Peter Beardsley's International Football

Title           Peter Beardsley's International Football
Publisher       Grandslam
Development     Teque
Game Type       Sport
Players         1 or 2
Compatibility   ECS (All with Patch)
HD Installable  WHDLoad Patch available
Submission      Codetapper

Peter Beardsley's is an old soccer game from 1988 with a side on view
of the action. At first glance it reminds me of International Soccer on
the C64, but that was at least a great game. Peter Beardsley's must rate
as one (if not the) worst soccer game on the Amiga.

After the pretty average loading picture appears, the thing that hits
you is the awful music - a dire rendition of "When the Saints go marching
in". After about one minute, the tune drives you insane. Thankfully,
pressing F2 will turn off the music.

Once the game has loaded, the options screen appears and at first
glance it looks like there are a lot of choices. Cleverly disguised in the
seven selections, you can basically only select the team for both players,
set the game time and start a league (one or two player).

The team selection consists of two groups of 4 International European
teams. You can move a team from any other country (from a selection of 26)
into the group you wish but this system is awkward and slow.

Once you have setup the two groups of teams and selected the teams, you
can start a one or two player league game. There are no options to simply
have a two player friendly by selecting the teams you want and starting.
It is luck whether you will get to play the other human opponent first, so
you may have to play a few one player games first. The fact that you are
more likely to reboot the computer after about 30 seconds of gameplay
means you are unlikely to play a two player game if the draw hasn't
treated you well.

Once you have selected the one or two player league, there is no going
back. You can pause the game but can't quit from a game or a league. You
have to view results from all the other games by pressing a key (and
waiting while it fades the result in and out). After a few results appear
you wonder if you are ever going to get to play a match.

Finally you are told that your match is to be played and to press a
key. The view switches to the side-on view of the pitch. This is where the
main problem with this game becomes apparent. It behaves like a dog - a
savage dog that has been beaten over the head for all it's life:

- There is no time displayed on-screen - you have to hit F10 to pause to be
  shown the elapsed time.
- If you are powering up at the kick-off, the opposition can come in and
  steal the ball away from you even though you haven't touched it.
- If you don't touch the ball at the kick-off, the time still continues to
  increase. After a few minutes the whistle will be blown for half time.
- When throwing the ball in, the ball does not bounce.
- Most of the time you can run faster than the ball can be kicked.
- Tackling the opposition appears to be totally random.
- The nearest player to the ball is not automatically selected, so you
  often end up with several players centimeters from the ball while the
  player under your control is miles away.
- The goalie is not allowed to move inside the box - only up and down on
  the line!
- The goalie never takes goal-kicks, presumably because he has been told he
  can only move up or down on the goal line. Thankfully a back eventually
  comes back and takes the kick.
- Rebounds are always the exact opposite angle the ball was kicked at.
- If you manage to save a shot from the opposition, it will deflect back
  to them where they turn around, move out of the box, then turn and come
  back in for another shot. Very realistic.
- If you move into a position where the opposition cannot walk around you to
  tackle you, the player will sit behind you running on the spot while the
  rest of the players stand with their hands on their hips.

In conclusion, this game is dire. It is a travesty of the great game
that is soccer, and I assume the original game would have set you back 25
pounds or so. It looks like an Atari ST port. The graphics are poor, the
sound will drive you insane, it plays like a brick and contains more bugs
than a Microsoft operating system. Do yourself a favour and buy SWOS

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