Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

aka: Speed Ball II, Speedball 2
Moby ID: 273
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Description official descriptions

Brutal Deluxe doesn't live up to their name - in fact they're the worst team Speedball has ever seen. As their manager, it is your job to transform their fortunes. As well as the league system, which consists of 2 8-team divisions and challenges you to advance to the top, there are also 2 cup tournaments, one of which is played out over 2 'legs' with the aggregate score deciding who progresses.

You can play the matches as well, which is the real meat of the game. They consist of 2 90-second periods, and the gameplay is futuristic, fast, and frantic, with heavy tackling encouraged to retrieve the ball. Power-ups and tokens appear on the pitch, including ones to make your players extra-tough or freeze the opponents.

The sides of the pitch each include a score multiplier, which you can run the ball through to increase the value of your scoring - the opposition can sometimes immediately grab the ball and nullify this. There are also 5 stars which are worth 2 points each if you hit them (more if you have the multiplier activated), but these can also be canceled out by the opposition hitting the same star, and their points values only become set after the half. Next to the stars, there are portals, which throw the ball out the opposite side of the pitch, in the direction it was going.

You get money for the results, and by collecting the silver tokens which appear on the pitch at random intervals. Between each match, you can spend these either on improving your existing players as far as they can go or on buying better ones and fitting them into the team. Your original players can only be improved to a certain extent, so remembering where your signed players are and making use of them is important.

A variety of tokens also appear during the match, some of which boost your team's power for a short period of time, and one freezes the opposition.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Amiga version)

9 People

Design
Additional Design
Code
Additional Code
Graphic Design
Music
  • Nation 12
Music Code and FX
Cover Illustration (UK Release)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 70 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 185 ratings with 7 reviews)

Even better than the Amiga version

The Good
Having played the Amiga version before, I was pleasantly surprised how well the game was ported to PC (DOS), something that can't be said about so many other Amiga => PC ports.

The gameplay is the same, and the VGA graphics are practically identical to the Amiga version. Naturally they could have been even better in PC (VGA has more colors), but as a port this was quite ok.

The sound effects and especially the music depend on what kind of sound card you have. If you had an Adlib or Soundblaster like most PC gamers, the audio was quite inferior compared to the Amiga version.

But if you were lucky enough to own a Roland MT-32 or LAPC-1 sound card/module, you wouldn't believe how much better the music in the PC version sounds, it really puts the theme music in the Amiga version into shame. But then, Roland sound card cost easily what Amiga 500 cost as new...

The sound effects are also quite satisfying on Roland, even if they are generated from the limited sound effect library of Roland LAPC-1. I especially loved how the reverb effect was put into good use, giving the extra ooomph to the ooomph sounds.

The Bad
Due to DOS PC restrictions, getting two controllers (joysticks) to work passably with two-player games was not as easy as it should have been. It was possible to use certain special "double gamepads", but for most people the way to play two player game on PC was that one person was using a controller (a joystick or a gamepad), and the other used the keyboard.

I am unsure if DOSBox DOS emulator is able to fix this problem in modern PCs, allowing you to use two proper gamepads for the same game.

The Bottom Line
Still possibly one of the best futuristic sports games around. You should really try on either on an Amiga emulator (WinUAE) or on PC with DOSBox, you will not regret it.

DOS · by Mussan Smith (1) · 2011

Awesome futuristic sports game!

The Good
Great gameplay. Instead of making a computer adaption of a real-life sport Bitmap Brothers decided to design a sport of their own. In my opinion they succeeded tremendously. Speedball is a very intense sport. The pace of the game can be very high, there are four different ways to score points (one of them is taking out the players of the other team ^_^ ) and can play very aggressive without being punished for it. Each match consists of two halves of 90 seconds. You can't change the length of the games. But don't worry, this game is really action-packed; a lot can happen in 3 minutes (and of course the majority of the players wouldn't survive a 10 minute match). The presence of the points-multiplier bonus means the odds can change very rapidly, which helps to keep games exciting.

The graphics are OK. The game features the Bitmap Brothers' trademark steel style of graphics. I also like the sound effects; best of all is the snack salesman that starts yelling "Ice Cream, Ice Cream!" when one of the players needs to be carried of the pitch.

The Bad
Manager options are simplistic. The only things you can do are upgrading your current players and buying a new player on the market every now and then (these players seem to become available after a predefined match). You can't make any trades with other teams etc. As a result the manager-only mode (in which you only watch the matches) is not much fun.

Controls are not that good. You can't change the default keyboard lay-out. You can only move your players in 8 directions (north, north-west, west etc.), not anything in between. The controls should have been smoother. Finally the game automatically changes the player you control. You shift to the player who is the nearest to the ball. Combined with the high pace of the game this can be confusing. There should have been a "change player / pass" button.

On the court all players look alike, even the ones you buy on the market. It would have been better if there was a little more characterization (like mentioning the names of the players who scored).

The Bottom Line
I never owned an Amiga nor played Speedball 2 on an Amiga of a friend, so I don't know whether or not Tomer is right. But I do know that the DOS version is a really cool game in it's own right.

DOS · by Roedie (5239) · 2002

Made me purchase an Atari ST

The Good
The imaginative premise of the game whereby you can score by so many means such as the wall targets and wounding opponents.The difficulty curve is what makes this game special. You start off with a really rather bad team and only by performing well whilst collecting the money tokens can you improve. The transfer system makes you yearn to collect those coins to improve your team in preparation for the more difficult games to come.

The Bad
Super Nashwan team are just about unbeatable unless you are lucky. Being able to lob the ball over the keepers head and then clattering him to score.

The Bottom Line
Future sports game where the only rule is put the ball in the goal. Fouling is allowed and in fact essential if you want to progress.

Atari ST · by Neepie Lantern (524) · 2004

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Amiga version of Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Ideas that were scrapped

According to Eric Matthews during development saving a team to disk in order to take it to a friend's house, as well as player-designed home courts were discussed, but both ideas didn't make it in the final game. (Source: Amiga Power #2, 1991/6).

Version differences

The Genesis port is a very quiet port, a lot of sound effects have been left out. The MegaDrive version that went out in Japan had silver and gold teams rather than red and blue.

Awards

  • Amiga Power
    • April 1991 - #3 Best Amiga Game of All Time
    • May 1992 - #3 Best Amiga Game of All Time
    • May 1993 - #4 Best Amiga Game of All Time
    • May 1994 - #3 Best Amiga Game of All Time
  • EMAP Image's Golden Joystick 1991
    • April 1991: Best Soundtrack - 16 Bit
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #43 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • ST Format
    • January 1993 (issue #42) - #31 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list

Information also contributed by Graeme Boxall and Martin Smith

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Antstream added by firefang9212. Amiga added by necronom. Commodore 64, Xbox 360, J2ME, Windows Mobile added by Kabushi. Game Boy Advance, Atari ST, Amiga CD32, Game Boy, SEGA Master System added by Martin Smith. Genesis added by Roedie. Acorn 32-bit added by Terok Nor. BlackBerry added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Roedie, Jeanne, Apogee IV, kametyken, Martin Smith, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added September 15, 1999. Last modified April 18, 2024.