|a game by||Rage Software|
|Platforms:||PC, Genesis, SNES, GameGear|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Sport Games, Sports Management Games, Soccer Video Games|
Striker first appeared on the Amiga, around about the same time as Sensible Soccer (which was rather unfortunate for it). It was very fast, some might even say action-packed (but they may not necessarily hyphenate it). It was also very 'Japanesey' - in other words, the ball stuck to your player's foot like pubic hair to a toothbrush and tended to move around the screen like a beach ball in a force nine gale. Later it appeared on the snes - a machine almost as bereft of good football games as the pc -where it gained an extra indoor game to go with the full n-a-side version. Now it has made it onto the pc, having lost the indoor game again.
Some of its original qualities have been faithfully reproduced, though nothing short of a tactical nuclear strike will dislodge the ball from its place on the end of your player's sticky little boot and you can virtually get the ball to loop the loop with aftertouch. (If you pull back for maximum aftertouch, your player kicks the ball up into the air so abruptly that he collects it again, i.e. he passes to himself.) The game thus tends to be reduced to a series of solo runs from one end of the pitch to the other; after all, why bother passing and risk giving the ball away when you can jig your way past the entire opposing team and produce the kind of shot at the end that defies physics?
Other aspects of the game haven't been quite so faithfully reproduced. Although the game runs at a reasonable rate on a 486, on anything less than a 386 it slows drastically. On a 386SX it's downright slow. If you were going to set the Amiga version to music you'd use the theme tune from The Beverly Hillbillies; on a 386SX or below you'd use something by Leonard Cohen. (Talking of music, it has a theme tune seemingly written by the Match Of The Day man after a heavy acid session. It sounds suspiciously like the type of thing torturers pipe into political prisoners' cells.)
The in-game sound is truly pathetic. I know it's coming through the soundcard, because I've put my head against the speakers, but I still can't believe it. The crowd noise is a quick blast of white noise; a foul produces the same noise as a shot hitting the bar - rather like someone headbutting a sheet of aluminium foil - and the referee seems to prefer to control the game with a Peruvian anal flute rather than the more traditional whistle. What really does it for this game, though, is the graphics - in particular the pitch, and in particular on a slow machine. The players are quite detailed, well animated and they just about hold up on a fast machine, but on a slow one they're terribly slow. Unfortunately, the pitch doesn't realise this and tries to whizz about without the players. The surface of the pitch is indicated by a series of translucent '70s disco-stripes similar to the type used to indicate forward motion in cheap driving games and which vibrate sickeningly as they scroll.' It's not so noticeable when the game moves fast, but on a slow machine it's like being repeatedly stabbed in the cornea.
Another graphical oddity is the sudden introduction of perspective at one end of the pitch. At least, I assume that's what it is; the goal is much smaller at the top end. Unfortunately players aren't scaled accordingly, so the goal is smaller and the goalkeeper's head scrapes against the crossbar and the goal is correspondingly harder to score into.
It doesn't sound too good, does it? The thing is, it's quite playable on a fast machine and a little more care could have produced a reasonable game. It's a shame they've mucked up the pitch graphics and the speed so badly, because it could have been an alternative to Sensible if they'd got it right. The problems aren't so marked on a fast machine, but the packaging claims it's playable on a 286. It is, but even at maximum speed settings it's still in slow-motion. The in-game options are all there, the different ways to play are there too. The teamediting facility minimises the lack of club teams and means you can make your own up and have fun with stupid leagues or whatever. Unfortunately, the pitch scrolling is a visual assault and the gameplay is seriously flawed.
There are several million types of games, (well, four). In assessing them, we gave the game a credibility test by playing tons of tournaments with computer-only teams to see if it knows 'where it's at' (man) when it comes to team skills evaluation. Our plucky researchers played literally billions of games to bring you, the customer, an accurate report. They sat in a sub-zero room, fingers held with rubber bands over the joystick fire-button, for days at a time. Here is the PC joint game type/team ability accuracy evaluations report.
As you'd expect, you can play one-off friendly games which provide a tension-free environment to get to know your squad, experiment with new ideas and lose 10-0 to the USA.
The Super Cup is essentially a World Cup-type thing. Phase One involves the creation of six groups, comprising four teams each, either by you or by the computer. Any number of teams can be human-controlled. They then play in league format, each team playing each other once.
The 24 teams are reduced to 16 by taking the top two from every group and adding the four third-place teams from groups A, B, E and F. This happens regardless of how many points these teams gained - teams from group F who only got one point still go through, even if a team in group C or D got four or five points. From then on it's a straight knock-out. We found that England win 70 percent of the time in an all-computer tournament; Japan always gets to the knockout stages; and Scotland always loses to minor South American teams in the opening stage. From this, our researchers have calculated a 66.6 percent Surrealism Factor.
Depending on your attitude to farming subsidies, this may or may not be better than a harvest for the world. You choose how many teams take part. Again, you decide how many human-controlled teams there will be.
Japan were, again, the hot favourites from the twilight zone, notching whopping 6-0 victories against your Ecuadors and your Greeces. To further tax your already heavily-overtaxed credibility nodules, England only failed to win the tournament on two occasions during our tests. The astronomical Hysterical Fantasy Quotient caused two researchers' brains to implode.
Up to 22 teams can play. Teams can play each other up to four times and you can have two or three points for a win.
In an extensive series of test leagues, when averaging out results we see the might of the German football machine coming out joint tops, matching England with an average goal difference of over 105 for a 30-game season. Italy, sadly, were grossly underrated. The Japanese team's league failure proves the old adage that anything can happen in the cup, but it's the long hard slog of the league that finds you out.
The dodgy typeface used for team names leads to some peculiar teams appearing. Who are the mysterious Srudi Aaabir? And what are we to make of Peau? There are 64 national teams available - everyone from the giants of world football, (Germany, Brazil etc.) to the dwarves (Faroe Islands/ England etc.). The heroic San Marino are nowhere to be seen. Teams can be edited to high heaven, given odd names and have players named after parts of the anatomy. There's lots of scope for budding Moschinos to devise team strips of colossal poor taste.
The tactical options include both formation and strategy. Formations range from the bog-standard 4-4-2 to the outlandishly '20s 2-3-5. Strategies include Breakaway, Attack, Cautious etc.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Game modes: Single game mode
- Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
- Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
- "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
- "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
- "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)
Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed
Snapshots and Media
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots
SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots
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