Sensible Soccer was a cult-like game that was released in 1992 on the Amiga, Atari ST and PC and it has been in the hearts and homes of gamers ever since. I mean, even people who hated football got caught up in vicious circle of the game they called 'Sensi'. Now Codemaster's task is to reproduce the magic that made Sensible Soccer one of the most addictive games ever made.
Everyone knows Sensible Soccer would lose its appeal if the game-play addictiveness was lost through translation and from first impressions it seems that it still shares the same feeling as the Amiga days but one should never judge a game at first sight. Admittedly, the menus are easy to navigate with options shown clearly and details kept to a minimum. My only qualm with the menus is the loading times as there seems to be a delayed response time.
This question was always going to be raised, how does it compares with the original? Well, the most unusual addition to the new game is the new big-head players which has been used in some football games as an unlockable feature, but is included in the original form of the game. In comparison to its 1992 counterpart the new 2006 edition seems to be lacking that certain appeal that the original emitted, as after you have won a few tournaments you start to feel the game has nothing else to offer.
There are many features of the game which in time started to irritate me, such as the official name license not being captured and the unrealistic actions within the game. Let me explain in more detail what I mean. Codemasters were not able to capture the official player name license which means the game contains players with the same initials but not the correct name, for example Ledley King's sensible soccer counterpart is Ledley Kong.
The controls within the game are simple, no more through balls and tricks; this is the proper arcade football simulation way. The game uses three main controls, one for tackles and powered kicks, the second for passes and low shots and the other to control your player and the new 'aftertouch' feature which allows you to change the direction of the kick dramatically while the ball is in the air. The final piece of the game-play side is the AI, the main technique that you have to utilize within the game is the simple pass as you will struggle to take it past the AI; overall though the AI is quite easy once you have established a foothold in the game.
Graphically, the game fails miserably. There are so many flaws and glitches within the animation of the game. One prime example of this is the goalkeeper motion, if a cross comes in the goalkeeper will be a distance away from it but it will still land in his arms, also the goalkeepers can move at the speed of light during a match. For example the ball will be flying into the bottom left-hand corner while the keeper will be standing on the right side of the goal but he magically appears and pulls off the save.
The stadiums within the game are all different, well in name anyway. As any Sensible Soccer players will know the game does not revolve around the beautiful stadiums, you see the stadiums rarely due to the over pitch camera view used. Different weather is also implemented into the game with fair, sunny and heavy rain being used, the heavy rain feature changes the look of the pitch to a more subdued colour but does not seem to affect the roll of the ball.
Bring Out The Prawn Sarnies
The 'hardcore' football fans among you will be able to relate to my view, a football match is supposed to be full of passion and noise but then some of the games are silent with no support; Sensible Soccer is reminiscent of the latter. In relation to the sound within the game they really should change the name to Silent Soccer as the only sound produced during the game is when a player kicks the ball and then there is a quiet murmur from the crowd. As FIFA and Pro Evo progress through the ranks with realistic crowd chants individually set for each team, Sensible Soccer and Codemaster's are left crawling with the measly amount of sound used. Also included is some simple music for menus which is surprisingly a good touch.
The situations that the game throws you into do not really require much skill as such; it is more a case of luck. Let's just say you are running with the ball you will very rarely get past an opposition player as they just seem to be exceptional tacklers, even their strikers. The leagues and tournaments that are used within the game are in their masses with the English Premiership and The World Cup playable.