“It is the future. Wars no longer serve a purpose and all international disputes are solved within the arena.”
In a corporate world with corporations fighting for global domination the need for conflict has vanished leaving privately owned teams to battle each other in the most violent sport the human race has ever devised.
‘Speedball 2’, released originally on the Commodore Amiga by a company known as ‘The Bitmap Brothers‘, changed the face of sports video games by unleashing hell on home systems. Anyone out there remember the cult movie ‘Rollerball‘? Well this being on a similar vein, the game begins as you take control of a team at the bottom two divisions. With a team of ten the onus is on physical force. Facing teams from the globe, your task is to promote your squad to the championship position of the first division, no simple task as you navigate transfer markets for star players or vist the gymnasium to bolster defence, midfield, attack and the keeper by collecting coins strewn about the field of play.
With collectibles, such as extra intelligence, throwing power and much more, the steel ball becomes a weapon as its hurled around, rebounding off walls, loops and score multipliers to give extra points once a goal is scored. The style of play is left open to the individual, be it attacking or defensive play as the team becomes stronger and tougher on your quest for global domination. Fights are an inevitable part of play with players stamina being drained as each beating from the opposition can leave squad members unconscious, being stretchered off by medic droids to the sound of vendors shouting ” Ice cream, Ice cream!” as play is paused to sell their wares.
During each season, cup matches are encountered to win the illusive seasonal trophy to fill corporate cabinets as well as league domination as you plough through opponents leaving tangled bodies lying helpless on the metallic floor only to be replaced by weaker substitutions, unless of course you spend wisely and have trained the replacements because there’s no two ways about it, your gonna’ need em’!
As well as the career mode there are several others on offer, be it quick fire trophy matches or custom tournaments to hone your skills to become the best in the world, however its the career mode where the meat of the game is and as such must be experienced.
With many incarnations spanning across several platforms, the Amiga version remains the best and you simply can’t go wrong but be warned! The game is as savage to the adrenal glands as the action on within the clinical arena and will have you coming back again and again as seasons take time, giving the life of this classic a wide span and challenging play as the fight for that illusive first place becomes ever more difficult as seasons come and go, so be sure to keep on top of your squad because you’re not the only team battling for the championship and improving their squads.
Get ya’ game on..! Your corporation needs you!
Review by: Rob Joy