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                     REVIEW: SENSIBLE WORLD OF SOCCER
  Darkseid                                      ckb426@ujvax.ulst.ac.uk
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Well what can I say about this game, well maybe that its actually a close
simulation of mountain goat herding in the foothills of Outer Mongolia.
Or that its a Beat_Em_Up with more moves than John Travolta in Saturday
Nite Fever, or a persian carpet racing sim.... 

No hmmmn I didnt think you'd believe me...  Well its a Football games,
look footy is footy, Im sorry USA but the term football was used by the
rest of the world long before someone thought up your TV game.  SWOS (Ive
got cramp) is the follow on, rather unsurprisingly, to Sensible Soccer 1&2
and the International version.  Its the same with some neat changes, there
are some 1500 teams, including ones like Orlando Thunder, Hearts of Oak
from Ghana Bolivian First Division all the national teams are there too,
and theyre all wearing the right kit.  There are also more than 35000
individual players in the game, with corrcect skin/hair colours.  Also
every one of those 35k players have been graded on their skills, be it
passing, tackling heading etc.  Finger wearying work I think you'll agree.

[Interestingly enough, the Orlando Thunder is the name of a now-defunct
team from the World League of American Football...perhaps a tip of the hat
from Renegade? - Jason]

The mechanics of the game are similar to before, but the keepers, who
could be beaten by an expert from inside the 50 yard line are now much
harder to score against.  Also as the players are graded, their skills do
have an effect on the game, someone like Rai from Brazil is rated ath
2million to buy, and he's speedy, tackles well and is generally a far
better player than Sandy Barnes a midfielder for Grimsby FC costing 45K. 
Someone like Roberto Baggio from Italy is worth 12million, but you can
tell, cos when he plays the ball sticks to his foot and his shots streak
toward the net like the RoadRunner on Acid.  Formation too can be fiddled
with, if you have a speedy forward you can alter his position onfield in
relation to the ball so when the ball comes forward he's in a great
position to pick up and run at goal.  It all hangs together very nicely
indeed, once that is youve got the hang of it.  Practice is necessary, as
youll find all those skills built up in earlier Sensi Soccers are now only
the start as you'll need to play much better.  As always the game shines
in 2 player mode, with matches becoming (even more) tense, often with only
a goal deciding the winner and with the optional handicapping system, a
novice can give a pro a decent match eg play Grimsby (the Pro) against Ac
Milan (novice) and the teams skills will balance personnal skills.

Then theirs the management side of things, players can be bought and sold
and you can progress from team to team during your management career.  
Money to buy the players can come from sales, takings at the gates, TV
deals and winnig competetions, a good team can get better and better.  I
took my local team, Bangor Fc into Europe after the first season (1994)
and managed to win the Euro cup in the 98 season, but each year I got
further and further and won more money so I had a better team the next
time around.  The management section hangs well with the arcade, as a good
player can have a dramatic player on your team and injury or suspension to
a star player can cripple it just as easily.  Ahah !  Ive got your
attention now, yes players can get hurt, first a minor knock, indicated by
a bandage on their head, they can play on but they wont play as well and
are more likely to pick a more serious injury which could put them out for
1-4 weeks or even the rest of the season.

A few minor bugs annoy, when going to play a match you are taken to the
team selector to make any necessary changes to the team/setup you feel are
necessary.  The problem is theres no way back to the main menu from here
and if you have a couple of suspensions/injuries and cant field a full
team plus the right amount of subs, there is no way to get back to the
menu to remedy the situation, result, one reset and if you havent saved
the game tough....  Annoying but avoidable.  Graphically the game hasnt
changed much but new sound effects and groovy new music enhance the
atmosphere.  The 1200 has saveable instant replay, better sfx and more
graphic touches such as a constant clock and fluttering corner flags.  If
you dont have this game and you like football BUY IT NOW, ignore FIFA et
all this is THE game of football (soccer alright USA ?).  If you have
earlier versions of the game buy it anyway as the enhancements are worth
it.

Rating 87%