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Sick of football yet? The World Cup season always brings with it a plethora of footy games, but this year there's one company which has taken a slighlty different tack than normal. Join Andy Nuttall in a world where referees are aliens, ball-boys are vultures and the players, should they so wish, carry shooters...

Wild Cup Soccer Despite claims to the cotnrary by the likes of Maradona and Klinsmann, football is definitely not a violent sport. Each time you see them (and others like them) play, you're guaranteed not only a superb display of skill, but an excellent show of play-acting. If, for instance, the "great" Diego is so much as touched by an opponent he clatters to the floor, clutching his leg, wearing a pained expression that wouldn't look awry on a cow after licking a stinging nettle. His Argentinean teammates then raise their arms aloft in mock despair, trying to goad the referee into awarding them a free-kick. Klinsmann's much the same, and if anything his dramatics are even more noticeable because he plays with ten other Teutonic robots, whose clinical, structured football doesn't normally need such antics.

But football's not usually like that. Sure, you get heels clipped and groins kicked; but put those footballing prima donnas in, say, Gaelic football or rugby, and they might really have something to cry about. They really are contact sports, and it takes a near-crippling tackle to put those players on the floor.

MAD MUG
Wild Cup Soccer So football's an easy target, then, for the boys at Millennium to continue their Brutal Sports series. Beginning some months ago with their adaptation of American Football (a sport for nancies if ever there was one), Millennium is intending to Brutal-ise every sport they can and the World Cup provided a brilliant excuse for the second on their list.

With Wild Cup Soccer we're treated to a 3D isometric view, looking down at the pitch from one corner (just like FIFA Soccer). Unexpectedly, there's actually a pretty good football engine in there, driving a game which might just have stood up on its own merit, without the need for blood and beheading... but, as the name suggests there is rather more to Wild Cup than any other football game.

CRAZY CHALLENGE
You see, while the main structure of the game is what we're used to 11 players a side, trying to boot a ball into their opponent's net the rules have been relaxed slightly, to not only allow tackles from behind, but also to stab, maim and behead your opponent in order to get that vital goal.
In fact, in the Wild world chopping off heads is positively encouraged, because to get a 'Header', as it's known, means an extra $200,000 dollars at the end of a game. And that money comes in pretty useful.

If you earn enough money you can but yourself all sorts of goodies. $200,000,.as it goes, is almost enough to buy one of your players a Mortar Gun, the most powerful weapon which can bring you even more heads in the next game. The goalies, who spend much of their time at close quarters with marauding strikers, are provided for with a selection of swords, while defending hasn't been completely overlooked as a decent-sized shield is also on offer.

There's a whole arsenal of other weapons too, as well as a variety of pickups which turn the ball into delights such as bombs, firecrackers and flapping cannonballs, which can at best kill you and at worst cause your players to spontaneously combust. So it's not your usual game of footy, then? It is, though, a highly charged, competitive battle between two players, the like of which we haven't seen since Speedball 2 (I wasn't a fan of Brutal Football). It won't take you long to beat the computer and soon you'll find yourself winning the league and Wild Cup itself however, for a two-player rumpus there's no better fun to be had. It's wild, it's chaotic, and it plays a mean game of footy.

CU Amiga, August 1994, p.79

HEADS, YOU LOSE
Unusually, for a football sim, a Wild Cup Soccer game isn't necessarily won or lost (or drawn, if you're being picky). Goals are goals, and the tram who scores the most has, technically, won the game but the number of Headers is also taken into account at the end of a match.
A Header is scored when you beat, hack and slash another player so much that his head comes off, leaving a lifeless torso behind on the pitch as a kind of sick, makeshift tombstone. This obviously reduces the number of opponents, which should make scoring goals a bit easier, but also it increases your bank balance by $200,000 for each Header scored. A meter in a corner of the screen shows your team member's energy level as he grabs the ball and although his energy lasts a long time, eventually it could be... Off with his head!

MILLENNIUM 29.99
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MILLENNIUM INTERACTIVE LTD, QUERN HOUSE, MILL COURT, GREAT SHELOFORD, CAMBRIDGE CB2 5LD. TEL: 0223 844894
 
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OUT NOW
FOOTBALL
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82%
81%
87%
86%
Deadly but cute. The best gore-fest since Syndicate.
OVERALL: 80%