"Well good afternoon and welcome from me, Jimmy Hill... "
"... and me, El Tel'. I am a geezer and thick as two short planks, but I love Tottenham' Venables."
"Yes, thank you Terry. Anyway you join us just five minutes from the kick off of the big review of the new boy, Soccer Kid. Now Terry, what do you make of it?"
"I will make a mess of it like always. But, the fans... the fans love me. 'Ere did you know I writ Hazel, made Nicholas Ball an 'ero... for a bit?"
"Yes, but what about the kid whose name is on everyone's lips at the moment?"
"Naah, Sugar he will take me alive... and the players they love me, Vinny and Sammy and the big lad at the back and there is Vinny and where were we?"
"Err. Soccer Kid. Now I think my experience in Saudi where I creamed a right wad off my personal friend the Emir has taught me absolutely diddly. But that is another story."
"It is a game of two halves and it is normally at this point where we disagree and ramble on each one other aimlessly without coming to any conclusion.. what do you say Tel?"
"I could not disagree more big chin. Did you know I was born in the Smoke without even a pair ofboots to my name and now I am an emprasar... empros... empra... self employed and loaded?"
"Yes indeed Tel, now where is my old wooden Thunderbird mate, Alan? I was the best centre back in the universe."
"Hanson? What is that? Still in make-up? Tch, it does not surprise me, he wars more war paint than Bet Lynch."
"Anyway, from me and Tel it is over to John Matson whose down on the touch line... John... John?"
"Well, actually readers, it is not the incomparable Mr Matson, but I figure you realised that already. Anyway, what about the real issue at hand (or foot) - Soccer Kid? Strap your shin pads on, pull up your socks and let us dribble together down the metaphorical wing of a review."
Like most dwellers in the land of home entertainment, I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for a glimpse of this little 32-panelled beauty. Finally, after the best part of 12 months of cartoons strip build-up, Soccer Kid is set to volley his way right into the back of your net-emblazoned monitors.
Basically, it goes something like this. The year is 1994 and the World Cup finals from the good ol' US of A are in progress.
England have not qualified. Scotland have, but have decided it will be cheaper if they buy one-week return tickets because once they have been outclassed by the Samoans they will never win their group.
Anyway, it is actually Finals day and a capacity crowd waits with baited breath for the ref's whistle. All around the world, satellites beam pictures to countless homes. In one such home, in one such front room glued to one such TV sits Soccer Kid. Meanwhile, high above the stratosphere in deep space a thoroughly nasty alien pirate, Scab, scans for trophies of great value to add to his collection.
You can well imagine Graham Taylor attempting this method to get his mitts on a trophy. Let us face it, it is as good an idea as any we have seen yet from our master tactician.
Scab picks up a signal on his equipment as it scans over planet Earth and oh no, it is the World Cup. Salivating profusely, the alien materialises into the American sunshine to see the most wanted footballing jewel glinting in the brightness. Suddenly, the stadium is plunged into darkness, the crowd are aghast, but just as quickly as the inky blackness envelopes everyone, the light returns. As people rub their eyes to re-accustom themselves to the light, they are struck dumb with horror to find the gold statuette is gone.
High above the clouds, a greedy Scab clutches the cup with a sweaty tentacle. But during a momentary lapse of concentration he manages to collide with an asteroid.
This sends the Cup spinning back to Earth, but unfortunately it is shattered into five pieces, each segment landing in a different continent.
Watching avidly on his TV set, Soccer Kid is mortified at the ensuing events and sets off to find the broken pieces and return them, and thus save the day.
Now all that must have seemed a really huge build-up, but the fact is this product is worth it. Yes indeedy, Krisalis have really done something this time.
Normally one would follow some kind of formula before passing judgement on a piece of software. Not in this case though, because it has to be said now - Soccer Kid is awesome.
After a nice introduction it is straight to the menu. Here there is a really nice touch because you can choose the kit in which you embark on your world trip.
It makes sense - choose the Arsenal kit and take on the mantle of Tony "ee-oor" Adams and you will get nowhere. Alternatively, slip into a silky Villa (ahem) kit and romp through the levels.
Object of the game is to guide our hero (who is like a cross between Sport Billy, Marine Boy and the Coca-Cola kid) through levels to find soccer cards. Collect all the cards and you qualify for a bonus screen in which a piece of the trophy lurks.
This in a lot of ways sounds like oh, so many console-esque platform romps and I would need to good sharp kick up my split casey if I drew such a cruel comparison. The main reason for this is that the Kid is undoubtedly unique. In most titles of this genre it is a simple case of guiding you hero from A to B, jumping and bashing. In Soccer Kid, success depends on how you use the Kid's ball skill. Killing baddies or reaching ledges can often be down to utilising one of the many tricks our miniature Maradonna is capable of. It is for this reason that the Kid is so special.
Some of the tricks need you to be fairly dextrous and take some learning. This makes SK really addictive - believe me it is highly pleasurable when you pull off a bike kick or a flashy back heel.
Once you have grasped some of the tricks (and there is a tutorial mode to help you) it is off on a saga of soccer-skilled action. Each of the level is different and there being 28 in total, it is quite a handful.
These change as you travel from your native England down through Italy over to Russia into Japan finally tricking your way through the States ending up at the Final.
The backdrops are beautifully drawn and the screen scrolling is a veritable parallaxing paradise. You can tell that a large amount of time and thought has been taken, paying attention to detail and this really comes across in the standard of the graphics. Whether you are back-heeling in a Baltic battleship or volleying in Venice, everything is well on the ball.
There is also plenty of humour involved in matters as well. Some of the baddies like Gareth the rugby player of the Italian opera singer Paverelli are very silly indeed.
Also, there are loads of secret levels and pick ups like pseedy boots to be found in chests which are littered throughout the levels. There are too card and trick bonuses to get your header around.
In the sound department, everything is absolutely Wembley as well. The tunes are beefy and vary through the different stages and for once you are not reaching for the volume knob to sack some cheesy tune.
Overall, the boy with the ball skill is going to score a triple hat-trick in the popularity stakes. He is awesomely animated, extremely playable and highly addictive.
So with seconds remaining on the click, it is Soccer Kid 10, other games of its ilk 0. The crowd are gonna live this flashy little Pele fellah. He oozes talent and personality, and I can see in years to come a career in TV doing holiday shows just like the loveable Mr Lineacre. Honestly footy fans, Soccer Kid is gonna having you doing keep-ups into extra time. It is a winner.