Brutal Sports Football

What would happen if you took a cool Warhammer-esque fantasy world and within that world also invented a 'sport' that played a bit like a mixture between football (by which I actually mean soccer) and rugby? With the added bonus of there being no actual rules in said game, other than 'get the ball in the goal'? Well, I'm going to guess that something a little like Brutal Sports Football might be the result. Sounds awesome, right? Big, muscle-bound dudes smashing the shit out of each other in front of massive, sold-out stadiums full of screaming, blood-thirsty fans; limbs being torn off as players attempt to get the ball in the net at any cost - even that of human life. sounds amazing.

In practice though, Brutal Sports Football is something of a confusing mess. Which is a shame, because I'm always up for a sports game that tries to do things a little differently. Look at Speedball - that was an incredible game that was based totally on a fictitious sport. How then, did Brutal Sports Football end up like this? First things first though. Brutal Sports, as I suggested earlier is a mash-up of footy (soccer) and rugby. Or American football, if that's your bag. You pick a team and head out onto the field and the only rules are that the team with the most points at the end of the game are the winners. You can use any means necessary to get the ball in the goal, and that includes using swords and bombs against your opponents. You can kick or pass the ball between team mates, and when on the defensive you can rugby tackle and stomp on downed opponents.

Again, as I stated earlier, the concept is great. The execution though is pretty poor. The frame rate is an issue as the game seems to jerk all over the place, and even though the character sprites are fairly detailed, all of the players on a team look identical. The biggest problem with Brutal Sports Football though, is that it's just a fucking headache to play - you can barely see the ball and the action is just plain confusing. You never know where the ball is and just passing between players is a chore. Add to this the totally imprecise 'shooting' method (ie - there isn't one) and you've got one frustrating game.

I really like the artistic style and the originality of the game, and the sound effects are great...but to be honest, Brutal Sports Football is one of those Jaguar games that makes you question the quality control department over at Atari. Well, the Atari of 1994, anyway. Time travel, eh? Funny old thing. Erm...

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