Manchester United Europe
Copyright/Publisher: Krisalis Software, Created By: Hitchhiker,
Graphics By: Neil Adamson, Music By: Matt Furniss, Genre:
Football/Soccer, Release Year: 1991, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

It's over a year since the first Man Utd game was released to lukewarm critical response (67%, Issue 65) but great commercial success nevertheless with Krisalis claiming 100.000 sales. Somewhat surprisingly all 4.000 reply cards insisted on an European edition and here it is!

As with the original, Europe combines a comprehensive management game and an actual arcade football game, each a separate load. You start with the management side which gives you a choice of which competition to enter: European Cup, Cup Winner's Cup, UEFA Cup, European Super Cup or World Cup Championship. Alternatively you can choose to enter a simple friendly with any of 150-plus teams.

Whoever you play you have a choice of six formations and the option to switch player's positions around as you wish. Each member of the team has comprehensive stats including five skill ratings plus yellow and red cards and games played in the tournament.

Amazingly these stats are also available for the opposing team and you can change names as you wish - Phil king for Captain! You can also choose the length of matches, change the name of the manager and, of course, choose a two-player option.

The actual arcade game has an overhead view with a multidirectionally scrolling pitch and goals on the left and right. You automatically get control of the player nearest the ball, control being shown by the man's shirt being brighter than normal.

Dribbling is by the sadly familiar ball-glued-to-your-foot fashion with power set by holding down fire. If you lose the ball you can make a sliding tackle, but the ref can give yellow and red cards for fouls. In Free Kicks, Throw-Ins and Corners you get a flashing cursor to place where you want the ball to go. There's also penalties and the option to make substitutions whenever you want.

Although there's no scanner, which restricts passing, the horizontal thrust to the action shows more of the pitch than a vertically orientated game. Scrolling is relatively smooth but the sprites are as blocky as is typical of this type of game and animation is minimal. Similarly sound is limited to weak spot FX (intro music is equally unimpressive).

Where Europe does score (groan), is in some nice realistic detail such as the names of the authentic team players appearing as the ball is passed to them. There's also two legs per match and a huge range of teams to take on. On the other hand the managemnt options are perhaps inevitably limited with no transfers or suchlike - it's just picking teams and formations basically. Nevertheless with five championships to win Europe provides a substantial challenge which provides great value for money. The actual footie game isn't too special itself, although the ability to control the goalie is welcome, and all in all this a welcome addition to the footie ranks.

?
I'm amazed at the sheer number of teams in this: I counted about 170 (and lost count several times!). And each one has an authentic line-up of players. This adds a lot to the realism with the players' names being shown during the match.

There isn't much management - just picking the team and formation - but the footy action is playable enough. With tackles quite hard to avoid, you can't unrealistically dribble right through the defensce as in most footy games - a short passing game is necessary for success. A must for United supporters, and football fans too!


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 76%
A nice range of options including save/load and match length. The real player names are great. Need to load in management section between games is only mildly irritating to C2Ners.
GRAPHICS 61%
Typically unimpressive, blocky sprites with minimal animation. Pitches vary though.
SOUND 26%
Weak intro tune and limited in-game spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 75%
As easy to get into as anu other footie game...
LASTABILITY 78%
...but five championships certainly provide an above average challenge.
OVERALL 77%
A surprisingly good game packed with attention to detail.


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