After five minutes playing the real thing on the park after the FA Cup final, I was knackered.
Retiring to the sidelines, I gave my trainers to a girl who promptly showed me the way they ought
to be used by performing relentless sliding tackles in them. I was exhausted just watching.
Prrof positive that smoking is terminally stupid.
Still, my tar filled lungs were strong enough to drag me in the direction of a 64 just
as the latest armchair alternative for footballers with two left feet arrived from Elite.
World Championship Soccer promises all the rewards of a career in soccer with none of the
What the game offers is a choice of one-off football matches for one or two players or a
one-player knockout tournament: the World Championship. Following your choice of game or games,
a team selection screen presents itself in the form of a world map.
Move the pointer over any
country and up pops the option to play that team. Your opponent then chooses his team (unless
you're playing the tournament, in which case your challengers are predetermined by the course
of competition itself). Play begins once both sides have selected teams.
If you've ever played a soccer game before, nothing about the way the rest of WCS works
will surprise you. Viewing the pitch from directly overhead, the screen scrolls in all directions
to keep the ball in view at all times. You always play the blue team and your opponent always
plays the yellow one (regardless of the countries you've chosen to represent). The player nearest
to the ball is always the one under your control.
All other players are managed by the computer
until one of them becomes the player nearest the ball, in which case control of that player
is immediately transferred to the (human) player. A player is glued to the ball until he
passes, shoots or ends up on the receiving end of a sliding tackle.
Pressing the fire button makes the player with the ball kick it in the direction he's facing.
Depending on whether the fire button is pressed while the joystick is being steered or not, the
ball is kicked along the ground or high through the air. If the other side has possession, you
can attempt a tackle by pressing the fire button as one of your players approaches the opponent
with the ball.
If you're successful, you'll be in possession straight away (though your opponent
will try to tackle you again). Try the tackle from a distance and watch as players go sliding
across the pitch. Match contests in WCS are never the boring 'safe' kinds of game you often see
from the terraces.
Time is accelerated and players change ends at half time. The usal goal kick, throw in and
corner taking rules of football apply but there's nothing in the way of an off-side rules and
nobody ever seems to foul, no matter how wild their tackles are. This game should get a fair
However, this review isn't over until the final whistle. WCS may be among the first division
of footy games but it won't bring the Cup home. Throw ins, corners and goal kicks are all slow
to operate and more inaccurate than they really needed to be. On top of that, matches are very
difficult thanks to what seems to be pre-programmed bias towards computer controlled players.
Nor, it has to be said, does the game have the depth of play of Kick Off 2. The optional sound
effects are nothing to scream from the terraces about either. But if you're as ham-fisted as me,
the game will keep beating you 8-2 unless you play against the USA. England's recent successes
aside, that seems realistic to me.