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European Championship 1992 logo

Die EM ist vorbei und vergessen, unser großes Soccer-Spcial war bereits im letzten Heft, und auf diesen Nachzügliger hätten wir getrost auch noch verzichten können...

Zumal vorliegende EM-Nachlese zwar von Elite kommt, aber bestimmt kein elitäres Game ist – schon eher macht es einen hingeschluderten Eindruck, als hätten die Programmierer keine Lust mehr gehabt, als feststand, daß sie nicht rechtzeitig zum großen Ereignis fertig würden.

So ist bereits das Optionsangebot reichlich dürftig: Wahlweise 5, 10, 15 oder 20 Minuten (Echtzeit) Spieldauer, eine zuschaltbare Kapelle, die in der Halbzeit einen zackigen Marsch spielt, und die Möglichkeit, aus 25 Mannschaften eine eigene Gruppe mit acht Teams zusammenzustellen, basta.

Darüberhinaus sind vielleicht die speicherbaren Torszenen erwähnenswert, außerdem gibt es einen Zwei-Spieler-Modus, bei dem man aber nur gegeneinander antreten darf.

In Stadion erinnert die Tastatursteuerung dann mehr an Fingerhakeln als an Fußball, doch via Stick dribbelt es sich völlig problemlos. Alle Kommandos werden prompt umgesetzt, und Kopfbälle, Fouls oder Fallrückzieher gelingen praktisch auf Anhieb; vielleicht weil keiner der Gegner ernsthaft einschreitet.

Der Schwierigkeitsgrad ist somit eher zu niedrig, genau wie die Anzahl der Farben, die man in die triste Hintergrundgrafik verschwendet hat. Na, zumindest ist das Scrolling ruckelfrei, dafür hopsen wiederum die Akteure reichlich ungelenk am Rasen umher; begleitet von den obligaten Bolz-FX, Schiri-Pfiffen und Zuschauergejohle.

Fazit: Die Chancen daß diese mittelprächtige Soccer-Simulation in die Annalen des Digi-Sports eingeht, stehen etwa so gut wie die des isländischen Nationalteams bei der nächsten EM. (pb)

European Championship 1992 logo

You’d think that having gone to the trouble (and, presumably, expense) of securing the rights to name a game after the European Championship, Elite would have come up with a game which actually simulated the European Championship, wouldn’t you? Instead, what you get in European Championship 1992 is a straight conversion of Tecmo’s popular coin-op knock-out game World Cup 90, which bizarrely isn’t a simulation of the World Cup either. Great start, eh?

But that’s just being picky, really. While the straight knock-out format is a bit limiting (with eight teams in the championship – you can shoose which eight from a selection of 25 – you don’t have to win many games to win the tournament, which won’t take you too long, although the opposition does get a good bit tougher as you progress, regardless of nationality), at least you can always compete against a different grouping to extend the life a bit, and there’s certainly more to it presentation-wise than its nearest competitor, Domark’s European Football Champ.

(Especially impressive is the animated intro sequence, although curiously, you can only watch it if you’ve got an A500 with one meg of memory, or an A500+ or A600 with one and a half megs. Slightly less impressive is the digitised picture of a Celtic-Rangers game from about 1981, featuring Danny McGrain, but let’s not be churlish).

Gameplay-wise we’re very much in arcade territory, which means not a lot of midfield tackling action, automatic accurate passing and the game being mostly an excuse for lots of dramatic goalmouth incidents, with overhead kicks and diving headers aplenty. It’s pretty slow-moving (especially compared to Euro Football Champ), and deeply unsophisticated (lacking the Domark game’s interesting ‘deliberate brutal foul’ option), but then at least you do get the essential action replays after a goal, which you can save to disk and gloat over later.

The most unusual feature is that you actually control your goalkeeper (a bit of a pain in the bum, to be honest), the best feature is probably the groovy brass band which march up and down the pitch in fine style at half-time, and the worst feature is the graphics, which are pretty grim with a pitch that looks like it’s been spraypainted in DPaint IV and players completely devoid of any facial characteristics. Oh yeah, and the most irritating feature is the one which occasionally awards a goal kick when you’d clearly put the ball in the net, but that’s life – just ask Marco van Basten.

All in all then, this is quite good fun. As a game it’s around the same level as Euro Football Champ, a lot slicker but not as funny, and you’d probably be as well tossing a coin if you’re trying to decide between the two. You get lots of goals and plenty of incidents in every game, but it’s desperately shallow stuff and it doesn’t shape up at all well alongside either Sensible Soccer or Striker, but then it’s not really trying to.

If they coin-op lit your candle, this is a pretty good copy of it gameplay-wise, and if you don’t expect too much then you won’t be disappointed, or something.

European Championship 1992 logo

Elite/Amiga, ST, PC/£25.99, £19.99, £29.99

Euro Champ ‘92 is a conversion of the old Techmo World Cup 1990 arcade game, with the title altered to make it seem modern. It’s already been made into a rather poor, one-dimensional Mega Drive game, and now it’s coming out as an equally poor, one-dimensional 16-Bit game.

Basically, if you’re an Amiga or ST owner, avoid it like the plague, and stop reading here. It’s only really of interest to PC owners desperate for a football game. There are no decent PC games at all, and this is at least playable. Let’s face it, however, not that many PC owners have a two-joystick set-up, so basically you’re going to be playing against the computer, which has annoyingly psychic goalkeepers.

There’s little variation in the type of shots you can produce – put a bell in the ball and a blind person would have time to save the shots on goal. The sound overall is poor, even with a soundcard, the graphics are weak even in VGA mode and the animation is mediocre.

The sum of all this is a game that really is only for the seriously desperate PC owner who, after the abortion that was Kick Off 2, must by now be despairing of ever getting a decent game on their format.