Fever Pitch Soccer

The Jaguar only has two football (by which I mean 'Soccer') games: Fever Pitch Soccer and Sensible Soccer. Sensible Soccer - or 'Sensi' as fans lovingly refer to it - is widely regarded as one of the greatest footy sims of all time, and the very mention of the sequel, Sensible World of Soccer sends many Amiga fans into a state of instant orgasm. Seriously - find an Amiga owner, write 'SWOS' on a piece of paper and show it to them...I bet you 50p they start foaming at the mouth and soil themselves instantly. But I'm getting off topic. The Jag has two footy games. The other game is Fever Pitch Soccer, a port of a SNES/MegaDrive title that eschews the usual fair play rules and instead promotes the use of bone-crunching tackles. At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking Fever Pitch was a complete rip-off of the 16-bit FIFA games - it has vibrant sprite-based footballers running around on a pitch that is viewed from an isometric view. Sadly, that's where the similarities end - and not just in the way fouls are encouraged and certain 'star' players have special abilities.

You see, Fever Pitch Soccer is dire. Fucking Dire. There are some interesting gameplay aspects, some of which I've already touched on: the use of fouls and illegal tackles is actively encouraged, referees are pretty lax and some players have special abilities - strikers can shoot with an unstoppable 'flaming ball' move, while some defenders will always win the ball when they tackle. It's a novel way of adding something new to the football sim...but in all honesty the rest of the game is so shit that you'll rarely ever see any of that. Why? Well, fever pitch just plays badly. The players 'skate' around on the pitch as if it's made of ice instead of grass, and the CPU controlled teams seem to be able to spirit the ball out of your possession almost at will. And that's not me complaining because I'm just shit at football games - I play them regularly on a range of consoles almost daily and own multiple versions of FIFA and Pro Evo...Fever Pitch is simply ridiculous in the difficulty stakes. You'll spend most of your time trying to get the ball and when you do, you're instantly tackled again and the onslaught on your goal continues. Happily, goalkeepers are quite competent so you won't be seeing 10-0 scorelines very often, but the amount of time you spend playing in defence means that you'll be bored long before you actually become proficient.

Other areas fare better - the crowd effects and commentary are pretty good (although it isn't full on play-by-play, you just get ISS-style "Goal Kick" and "Throw In" announcements), however it must be noted that the 'kick' sound sounds like something out of a fighting game. Likewise, the graphics are decent - the animation is smooth and the variety of playing surfaces is commendable...but look at it. Just look at it! It's a 16-bit game through and through. And if you've read any of my other reviews, you'll know how I feel about that shizzle on the Jaguar. Hint: Not favourable.

Fever Pitch has several game modes, including a Tournament where you progress in stages playing ever more proficient opposition...but to be honest, if you get through a single match of having your goal peppered and being unable to get the ball, you're a better man or woman than I.













1 comment:

  1. Actually, you are shit at the game. It wasn't that difficult to get wins under your belt. You should definitely stick to your modern shit!

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