Soccer, that glorious game invented in our own proud nation. Giving an air-filled leather blatter the kicking it so richly deserves. Giving rise to such sporting heroes as Keegan, Dalglish, Matthews and Gazza. Soccer is also responsible for some of the most dreadful hairstyles the world has ever seen. That aside, football games have always taken roughly the same form. Either horizontally or vertically-scrolling pitches, with lots of fat little sprites bumbling aimlessly around the field.
Virtual football reality!
Did you not ever want to be there yourself? In some really important fixture, intercepting an incredible pass, weaving in and out of the opposition and belting that football straight into the back of the net. Think about the glory, the screaming crowd, the applause and the rather amorous physical affections of your team mates.
Well now you can experience all of those (except the after-goal snogging), thanks to Simulmondo. The first 3D soccer simulation. Taking a first-person perspective of the proceedings, the aim of the game is to achieve a degree of realism never seen before in a soccer game.
The rather confusing manual does go on a bit about the difference between a game and a simulation, but the game's arcade roots are obvious.
3D Soccer is initially very confusing. The sheer speed of the action is fairly breathtaking and the range of controls and joystick actions is a little intimidating. The manual really tries very hard to explain things. Unfortunately, poor translation means that experimentation is often more fruitful than referring to the instructions. For example, there is no mention of the fact that the 'O' key is required to start a game.
Where the bloomin' heck are you?
Your player is viewed from just behind; moving the joystick left or right causes him to face the direction you have chosen. The field of play rotates in a fairly convincing fashion. Push forward and the player runs at a fair rate of knots down the field. Press the joystick button when you are not in possession of the ball and the player will automatically turn to face whoever does have the ball. This makes life a little less confusing, but the sheer speed of play means that by the time you have spotted the ball, it is already being kicked somewhere else.