All the hyp and pomp of the grand finale of this year's American Football season, Super Bowl
XX has been captured in Ocean's latest release, Super Bowl. Featuring both teams which played
in the final, the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots, the player is given a chance
to replay the final and rewrite recent NFL history...which team will win this time?
The program caters for one or two players, the former played against the computer controlled
Patriots team and the latter played as a head to head. Now, we're not going to give a precis
of the rules of American Footy here and now, but don't despair if you don't know anything
about it. Super Bowl has been designed so that novices can play with ease and the package
comes complete with two cassettes, the game and an audio cassette explaining the rules.
The screen is split vertically into two separate parts. The right hand side shows an overhead
view of about half the pitch (which scrolls up and down as play moves the ball to opposite ends
of the field) and the other gives details on the current situation of play, the team on the
offensive, the current down and match time elapsed. There are also two mini video screens which
show a close up of the actions of palyers from both teams.
The match is played in four quarters each lasting 15 realtime minutes with a change of end at
each quarter and the first and thrid quarters commencing with a kick-off. Controlling the actions
of the team is done using a series of pop-up menus from which the player (if playing offensively)
sorts out the tactics of play, type of pass and the player to receive (if any). The primary
menu gives passing options; long, short, rush play or special play (which leads to a sub menu
allowing the player to choose to attempt a punt, field goal or goal line rush).
of play leads to a sub menu allowing further specialised tactics to be dictated. Once the
passing play has been set up there is an option which the player select to view what the players
will do during the forthcoming play. Once happy with the tactics the player then has to select
the player to be placed under his or her direct control during the play.
If two players are playing simultaneously then the defensive tactics are sorted out using
the same sort of menu system. From this the defensive strategy to thwart the initial forward
movement of the offensive team is decided (eg 3-4-4, 7-1-3 etc). Then individual players
can be given instructions to mark certain offensive linesmen. This is another very comprehensive
manu whuch has potential for all sorts of defensive tactics. Once that has been settled
the player can then choose which player he or she would like to control during the movement.
Now the play can begin proper. A press of the fire button 'snaps' the ball to the
quarterback and control of this team member is given to the player. During this time the other
members of the team follow the instructions dictated to them by the menu screens. The quarterback
can run anywhere on the field and under your control you must guide him through the hordes
of players as far as possible before being inevitably tackled.
If a tackle is imminent and the
quarterback hasn't passed the line of scrimmange then he can throw the ball by pressing fire
button. As long as the fire button is depressed the player can choose which player to throw the
ball to, but veru swift action is needed otherwise he'll be tackled. As soon as the ball is thrown
the catcher is put under the player's control and the game continues. Care has to be taken when
throwing the ball lest the opposition intercept or the catcher fumbles.
During the play the defensive teams allocated player is active and can be moved into an
intercepting position or mark a player the controller thinks is on a threatening position.
Punting the ball either at kick-off or during an extra point attempt is done by keeping the
button pressed and rapidly moving the joystick up and down. This activates the 'power bar'
seen on the left hand side of the screen. The player has to determine how much power is needed
to either kick the ball up the field or between the posts.
After every play a window emerges from the left hand side of the screen and replays the
whole move using three-quarter screeen high players, just like you'd see on the telly. If you
don't want to see a replay then a press of the fire button skips it so the game can be continued.