Empire Soccer

Title           Empire Soccer
Game Type       Sport
Company         Graftgold (1994)
Players         1 or 2
Compatibility   1Mb Amiga
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Kristian Hesketh (kristiangk@aol.com) Profiled Reviewer

Thanks to good old Graham "Turnip" Taylor and some appalling performances,
England never got to play in the 1994 World Cup. This didn't deter many
companies from screwing the last penny out of poor football starved
individuals over the summer months. Empire Soccer arrived among a midst of
releases (including the much-hyped Kick Off 3) and promised fast action
with huge sprites and loads of special features.

Looking at the game it is the exact opposite (alright, not exact) of
Sensi. A tiny pitch combined with sprites so large it seems impossible to
have any room at all for manoeuvring. I first played a 90 second demo
courtesy of Amiga Power and I didn't like the game. It seemed to lack ball
control and gameplay moved far too quickly. Everything flew about and the
room on the pitch was non-existant.

In retrospect, this first impression is a real shame as the game takes
time to get into. Granted, the first time you play you might think badly
of it, but once you accept the game for what it is and try to learn it..
Bingo! One hell of a game awaits you.

Forget the teachings of Sensible Software and think Speedball 2. Select
your formation, line-up and a special power. The SUPERDRIBBLE is pretty
lethal... you pass a few square balls in the centre of the pitch and
suddenly SP appears above your score. Advancing towards the oppositions
goal, you tap the fire button and race past everyone (including the
'keeper if you are good) and score.

Other special powers include: BANANASHOT (insane curling shot that is
always on target), SNAPSHOT (quick strike that is always on target),
SUPERBARGE (Speedball2 style knock-everybody-down-charge).

Passing is the crucial bit. Once you learn to pass instead of drilling
into the defence with one man you can inflict damage. Sadly, once you get
the hang of it, the computer teams are quite easy and you can rack up
unimaginable scores against the weaker ones.

The two player game can be as much fun as the Bitmaps legendary classic
and has the added bonus (or annoyance) of being a football game. Great.

Empire Soccer, although a quirky game, should be considered one of the
Amiga's finest football games. This is not a football simulation and
shouldn't be considered as one, but all those in the Speedball2 camp (and
who isn't?) really should try this now!!

"It's the second best Amiga football game in the world, and there's no
higher praise than that." - A modified Kevin Keegan Quote.

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