Written by  :  Roedie (5253)
Written on  :  Jun 11, 2002
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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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.