Kick Off 2002

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a game by Anco Software Ltd.
Platform: PC
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Soccer Games, Kick Off Games
Kick Off 2002
Kick Off 2002
Kick Off 2002
Kick Off 2002

1990: the Berlin Wall needed a bit of point-work, people still took ferries to France, and the idea of Manchester United winning the League was laughable. In the gaming world, Kick Off 2 was the big noise among Amiga owners, providing a frantic representation of the game of football. Twelve years is a long time in gaming though, and in terms of the art form’s evolution, the early ’90s represent something of a midpoint. So what place does a Kick Off game have in the cut and thrust of the 21st century? The short answer is none, and it’s about as relevant - and as welcome - as a Nolan Sisters comeback tour.

There’s a saying in football: never go back. It applied to Howard Kendall’s disastrous return to Everton, and the same argument can loosely be applied to football games. Despite our rose-tinted review of the Sensible Soccer remake, it never really recaptured the heady delights of the original, and was made to look ugly and stupid by the Actuas and FIFAs of the day. Even more perverse was the attempt to bring back Jon Ritman’s Spectrum classic Match Day, although a quick word with the BBC lawyers led to it being called SuperMatch Soccer. Either way, it sold like unproverbial cold cakes.

Fever Pitch

Acclaim doesn’t seem to have learned from that experience, as it is they who are responsible for publishing this modern day version of the Anco classic. Time-wise at least, there is a parallel with the recent million-selling Wolfenstein remake. However, there’s a world of difference between using today's technology to convey bodily mutilation and using it to show an overhead view of a football pitch. In Kick Off 2002, the 3D accelerated graphics are as unnecessary as they are indiscernible, adding very little to the experience. As for the gameplay, the stupidly fast pace has been maintained, and it hasn’t dated well. These days, discerning football gamers have grown used to having time on the ball, and a game in which 11 ants run about like blue-arsed flies isn’t going to cut the mustard. Such subtleties as releasing a through ball to pick out a well-timed run have no place here, and this is merely football as pinball.

The Sensible Option

Kick Off 2 may have been a contender back when the Premiership was a twinkle in a bank manager’s eye, but as this remake proves, progress can often be a good thing. Even FIFA 2002's half-arsed fumblings are infinitely preferable to this relic. At least it looks like football, and actually features real players.

At less than 8 quid you could do worse for your cash, but in all honesty this sort of thing should be left to the emulation scene. Besides, I was always a Sensi man myself.

Download Kick Off 2002


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Back in the early '90s, Kick Off 2 was the king of football games. OK, so maybe our 40 per cent review score last issue shows that abdication occurred sometime in the '80s but if you're a fan of nostalgia this will bring a smile to your face quicker than a pack of Werthers Originals. Nothing much has really changed, apart from the sharper graphics, and the control system still takes some getting used to so persevere. The demo offers one half of a game from the Exhibition or Challenge modes, or you can practice your free kicks, penalties and the like in Practice mode. If you're after more help check out the read-me file for a full list of controls and advanced tips on how to play.

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