Kick Off 2
Copyright/Publisher: Anco Software Ltd, Created by: Enigma Variations,
Programmed By: Finlay Munro, Music by: System 6581, Graphics by: David Bland,
Release Year: 1990, Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1 to 8
The best football game ever, and the arcade game of 1989, suffered a mediocre C64
conversion using a changed left/right scrolling pitch. Thankfully for Kick Off 2
a completely new, multidirectionally scrolling overhead view has been adopted to
replicate the award-winning Amiga game.
16-bit style dribbling has also been included, with the ball bouncing along
realistically rather than being glued to the player's foot. Scissor kicks, which are
a supposedly in the Amiga game, have been dropped from the C64 version, but
aftertouch is included - this is where moving the joystick after the ball has
been kicked lets you swerve the ball a bit.
Also, all the throw-ins, goal kicks and free kicks can be controlled - with
the players even lining up in a wall when a free kick is near the penalty area.
The computer automatically switches control to your player nearest the ball,
and tackles are achieved by running at a player or doing a sliding tackle. The
latter can lead to a foul, which occasionally results in a free kick and a yellow
card. A second foul by the same player can see him being sent off!
Besides a simple friendly match, you can choose to play in the league, cup and
World Cup. The latter includes all 24 teams in the '90 championship, organized
in the correct six groups.
Obviously, you can save your performances. Any or all of the countries featured
in the three championships can be selected to be human controlled. In the disk
version you can select which people play out of your full squad, and make substitutions.
It also features action replays which can be saved to disk.
Once you've chosen whether you want to play in one of the championship, the
main game is loaded in. Then there are options to vary the time in a half (3-20 mins),
choose from four pitch types and vary your team's formation (before the match and at
half-time). You can also select team mode, where both players are on the same side
with one unfortunate controlling the goalie!
Full marks to Anco for effort on this one, after the disappointing original they've
crammed an amazing amout of the 16-bit game into this. The sophisticated ball control
system and large pitch are likely to go down well with anyone wanting something a bit
more realistic than MicroProse Soccer.
Unfortunately there are two serious flaws. Firstly, the speed isn't quite fast
enough to fully recreate the excitement at the heart of the Amiga game. Secondly, the
scanner is almost completely useless, which severely restricts the ability to make
useful long passes.
There's also a minor problem over free kicks being taken by the wrong side, and
overlong injury time. Nevertheless, it's still quite playable and packed with
championship options for lastability.
Sadly, C64 Kick Off 2 does have its fair share of flaws. For a start the radar scanner
is far too small to be any use. As off-screen players aren't intelligent enough to
get to the ball quickly (mostly they run away from it!) you often have no players
on-screen for long periods.
The scrolling pitch also sometimes fails to keep up with the ball which moves
in an unpredictable manner - as if it were on elastic. On the good side, the pace of the
game is impressive - almost as fast as the Amiga version - while the same instinctive
player controls have been utilised for maximum playability.
In addition, most of the major Amiga options have been retained, albeit via
multiload. So how does it compare with other C64 footy sims? Well despite its
flaws I'd go as far as saying it's the best since the classic MicroProse Soccer.
Not quite brilliant but an undoubted improvement on C64 Kick Off!