There is an industry rumour which claims that when Anco decided to dust off their acclaimed Kick Off concept to produce a sequel, they spent a serious amount of time with their chins firmly planted on their fists, weighing up the quality of the current opposition. And apparently, they conceded that Sensible Soccer had things wrapped up from an overhead-
But what sort of result is it? Well, it's a fairly mixed big. The overwhelming feeling which hits you is that it lacks polish. For example, there are numerous occasions when the players' behaviour is just plain odd. Often when the ball is kicked high in the air, a computer-
I've even witnessed a computer player run for a third of the pitch with the ball seemingly glued to his head. Charles 'Charlie' Charles (of Harry Enfield fame) would be proud of that.
The game's soundtrack, too, is questionable, being one of the most poorly-
The game seem like a rush job to coincide with the World Cup
Also, for some inexplicable reasons I couldn't get the practice mode to work straight from booting up - I had to play a proper match before it would operate. This is a frustrating, hair-tearer of a point because most people will naturally home in on that option at the outset.
As a whole, the package smacks of being a rush job to coincide with happenings Stateside this Summer. And that, coupled with the sheer ambition of the project - heck, versions for five formats have been developed simultaneously, with one guy at the helm - has produced a game which doesn't begin to match other efforts in its professionalism.
But now for the good stuff. KO3 plays a fairly solid game of the old kick-it-
The 'special' players really make you approach things in a different fashion, making the squad set-up a much more managerial exercise. There's also a full complement of cups, one of the widest range of player moves yet seen (made possible by the use of a joystick with two independent fire buttons, natch), and that lovely little practice section.
But if you're really gagging to get away from the Sensible Soccer viewpoint you'd be better advised to wait for FIFA International Soccer rather than opting for a flawed semi-finalist such as Kick Off 3.
Sure, Kick Off 3 has its moments, but that won't be enough considering the company it will be keeping. Kick Off 4 anyone?