It's been quiet on the football game scene over the last few months and the Sensi vs Goal war has died down, but there's a new challenger in town. Going by the name of Manchester United Premier League Champions, this new boy is ready to give it all and take the footballing crown. It's been produced by Krisalis and is in fact their third Manchester United licence. The previous two efforts were viewed from the side and Krisalis thought that they weren't going to gain anything by producing yet another one.
Unashamedly inspired by Sensible Soccer, Krisalis have created a football game that is viewed from above. You might think that there's nothing new about that because Sensible did it first and did it best, but you would be wrong because Manchester United Premier League Champions is the game which Sensible should've been and never was.
Whereas Sensible Soccer was a cartoon-like and more arcade-
You could have all your team in attack which will leave massive gaps in your defence, but at least your team will stick to this system until you decide to change it. That's just one way of playing that perhaps you'll never use, but it illustrates the point that your team will do exactly what you tell them.
A much better and more practical example would be to tell your full-backs what they should do. Should they stay back in defence or do you want them running up the wings to put crosses in for your forward men? The choice, as they say, is yours. Manchester United Premier League Champions has every team from the Premier, Ef you're a dedicated enough games player.
You start off with your fresh squad of players and take part in the League, the Coca Cola Cup and the FA Cup. As you progress your players will get injured and you'll have to change your team selection accordingly. You can also keep on eye on your league position, your squad, top goal scorers and injuries from a whole wealth of statistical information. Weather conditions play a big part in football games and also in Manchester United Premier League Champions. As the months progress the pitch conditions will change from a hard and dry pitch in August to a frosty pitch in December and so on.
I guess you're wondering about what the actual game part is like. Well, there is obviously a huge Sensible Soccer influence to Krisalis' third Manchester United game as you can guess from the screenshots, but they do play differently. Sensible had very 'blocky' player graphics, and although they did the job well enough they weren't exactly realistic. The sprites in Krisalis' effort are slightly smaller, but much more well-
There aren't any fancy graphics around the pitch like a stadium or dug-outs, but this doesn't really matter because you'll be so focused on the game that you'll not notice. The pitch surfaces can be varied; all the usual pitches are in there like the mud surface, but there are a couple of new ones like the foggy- and frosty pitch or the 'this game should've been abandoned' as we in the office like to call it!
At first control over the players is quite difficult, rather like the sensation you got when playing Sensible Soccer for the first time, but practice makes pefect and within no time at all you'll be spraying balls all over the pitch like Eric Cantona. You can make the players shoot, lob, pass head, chest and volley the ball. Volleying is particularly impressive because the balls roar across the screen like a nuclear missile and, of course if you manage to get the ball in the back of the net you can look very smug indeed.
Manchester United Premier League Champions has lots of little nice touches, like the replay function. Not only can you rewind, play and watch the action in slow motion, but you can watch your goals going form the opposite viewpoint. This was always a problem in Sensible Soccer when shooting down because you missed most of the action thanks to the goal being in the way. You can substitute your players, but normally in other products you have to wait until your players' legs are half falling off. Krisalis have rectified this problem because when a nasty tackle goes in it actually tells you what state your player is in, this makes those important managerial decisions a lot easier.
Another interesting little feature is the ability to name who takes the defensive and attacking free-kicks and more importantly who takes the penalties. OK, so it's maybe not that important, but it's a lot more realistic than having the player who got fouled take them.
It's all these nice touches which turns a very good game into a brilliant piece of software ant he only thing which I noticed that was left out was the ability to transfer players, but hey you can't have everything can you.
Although I detest Manchester United I have to say that Krisalis' Manchester United Premier League Champions would make it onto my top ten Amiga games ever. I've thrown away my copies of Sensible Soccer and Goal because Krisalis have created an ultimately more satisfying football game that will appeal to the true football fan.
The graphics are nicely presented and highly realistic. Couple this with its level of playability and addiction and you've got a hell of a game on your hands. The management element is what really makes the game for me because it makes the product far more interactive than previous football software.
You might have a problem in controlling your players at first, but over a short period of time you will start to master it. Krisalis have produced same damn fine footy games in the past, but this surpasses them all. I don't know how the games-
I could enthuse for most of the magazine about how good it is, but space forbids me doing that. I put my hand on my heart I advise you to buy it. I promise you will not be disappointed.