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SummaryA terrible, terrible All-Action Football/Soccer Adventure
The GoodThe music is pretty cool and passable, even though it's being repeated quite alot as there are only 5 music tracks found in the whole game.
Even the song featured in the commercial does make an appearance, even though it's remixed, rearranged and resampled.
The BadJust everything else, as it leaves way too much to be desired:
The first level is merely unpassable, due to having to hit the fusebox a couple times before the time runs out, which will result a GAME OVER (The time limit depends on which difficulty you'll be playing the game on).
To even hit that fusebox, you must aim at it and then press and hold down O to charge up your lob and then as soon as the charge bar is halway full, you must release O and then press and hold down Down on the D-Pad.
The rest of the game is just a barebones generic Streets of Rage/Final Fight-type game, where you are stuck in one area, and must defeat enemies before you can move on to the next area and do the same thing over and over again until the end of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels in each of the 5 chapters before facing the boss in the 5th level of each chapter.
There are two ways you can defeat enemies:
A - Shoot at them with the so-called "Geo Merlin" ball B - Tackle them (Which is highly recommended at the 5th chapter, as there will be enemies (who look exactly like every other enemy, but a different color) who will constantly shoot projectiles at you, and is also the most easiest way to defeat enemies, yet they take a lot of tackles to defeat each of them. Otherwise, it's a real chore to play, as the difficuly is very high at many aspects, even on Easy.)
Which brings me to another point: the AI
The AI is AWFUL: When you're in posession of the ball, they will desperately try to take the ball away from you, and while they're in posession, your health gets drained, and to get it back, you must tackle them.
However, if you're in posession of the ball, and you highlight the 2nd player who is not in posession of the ball, they will not attack your 1st player, who is in posession of the ball. Instead, they will attack the 2nd player, who does not have the ball, if you have highlighted him.
Each chapter will open with a first level, which gives you an idea of what the next chapter will be about. In the first level of course, you have to retreive the Geo-Merlin by using Infrared goggle to view the lasers, that you must slide below, and tackle the stand which holds the ball to retreive it, which then you must deal with the fusebox and the time limit, as mentioned earlier.
Then in the 2nd chapter, you will be introduced to force fields, including a trap, that will trap and stun one of your two player if one of yours walk into, and you must shoot at the trap containing one of yours who walked into said trap, to free him.
Throughout the game, you will have to deal with various traps, such as the lasers in the 3rd level, that will stun both your players and your enemies, flames of jets in Chapter 2, in where you have to turn around statues just to make the other statue on the other side look at the statue you just turned around, a moving Force field in the 2nd and 3rd level of the 3rd chapter, which closes on you and will squish you to your death, if you do not turn around a statue at the end and break the door open at the end of the 4th level, swinging ceiling lights aswell as bottomless pits in the 4th chapter, in which will result an instant GAME OVER, if one of your players will fall in.
Thankfully in the 5th chapter, you will not encounter traps (including those you've encountered before), but waves of enemies who constantly shoot projectiles at you as mentioned earlier.
Each player does have their healthbars, which will be drained from getting hit by either enemies or the aforementioned traps. However, when both healthbars have finally reached zero, it's GAME OVER, and you will lose a continue, as you only have limited continues before it's finally GAME OVER.
At each 5th level, you will face a boss, who will look the same in every other 5th level, yet with different abilities, and different ways you defeat him.
The first time facing, you must shoot at the hands to activate the lasers, that will hurt him.
the 2nd time, you must shoot at the force field that is standing in front of it, which when you hit a force field, it will shoot a lightining bolt out of it, which you will need it to hit the boss.
the 3rd time is where you must solve a 3-button puzzle by shooting at two of the three buttons (The code is XX-) to disable the jets of flames, then you can fight him.
the 4th time is where you must try and hit him until his energy depletes, but beware of the bottomless pit in front of you.
And lastly in the 5th and final time, you must defeat two enemies and then lastly the boss himself, which takes quite a beating, as it will constantly shoot projectiles at you non-stop. The way you can defeat him, is by tackling him first, then highlight your player who has the ball, and then shoot at him and repeat the process until he is finally defeated.
But that's not over yet! Next, you have to shoot the ball into the helicopter floating at one of the three windows that you need to break first before you can shoot the ball into said helicopter, which will then result in an ending, which simply shows two guys jumping into the helicopter, which flies away from the bulding that explodes into a million pieces, and then...... THE END. Wow AWESOME ENDING!
The graphics are really poor with blocky and uninspiring character models and backgrounds, which are all bland with a bunch of gray and brown all over the place (I know the commercial had so much gray all over it, but C'mon, at least make the graphics alot more better).
The sound is also really poor. Of course I already talked about the music, which is pretty passable, but thats nothing compared to the actual sound effects, which are all very weak sounding, especially when you shoot the ball, which sounds like you are throwing something (absolute strange).
The controls are also a mess. Moving your player feels stiff, and trying to shoot at something you're aiming at, is a real chore, especially when you're shooting at enemies, that when you're charging your shot on one of them while running, you must stop and aim at your target that is highlighted with a crosshair, before the bar becomes full and you shoot, only to miss your target. This can also be a problem in the 4th level in the first chapter, which when your shot bounces off, it will reactivate one of the lasers that will stun you each time, and you must disable it over and over again, only to bounce off more to reactivate more lasers. So it's best to not use the shot, but only on the hands that shoot lasers, and tackle your enemies instead.
The game only uses passwords, which will only be given, as you defeat a boss at every 5th level, which then you will use it to start the next of the 5 chapters in the whole game, and in the case of GAME OVER, start the entire chapter all over again.
The Bottom LineAs is the case with most PAL-only games, Microids games on the PS1, games from obscure publishers such as Microids, and even licensed games in general, this game is simply a dud in many aspects.
One whould think that making a game based on a TV commercial whould be such a good idea, only to result in very poor execution.
Games that are based on TV commercials really do rarely exist, and this is one of the few games (or perhaps the ONLY game) to be ever based on a TV commerical, yet it failed, and has since fallen into obscurity.
So unless you are a completist (and a glutton for punishment), there's absolutely no reason to own it.