SummaryA fun variation on computer sports, and worth checking out
The GoodThe sheer level of gore is good for a laugh, including the stains left on the pitch form blood and mud. There are some neat subtleties to the gameplay. Passing, kicking and running can all come in handy, making this quite balanced.
The extras on the pitch are neat - I especially liked the bunnies and tortoises you can run over to gain their respective speeds. The 'injury time' bit is neat as well.
The BadThe knockout mode is embarrassingly easy - I won it at my second attempt, although both finals (I lost the first) were quite close. The player-improvement screen is complicated to understand at first, and the difficulty curve through the leagues is a little unbalanced. You could argue that the blood and guts are something of a gimmick, and once you remove two key opponents (the goalkeeper and the central player who goes for the restarts) it becomes much easier. At 7 minutes the matches are a bit too long.
Speedball 2 is essentially a better game though - more focused, more original ideas (such as the score-multiplier and stars on the wall) and a more futuristic look.
The Bottom LineA combination of ideas from numerous different sports, particularly Australian Rules Football, with a smattering of violence and gore. The action takes place on a field with 10-metre markings similar to American football, and is viewed side-on, and at times the best approach is to work on attacking the opposition early on in the match, and making use of the vacant space to score more later on.