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Wembley International Soccer logo  AGA  A1200 Speziell

Fragt uns bitte nicht, welche Lizenz-Rangeleien da zwischen Ocean und Audiogenic aufgelaufen sind – fest steht nur, daß wir es hier mit der überarbeiteten 1200-er Version von „Lothar Matthäus“ zu tun haben!

Wembley International Soccer Also Fußballveteran kommt man bei dem Titel schon ins Grübeln, schließlich fiel in Wembley anno 1966 im WM-Finale zwischen England und Deutschland jenes umstrittene Tor, über das sich engagierte Passivsportler bis heute erregen. Soll der Name der Chose also die britische Rache für das Scheitern der 11 Inselbewohner bei der diesjährigen WM-Qualifikation sein? Wir wissen es nicht, aber dafür wissen wir ein paar Dinge über dieses Spiel, die letztlich eh viel interessanter sind.

So zum Beispiel, daß der Aufbau exakt dem von „Lothar“ entspricht. Es ist also jederzeit ein Wechsel von der Vogelperspektive mit vertikalem Scrolling zur Seitenansicht möglich, 64 Teams aus aller Welt nehmen teil, Liga- und diverse Pokalmodi sind vorhanden. Neu hinzugekommen sind in erster Linie der WM-Modus und die Option, auch ein CD32-Joypad am A1200er zu benutzen, was gerade bei der beispielhaft gelösten Replayfunktion ein deutliches Plus an Bedienungskomfort bedeutet. Die dezent aufgemöbelte Steuerung zählt überhaupt zu den Stärken des Games, während man im übrigen schon genau hinschauen bzw. –hören muß, um irgendwelche Unterschiede zum Pendant festzustellen. Unübersehbar sind bloß die Einblendungen des Schiedsrichters und des aktiven Spielers, andererseits wirkt die Grafik nun ein bißchen langsamer. Außerdem ist dieses Progi komplett englisch, was sich unser „Loddar“ schon im eigenen Interesse verbeten hätte.

Noch Fragen? Nur eine: Warum ist kein Warnhinweis für „Lothar“-Besitzer auf der Packung? (mm)

Amiga Joker, August 1994, p.92

Amiga Joker
2 MB

Wembley International Soccer logo  AGA

As World Cup fever comes to a close, Tony Dillon relives those memories with the latest soccer game from Audiogenic.

O Wembley International Soccer nion bag". "A game of two halves". "I'm over the moon, Brian". These are just some of the cliches and rehashed lines that you must be absolutely sick of reading in your favourite computer magazines. Never before has a single sporting event sparked such a reaction in the software industry. Previous World Cups are incredibly tame by comparison to the flood of soccer games crawling out of the woodwork at the moment, and as a reviewer it is getting very hard to write about them without feeling like you're repeating yourself.

Essentially, even though there are so many soccer games coming out, most of them are based on almost identical game formats, with only the graphics and animation setting many of them apart. Like the others, this one has 64 international teams who play like their real life counterparts. This game also lets you select your squad and tactics and you can choose to play in a league or cup competition.

In essence, there are only three types of arcade soccer game – your Sensible Soccer top view, your Striker forced perspective and the Kick Off 3 Emlyn Hughes classic side-on view.
Wembley International Soccer takes a leaf out of all three, allowing you to switch between the side-on view of Kick Off 3 and the top down view of Sensible Soccer. Oddly enough, it's the side on view that actually seems to work best. The players look good, and you are given a good feeling of distance and perspective. When viewed from above, the game runs very slowly, and the size of the players means that you don't get to see anywhere near as much of the pitch as you do in the default view. Still, people have different opinions, and it's nice to see a game that caters for all tastes.

If you aren't familiar with Audiogenic's soccer games, then you won't know that over the last ten years, Peter Calver and his team have tried to find the perfect control method – one that allows you all the freedom you need to get some real team action into the game yet is simply enough to make the game playable. Through the Emlyn hughes series they got closer and closer, although some felt that the games were a little too sluggish in places to actually stand up against panic starters like Sensible Soccer and Kick Off.

The method that Audiogenic have finally settles on is both simple and effective. There are essentially two different ways to kick the ball. The first is fairly standard, and simply makes the player kick the ball in a straight line in the direction they are running. The other method is a little more unusual. When a player has the ball, an arrow will appear above their head. This is the passing indicator, and tells you which direction the ball will be passed to if you hit the fire button. The player the pass is aimed at is identified by a large hoop above their head, a la The Saint, and this makes it quite easy to set up a fast passing game with a minimum of practice.

The game looks good enough, with more frames of animation than most games and a very realistic ball, but it does seem a little slow when compared to something like Sensible Soccer or Kick Off. In fact, if there is anything that does let the game slow down, it's that the controls feel a little sluggish and slow to respond a lot of the time. Although the design of the game means you don't have to be QuickDraw McGraw on the fire button, having to slow down with the controls makes the game a little frustrating at times.

Wembley international Soccer is by no means a bad game. Indeed, there are enough original features and factors in there to make it worth checking out, but the slow control method means that Sensible Soccer fans will probably hate it. Fun to play, but there are a lot better football games on the market.

CU Amiga, August 1994, p.80

Just not fast enough to keep up with the best.

Wembley International Soccer CD32 logo  CD32

Have you noticed how England never lose at Wembley?

Game: Wembley International Soccer
Publisher: Audogenic
Authors: Graham Blighe, Richard Smith and Herman Serrano
Runs on: CD32, A1200
Price: £25.99
Release: Out now

I Wembley International Soccer CD32 t is not until you have been a follower of football and computer football games for a while that you realise their historical importance. Take my home team Kilmarnock (Gngh. - Ed). This year they reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup for the first time in twenty years – a landmark in the club’s history.

If you read last month’s AP, you will already know that we were up against Scottish Champions and European Challengers, Glasgow ‘dirty stinking hun’ Rangers. On the fateful day of the semi-final, we forced a replay. I felt so proud of Kilmarnock that I stayed over in Scotland to catch the next match. Now, I do not mind if we get beaten fairly and squarely in any game. Sickeningly though, in the replay, Rangers were awarded a non-goal as a goal – the equaliser. Consequently, our game fell apart for the next ten minutes. Rangers took full advantage of the demoralising situation and scored the winning goal of the game. Hearteningly, Kilmarnock’s play picked up from that major setback. They pressured and harried the huns for the duration of the match. In the end, it was to no avail, but at least they tried. They played with one hundred percent conviction and even more heart; it very nearly paid off, too. Despite the extreme disappointment at the result, all of the Killie supporters who went home that night felt proud of the team for their effort and commitment.

Killie’s manager, Tommy Burns, is the first to admit that our players are not as good as Rangers’ players. Just like Tommy Burns, Jeremy Wellard, the Project Manager of Audiogenic, admitted that Wembley International Soccer is not as good as Sensible Soccer - the game with which every other soccer game on the Amiga and indeed, any system is inevitably compared. But, just as with the Kilmarnock/Rangers situation, that does not stop WIS having some star features which make it more than capable of challenging and beating Sensi.

The first of these features, and the one that made me literally just about almost beg Jonathan to give the review two pages on the flat plan, rather than the allotted one page, is the inclusion of some code that lets the A1200 make full use of the CD32 controller. Yes, that is right, I can hardly believe it myself. Even the game’s chief programmer told them it could not be done. Every single button on the CD32 pad is made use of by this game. It is quite literally more astounding than something that is astonishing: the extra button availability opens up a world of fantastic potential. (Steve, calm down – Ed).

Let us deal with each button in turn. The cursor pad fulfils its statutory obligations, i.e. it controls the direction you send your players in. The big red button is your shooting-, tackling- and heading-control. Shooting is similar in style to Kick Off, so the longer you hold the button down, the greater the strength of the shot on release. Slide tackling takes place if you are not in possession of the ball and you use the button while moving. The last function of the red button, heading and volleying, is achieved through some dextrous, well-timed, nimble-fingeredness, and can result in some particularly fine goals if it is executed properly.

The blue button implements a function somewhat ridiculously known as ‘ping’ passing. Now, the thing with ping passing is that it allows you to play a very accurate, flowing passing game. The man you are going to pass to appears in a little window, affording you extra visibility to gauge where he is on the pitch and whether or not he is in a good position to pick up the pass. Provided you are pleased with his present position, a quick tap on the blue button will send the ball hurtling in his direction.

The yellow button changes the view from a top-down plan view à la Sensi and Kick Off to a side view much like John Barnes Football. Whichever view you opt to use (the top-down view, admittedly, does not work too well), there is also the obligatory transparent map like the one from Kick Off to let you gauge the positions of players on the field.

Wembley International Soccer The green button is similar to ‘ping’ passing except that you can choose just about any player on the field to pass to. This is achieved by moving a little direction arrow which appears above the player in possession’s head. Intelligent use of this button will allow you to catch the opposition on the hop.
Those are the main control buttons. The shoulder buttons and the pause button are also used in a peripheral fashion: for replays, pause (surprisingly enough) and for speeding up those deadball situations.
Do not think from all this cock-a-hooping that the game is not any good using a normal joystick. It is. It is just that the mechanics are a little trickier to get to grips with – at the time of writing, I am still trying very hard to get the hang of one-touch passing.

There are plenty of game options too. Varying from bog standard choices such as referees, type of pitch surface and wind strength, to the incredibly helpful style-of-play tactic choice. You can opt for a British style, i.e. hoof the ball and chase after it, or a continental passing game, or any one of the three other styles on offer. You can even customise your own set of tactics so that, as soon as you have familiarised yourself with the passing routine, you can fine-tune your footballing skills.

The biggest criticism that WIS leaves itself open to is that of speed. If the pitch was larger and the players moved faster, this game would be nigh-on perfect. As it stands, it looks and feels as if the players are being held back by an invisible magnet, giving the impression that the footballers are running on the spot while moving (if that makes any sort of sense to you). That obstacle is something, I am sure, Audiogenic can and will improve on with future footy game releases. I certainly hope they do. They are onto a real winner if they manage it.

It is obvious from playing WIS that an incredible amount of though has gone into the playability and entertainment stakes. Both Jeremy Wellard and Neall Campbell (Audiogenic’s playtester) are true enthusiasts who really believe in the games they are helping to create. And the effort has really paid off. Just like Kilmarnock FC, Wembley International Soccer has a lot of heart and commitment behind it. The use of all the buttons on the CD32 controller is nothing short of a historical landmark, and one that we hope to see other lots of other software houses pick up in the near future. What is more, WIS is capable of some upbeat play, and that has got to be better than a good thing.
Steve Mc GILL

Amiga Power, Issue 39, July 1994, p.p.46-47

"And the effort has really paid off"

Upper UPPERS CD32 The CD32 controller option on the A1200. It closes the embarrassing gap that lies between the Amiga and the consoles. The moves and goals that can be strung together. The playability. The potential on offer.
Downer DOWNERS Sluggish movement and player animation. The windows that pop up when stringing passes together can block your opponent’s view of his players. Neall supports Glasgow Rangers.

If you only have a normal joystick to hand, substract five percent from the final score. Meeting Jeremy and Neall made me feel proud that there are people like them around who are innovative and imaginative enough to try something new. Excellent stuff, guys.



A1200 The same, only not as much fun unless you happen to have a CD32 controller knocking around.

Wembley International Soccer CD32 logo  CD32

Audiogenic hat die (im Soccer-Special ausführlich vorgestellte) 1200er-Neuauflage von "Lothar Matthäus" gleich auch auf CD gepackt. Per Pad geht das Kicken sogar einen Tick besser von der Hand, dafür findet nur ein Spielstand im Backup-Speicher des CD32 Platz - bei der Präsentation hat sich so gut wie nix getan. Optionen und Spielbarkeit überzeugen aber auch hier, weshalb die Fußball-Action erneut mit 81 Prozent. (rl)

Amiga Joker, October 1994, p.77