Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Great Playthrough: Game 73 - World Cup Italia '90

World Cup Italia '90
Released on: Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System
Played on: Sega Mega Drive
Release Date: 1990 (D'uh!)

Before I start this review, I feel I should make a confession. I don't watch football, I don't play football. In fact, I'm not a football guy at all. The only reason I even own this game (as you may be able to tell from the photo above) is because it is part of a compilation cartridge.

But having said all of that, I do remember playing certain football games in my youth (most notable Sensible Soccer) and not hating the experience. And I do like a large selection of video games, so maybe I'll be surprised by this one.

Well, that was my hope. Sadly, though, it was not to be.

There's very little I can say about this game that is positive. I plugged it in, started it up, and then spent five minutes selecting which members of my team I wanted to use. "Ooh," I thought, "This looks like it might be some tactical suggestions, that's always a good start."

Well it would be, but then, when I started the game, I realised that it looks like this.

It's a top down football game. Where every player is white-skinned with black hair, and there is no indication of which player is which - so why ask me to select my team in the FIRST F@*#ING PLACE??

And speaking of the top-down situation, you'll see that the characters are quite large, so you can't see very much of the pitch at all... but that's OK, right? Because you've got a map? Let me show you that map closer...

Yes, that map shows lots of little dots where the players are. However, it makes no discernible difference between your players and the opposing team's players - so how the hell am I supposed to know where any of MY players are???

Sensible Soccer got around the inherent problems of a top-down football game by having the players the size of a couple of pixels, so you could see a lot of what was going on around you - but this game just stumbles badly at this first hurdle.

The controls are - OK. You have a ground pass button, a high pass button and a shoot button. However, the computer teams also appear to be able to head the ball, but try as I might (and even after much reading of the instruction manual) I couldn't find an option to do that. So that put me at a disadvantage anyway.

You also cannot select which player you are controlling at any one time. The computer automatically selects one - and it automatically does so about 30 seconds after you wanted it to. So you'll still be controlling a player at the top of the screen, the opposing team have the ball and are running down the pitch, and it changes your control to the player the opposition run past JUST AFTER the opposition have already run past him!

Seriously, it's a nightmare.

There's also no polish to this game - if you score, then you get the following screen:
This is actually the computer team scoring, because I didn't score any goals.
Please note - this isn't a representative still of a moving image, this is the picture that comes up on the screen for thirty seconds once you've scored.

*Sarcasm Mode engaged*

Wow - I'm having trouble containing my excitement.

*End Sarcasm Mode*

Look, I know I was never going to be the target market for this game. I don't do football - never have, never will. But I do know what makes a good video game, and this is quite definitely NOT a good video game.

Rating: 2/10Time Played: 15 Minutes
Would I play it again? No, no I would not.

Thanks for reading - and please do let people know if you regularly read this blog - they can also find the facebook page for this group here.

Also, I'm considering doing a video blog for a future entry - anyone got any advice/suggestions?