Yes indeedy, fight night is on. The champion in the blue corner weighing in at 225 pounds, is Kick 0ff 2. The challenger in the red corner weighing in at 230 pounds, is Sensible "Sock it to 'em" Soccer. Seconds away, round one!
Kick 0ff is so popular that it's played in our office by older members of staff every lunch- time without fail. What can you say about Kick 0ff 2 that won't take up five pages of space? A game that revolutionised football games forever. Converted to almost every format in some shape or form. Everyone I know owns a copy. And now from out of the darkness, a challenger.
Sensible Soccer has received rave reviews throughout the computer world and to be honest it was all down to one thing - bad old fashioned hype.
The current darling of the computer press is, not surprisingly, speeding up the charts faster than Linford Christie. But let's calm down here and go back a few months. Let me now introduce Wayne Campbell, diddle liddle dee diddle liddle dee, thanks Wayne.
I first had a go of a demo of Sensible Soccer a few months back. Thanks to the hype I was like a man possessed, ripping open the envelope and slapping the disk in the drive with such ferocity that I could've broken the computer.
Sitting there expectantly waiting for Sensible Soccer, spit now foaming at the mouth, sweating nervously, waiting, just waiting... Oh no I'm so excited I've forgotten to turn the damn computer on. Right so I turn the computer on and again I sit there waiting.
Aha, it's loaded, at last. I played the demo. My expectations were crushed. Disappointment flooded every bone in my body. Could I control my little men? No, I could not. I now know the reason why - it was all those years playing Kick 0ff that did the damage. So far Sensible Soccer had not lived up to the hype. Soon all that was about to change.
Sensible Soccer had arrived in the Post and because of that earlier disappointment I was a little bit nervous. Rather reluctantly, I carefully placed it in the drive and... diddle liddle dee diddle liddle dee. It was all a dream... or was it? Nay, it was no dream... There shining brightly in front of my eyes was Sensible Soccer. Wow look at all these options. What shall I do first. Hmm, European Championships - now there's a novelty.
I decided to be England and see if I could do better than Bore'em Taylor. First match was versus Denmark and I thrashed them 5-0. easy. Well, no it isn't - I lied. The result was actually the other way round.
Due to that damn Kick 0ff 2 I wasn't in tune with my Joystick. I had to take quick action, I didn't want to lose any more matches, So I chose the friendly option instead.
To make it fair I chose Germany and I decided the computer could be the greatest international side ever, San Marino. Now is that fair or what? Unfortunately I still lost, but I was getting better. I only lost 7-3 this time and scored three cracking goals.
Next friendly please, I'll be Holland and the computer can be, err, Albania. The next sentence you can sing with all your might at the top of your voice just for added realism and atmosphere.
"Three - Two, Threeee - Twoooo, Threeeee - Twwooooo". Hopefully there will be a lot of people staring at you right now. Yes, I won, I won the game. Hurrah.
Let's re-live that last goal again Brian. If you're reading out loud then I recommend that you adopt a John Motson voice at this next point. "Ohh bad ball from Abazi and Koeman's intercepted it. Lovely ball from Koeman to Bergkamp. Mistake from the defender. The cross is good and there's Van Basten. Van Basten dummies. Gullit with the shot. Goal! Holland three, Albania two."
Six friendlies later and I've completely mastered the control system. I can now sweep out of defence into attack with an uncanny smoothness that you wouldn't quite believe. It's like watching Liverpool on a good day.
Before I go into detail about the actual match, I'll run through some of the options with you, because that's the sort of informative chap I am.
Time is first on the agenda. The match length can be from a quick three minutes to a lengthy ten. Choosing Auto Replays will... come on, you can guess, can't you?
Seasonal weather will let you choose which month you want to play in and depending on which month you choose the pitch changes accordingly.
For instance, if you pick June you will get a lovely cut pitch whereas if you pick December you will get an icy pitch.
If you turn off the seasonal weather then you can just simply pick which pitch you want, normal, dry, hard, icy. muddy, wet and soft pitches are there for you to choose, or if you want to be daring you can select the random option and the computer will choose one for you throwing up that element of surprise and intrigue.
As well all the International football teams, you can also load up all the club teams. You can then have great line-ups such as Fram Reykjavik against Hajduk Split or other not so well known teams such as Barcelona against Juventus.
If a particular team isn't there you can make up your own. Everything is fully changeable - the players and managers' names, the players skin colour and, of course, you can change the team kit.
Whether you just want to play in all black to confuse the ref or you want to play in a combination of pink and yellow and put off the opposition, the choice is yours. Well I'm running out of words, but there are literally hundreds of options, far too many to detail here.
As you can see from the screenshots, Sensible Soccer is viewed from a slightly elevated position. This is great because there's no need for a radar or scanner - you can practically see what's going on all over the pitch.
Now every football match needs a hit atmosphere and Sensible Soccer is full of it. You can hear crowd chants along with samples of sirens and drums for that international feel.
If you hit the post the crowd gasps, if you foul someone they boo and if you score they wet themselves. Baby Kid the baby that... SLAP! Sorry I went a bit funny there for a minute.
Well there's the full time whistle and here's the after match comments: "Well at the end of day the Brian, football's the winner, a great contest and no mistake. Sensible Soccer has got great playability, but so has Kick 0ff 2. Sensible Soccer is very addictive indeed but then again so is Kick 0ff 2."
"Sensible Soccer has just got the edge in graphics and sound, but does a football game really need brilliant graphics and sound? Take a look at Kick 0ff 2 as an example. I'm not going to say which game is best, but I will give you some advice.
"If you hated Kick 0ff 2 and couldn't get to grips with it then Sensible Soccer could well be the game for you. If you've already got Kick 0ff 2 and you're a footy fan then Sensible Soccer is the ideal complement to it, but whatever you do, don't leave Kick 0ff 2 altogether and don't forget there will be a rematch because Kick 0ff 3 is on its way." Gulp!