a relatively small field, this games opted for the opposite: showing a big field with small players, which translated into a sort-a-kind cartoonish view. It was funny to see the little fellows run around the field.
In fact, the style allows for a broader view of how positioned are the players at the field, as well as the rivals. This allows you to better position your players and plan a better strategy… well, if you have time to react, because another feature of the videogame is that the matches are played at a really fast pace, one that I have not seen in previous videogames. One moment you are about to try scoring at the rival’s goal, and literally in three passes is your rival scoring in your goal. Of course, you can do it the same with enough practice.
And here comes the next feature of the game: the control scheme is quite simple, with the joystick you can move a virtual footballer, with the button kick the ball either to pass or shoot at goal, and if at the right time after pressing the button you move the joystick, can perform fantasy shoots, taken from Microprose Soccer, but here is an important part of the game if you want to win. Fortunately, it’s easier to use. You can also use the button to slide while defending.
It also applies a really common catchphrase in videogames: a good videogame is easy to learn, but hard to master. Well, in this videogame it applies 100%. Mastering the fantasy shots, as we already mentioned, is important to aim rightfully and the rival’s goal, or trying to measure rival’s shoot, takes a good amount of practice.
The videogame features many modes, like a friendly match for a quick game (recommended mode for beginners), a league mode or a coup one. The original videogame has european teams with the right rosters at the time of the videogame’s release, which can be seen when using powerhouses (Italy, Germany, Holland) is easier to win a match, meanwhile using less favoured teams (Finland, Feroe Islands, Liechtenstein) takes much more considerable skills. Also, the field conditions like weather can be modified prior to a game, which leads to funny situations, like sliding in a mud field takes the virtual footballer long time to stand up.
There has been ports (or “sequels”) to the following platforms:
- Atari ST
- Atari Jaguar
- Nintendo Super NES
- Nintendo GameBoy
- Sega Genesis / Megadrive
- Sega Master System
- Sega Game Gear
This is one of the first videogames where more than sequels, updates to the data were produced. The first version, is known as 1.0, the nexy year, 1993, came the version 1.1 with the only difference being more updated rosters than the previous one.
In 1994 the version 1.2 appeared as International Edition including popular football national teams not european, like Mexico with its famous goalkeeper of the bright jerseys. Just like version 1.1, there were no more differences respect to version 1.0.
In 1995 appeared a more appropiate sucessor, Sensible World of Soccer, but that will be a future entry.
This game was so popular that legend says is one reason many collectors have their original computer Amiga still functioning. It’s commonplace to see this title in list of the best titles for this computer.
Console Icon taken from Retroarch.