Ok, I will admit is. I hate Pro-Evo and Fifa. I really, really do hate them, not because they are poor games it is because I suck at them. Too much going on, too much wiggling thumb-sticks to do fancy tricks and showboating every little thing. Back in the day football gaming was raw and basic, kick the ball and go mental! Back in the day it was about how a game felt to play and how fun it was, more than how accurate the slaphead was for a famous footballer or if his hair was correct. Back in the day, it was Sensible Soccer.
Anyone that had/still has an Amiga or PC when Sensi came out will know all about this game and how good it was. Many will also remember the pretty average 2006 version that came out wearing the Sensible Soccer team kit but being nothing like it. Many fans felt very burned that day and their memories were pained. So, what did Codemasters do? They broke inside your skulls while you all slept and stole your dreams! The 96-97 edition of Sensible World of Soccer is coming to a 360 Marketplace near you…erm..soon. Hopefully. Yes, yes, people knew this was coming but there is always one thing in the back of a Sensi football fans head, that damned 2006 version! Updated graphics? Heresy! New modes? Burn them alive! The biggest issues for fans would be what would it play like. Fans would know if it felt and played the same and even the hint of wrong would send them over the edge and into the realms of Fifa *shudder*.
Chatting to developers about their baby is a fun experience. You really see if they love what they are doing and the SWOS Dev’s are certainly having fun. Walking through the offices I could catch a glimpse of SWOS being played in crowded corners, the squeal of victory as you lash in a 40yard beauty and the moan of defeat echoing around the building. The developers are using the exact code that was in the Amiga/PC version and the only thing they are really doing is making a HD version and some added modes. The HD version adds more details on the pitch such as crowds and advertising boards [Saw Overlord and Dirt, handy eh – Ed] and when you slide it leaves a little trail on the ground. Nice little additions but if it plays like a huge amount of suck, what is the point.
Relax fans, I come before you now, with honesty and mirth in my heart. I do solemnly declare that SWOS 360 does indeed feel and play just like the Amiga/PC version. The speed is there, the fast kicks, the frantic passing and the ever-so sweet after-touch is all in there. You can play with d-pad or stick, it does not matter which one you prefer. The old music is there, the old menu’s, the old teams, hell, this may as well be a time travel machine that takes you back to the original game. You can still edit your teams to add the current playlist and editing the kits is still there too. Manchester Reds anyone? A glance over the menu will also highlight Multiplayer too and this is the final part of the majesty that is SWOS 360. Keeping it old-school by having 1 Vs 1 matches, Codemasters are adding an Xbox Live side which will let you play against your friends/enemies in friendly matches or custom tournaments. Different stadiums, weather conditions etc can all be tinkered with.
I tell you this now, if SWOS 360 pulls this off then Fifa, Pro-Evo etc will have some serious issues. SWOS still retains that sheer excitement of playing that many of these overly technical games seem to miss out on. Adding to the mix with different options and player settings could mean this is the most perfect version of SWOS that is out there. What else could you really do to a game that was pretty much perfect already? Codemasters knew and that is what they have added to SWOS 360. Praise be! The Codie gods have come down to our humble world and are gracing us with some Sensi love. All we have to do now is hold on tight and…..wait. June/July mentioned but nothing 100% just yet but it is all worth the wait, trust me.
Originally Written By: Barrie Rogers