Football Glory logo

Football Glory is a pretender to the Sensi throne. Steve McGill reckons that proves that even when you're dead you shouldn't lie down alet yourself be buried.

The blurb on Football Glory's box reads 'The best arcade soccer game EVER'. Which is a rather bold, contentious statement that may just succeed in persuading the casual Christmas chopper to part with their hard-earned cash.
Before AF even considers the riposte, "compromised editorial integrity", we're going to have to prove why such a bold, contentious statement is, at best, misguided.

Consider the following analogy. You've just walked into Dixons and you're in the market for a new video recorder. The most important features you're looking for are picture and sound quality. In gaming terms, assuming that this means playability and longevity.

Standard to set
Other features such as play, fast forward, rewind, a tuner and a four-event timer are just expected to be there, so they can't and shouldn't really be considered beneficial features anymore. Merely standard ones.

Take, for example, pitch surfaces. Sensible Soccer boasts seven of them, while Football Glory manages only four. So, in that sense, FG doesn't even come up to a set standard.
And what about the competitions on offer - leagues, cups and the like? Football Glory offers six: Champions League, UEFA Cup, English League (Premiership), Cup Winners Cup, World Cup and the European Championship. Not bad.

There's not doubt that the extra moves are going to win converts to the Football Glory cause.

Whiter shade of pale
But it pales into insignificance when you consider that Sensible World Of Soccer provides over 140 pre-set competitions. So that, if you do happen to be one of the minority of football gans who don't actually support an English Premier League team, you're still going to find that you're catered for.

Consider further that in order to knock the top game off its perch, you've not only got to match what it has on offer, you've got to be bigger and play better than it. FG doesn't manage that.

After you've mastered some basic mechanical control, team formations help players develop their own footballing style and add to the gameplay. For example, you might like playing aggressively. Therefore choosing an attacking formation makes sense. The same rings true if you are more defensive in your approach.

Yet Football Glory only offers four formations. Compare that to the 18 offered in Sensible World Of Soccer, six of which are user-definable for extra control. So it's not so much Football Glory as Football Disgrace.

But don't get us wrong, Football Glory ranks as one of the top five Amiga football games on the market at the moment. The inclusion of novel moves - outlines in the box at the bottom of the previous page - such as speedburst, bicycle kicks and volleys give the game a less predictable nature than Sensi.

Moveable feast
There's no doubt that the extra moves will win converts to the Football Glory cause. Skillful use of them pays dividends, and no matter what the general consensus, there are always going to be significant numbers of people who would rather play an alternative to Sensi's smooth-flowing passing game.

Football Glory is a gritty, playable, pretender to the throne of Best Football Game Ever, at present occupied by Sensible Soccer. As such, it'll gain converts to its cause. But, as with most pretenders, the monarch is in possession of all the aces and resources of the state. Which means that Football Glory's going to get its head cut off when it's face to face confrontation with Sensible World Of Soccer takes place in the battlefield of Amiga gamers' pockets.

Football Glory is heralded as an AGA game. There are six AGA menu backgrounds to choose from. You can adjust their colour and brightness. Beat that, Sensi Soccer.
Football Glory
Close your eyes and see what happens.
Football Glory
If football hadn't been invented then...
Football Glory
...we'd probably all be frustrated players.
Football Glory
Of course, what we really want to know...
Football Glory what is the point of being able to...
Football Glory
...adjust the colour and brightness?

Football Glory
He had an eternity to avoid that tackle and nearly too too long over it.
Football Glory
Cantona tries one of those impossible bicycle kicks which worked on this occasion.
Football Glory
Barcelona find a Speedburst at the right moment fools the opposition.
Football Glory
The good thing about the back heel is that you don't hit it with the front foot.
Football Glory
And Giggs, the man with the left foot, shows what he thinks of Football Glory's special moves by volleying in on the rebound.

Kicks & Kichern

Fußball Total logo

Bei "Der Trainer" coachte man seine Kicker noch vom Rasenrand aus, jetzt bringt Black Legend den Ball ins Spiel - nicht nur optisch in enger Verwandtschaft zu "Sensible Soccer".

Während die Torjäger von Virgin mit "Sensible World of Soccer" schon wieder ein Heimspiel voraus sind, liefert die schwarze Legende hier quasi eine verbesserte Version von deren Ur-Hit. Und da von nationalen Ligaspielen über internationale Meisterschaften bis hin zur WM alles drin und dran ist, wird das Programm seinem hochtrabenden Namen durchaus gerecht.

Hier stimmt aber nicht bloß die Optionsvielfalt, sondern mit genügend Training am Joystick auch die Rasenaction selbst: Kabinettstückchen wie Fallrückzieher oder Sprünge über gegnerische Tacklings sind möglich, satte Grätschen hinterlassen Bremsspuren auf dem Acker, und wer mit einer roten Karte nicht einverstanden ist, kann dem Schiri glatt eine scheuern!

Überhaupt ist für viel Spaß gesorgt, denn Treffer werden mit einem Tänzchen an der Eckfahne gefeiert, aus den Fanblocks fliegen Feuerwerkskörper, und verletzte Ledertreter werden am Feld medizinisch versorgt oder in Härtefällen per Bahre weggeschafft.

Auch die Sound-FX sind eine Klasse für sich, trifft etwa ein Ball den Rahmen des Gehäuses, so klingt das irre realistisch - genau wie die Gesänge und Fanfaren von der Tribune. Die vielfältigen Replay- und Save-Funktionen auch für ein ganzes Match (mit Wiedereinsteig während des Anguckens!) und der angekündigte "Player Manager" wissen ebenfalls zu begeistern, aber grafisch hätte man nicht gar so sehr bei der Konkurrenz abkupfern dürfen.

Football Glory logo

They think it's all over... it was. A long time ago.

The whole point in reviewing a game is to compare it with software already out there, and tell you what's what. Football Glory and Sensible Soccer, for example. You've seen all the preview screenshots, you've heard all the stupid stories about how this looks incredibly like Sensi (Allegedly - Ed) (but apparently the programmers have never seen Sensible Soccer) (Allegedly - Ed), and you've also heard that this had loads more features than Sensi.

Everywhere you turn, someone's been touting it as a Sensi-beater. This is not true. It doesn't even come close. When it comes down to it, Football Glory is yet another average kickabout-in-the-park when compared to the Wembley Stadium of Sensible Soccer.

The strength of the mighty Sensi is in its passing, and Football Glory directly emulates its method of tapping the fire button for a pass, or holding it down for a shot. But the implementation is inadequate - while Sensi handles passes by slipping the ball in the path of a player, a quick tap of the fire button in Football Glory leaves the ball falling short of its intended recipient so he has to circle around to pick it up. (A slightly-longer-but-not-too-long-enough-to-be-a-shot-tap does indeed get the ball to the other player, but instantly, which is off-putting, and unrealistic.)

In addition to this, the aftertouch is great - after Kick Off introduced it, every single football game since has attempted to hone it to perfection. But Football Glory has gone the other way with far too much aftertouch. It's silly that you can be clear on goal with only the keeper to beat, and your gorgeously crafted curving shot will suddenly bend away from goal at the last possible moment. There seems to be an incredibly thin line between exactly the right amount of aftertouch and way too much, and Football Glory has too much.

Where it does score over Sensi is with its catalogue of special moves. Backheelers, one-two passes, overhead kicks, riding tackles (Jumping over a tackle at the critical moment, I am led to understand - Ed), volleys, diving headers and power attacks to give a player that extra bit of oomph can all be brought into play to shake up the game. Or at least they could if they worked properly.

The opposition in Football Glory bears down on you all the time, and your only thought is to get the ball up the other end of the pitch and mount an attack of your own. So as far as special moves go, there's little chance of putting together a lovey one-two or attempting to curve the ball around a defender and then run on to it - you've only got time to try to head the ball away or into goal.

The only usable move (usable because you can see the ball coming and therefore have time to try for it) is the overhead kick. It's by no means easy, but very effective and spectacular if you pull it off.

Of course, when playing a computer opponent they perform the special moves immaculately every time, except when they blow it completely. Football Glory falls into the old trap of making its computer players play either perfectly or amazingly stupidly. I'm not sure if this is meant to give the game an edge of realism or what, but at some points in the game, the computer opponent will get things horribly wrong. And I'm not just talking about passing the ball directly to my attacker. On one occasion the goalie attempted to kick the ball out, missed the shot, turned around, ran after the ball and hooled it into his own net. Comedy? I had to pick myself off the floor.

On top of all this there ar all the tiny, trivial bits that on their own wouldn't be too much of a problem, but when added together become a real pain. For instance, if you quit the game when you're a goal ahead, you'll win that match. Or when someone gets booked or injured during the match, the ref and players chatter about it in 'funny' speech bubbles. Or if you play from hard disk, the game crashes after one match because neither it nor the manual tells you about having to keep disk one in the drive as copy protection.

Clearly Football Glory is no threat to Sensi in the final reckoning. But although I've concentrated on the bad points of the game, it's not a bad game overall - trivial (but annoying) faults aside. There are plenty of options you can mess around with, competitions to enter your team in, and creating your own leagues and cups is always fun.

And if you can persuade a mate or six to join in you will find yourself playing along quite happily. It's just that when you've been playing Sensible World of Soccer all month (see my lovely guide starting on page 88) this, along with almost every other football game, pales in comparison.

Football Glory logo CU Amiga Super Star

What's this? A group of Croatians have come up with a football game better than Sensi Soccer? Dillon thinks so.

It's an inevitable fact of writing for a computer magazine that all the same old comparisons and benchmarks keep coming up. Take football games for example. Every single arcade soccer game that comes into the office has to be scrutinized and carefully checked to see how it compares to Sensible Softeware's effort, simply because it's guaranteed that the first question you'll be asked on the game is how it stands up. Sensible Soccer has been an unbeaten landmark for far too long however and Black Legend's new Croatian arm Croteam seem to agree. Football Glory may not have the greatest title ever, but believe you me that's the only bad point in the game.

If you've already played our exclusive coverdemo, then there's really no need for me to try and tell you how good this game actually is. In the same way that Sensible tok as many good elements from Kick Off 2 as they could, and then built their own ideas on top, Croteam have picked Sensi Soccer to bits and then added just about evey new feature it's possible to add, from a whole host of new animations and moves to an incredibly comprehensive control system.

On a very basic level, it's your standard top view soccer game, where two people take control of 22 players in a 90-minute competition where the aim is to get the small round thing at your feet into the large net thing at the other end of the playing area, or pitch.

There are all the usual cups and competitions to play in, as well as a variety of practice modes, different pitches to play on, different weather conditions to play in, differently skilled players, and all the other usual options found in these games.

Playing the game is as easy as it could be for the beginner. That isn't to say you stand the slightest chance of winning against the computer if you just pick up the joystick and start running. Croteam have taken a long, hard look at all the things players actually do when playing football, and have included just about everything possible. Naturally it goes without saying that all the usual sliding tackles, bicycle kicks and diving headers are in there, but the amount of new moves put in is quite incredible.

For example, if a player slides you, a simple twitch of the joystick will roll the ball around the tackle, and then get the player under your control to ump over the player sliding toward them. Of course, this isn't a very easy move to pull off, as you really don't have a lot of time to do quite a complicated joystick manoeuvre, but then how much time would you have in real life...

There are a lot of flash moves added to the game as well, such as ball juggling. If you want to see this in action, boot the coverdisk, select a one-player game, and leave the joystick alone when the whistle goes. After about ten seconds the player with the ball will get bored and start juggling. This is of no use at all in the game, except when antagonising a human opponent. Imagine how you would feel if a player had just run rings around your keeper, and then proceeded to stand in your goalmouth and head the ball for a while before belting it into the back of the net!

One of the places where the game really excels is in the graphics department. There are dozens of little animations for the tiny characters on screen, to cover every single type of incident that can happen during a football match. On top of the moves mentioned above there are all sorts of little quirks: players perform little Roger Milla dances after goals, there's a doctor who comes on after a particularly nasty foul (he examines the player and either patches them up, or if they are beyond help will signal for the stretcher. Two stretcher bearers run on, lift the player, throw them on a plank and then run back off the pitch again), streakers, players collecting cups and police who chase fans off the pitch. It's just as much fun to watch the game as it is to play it.

Similarly, a lot of attention has been paid to the sound in the game. Obviously there is a full complement of crowd cheers and chants, played in stereo and worked dynamically to respond to whatever happens on the field. A reverb effect has been added to the ref's whistle to give it a far more realistic sound, and it's touches like that that make the game stand out.

Best of all, is the commentary speech that comes in whenever something particularly spectacular happens. I'm not going to tell you what it says, but when it happens, you can't help but sit back and grin proudly.

The real selling point of Football Glory, however, has to be the fact that it is so tremendously playable. If you aren't used to Sensible Soccer style controls, you can still stand a chance of winning. With some practice, though, and a little time and effort mastering moves like jumping a sliding tackle, or dummying the ball before running around a player, it all becomes a true test of skill, and two talented players laying against each other is a sight to behold.

What can I say? The mighty Sensi beaten at last? Yep.