By Al Giovetti, 03/21/97
Microsoft has jumped into the fray with a series of sports games. Some of the games like Microsoft Golf are wonderful games made by wonderful companies. Microsoft has also produced NBA Full Court Press Which does not quite measure up to the other offerings available. Which category will Microsoft Soccer fit into?
Company LineLace up your cleats and pull on your shinguards. Microsoft® Soccer delivers action so real, it hurts.
Put your skills to the test with head-to-head soccer action. Multiplayer competition lets you challenge your friends to a match over a network, modem-to-modem, or right at your PC. You can even customize your team’s style of play to give you a strategic edge.
Attack your opponents with mind-spinning moves and sophisticated team play. Aggressive slide tackles put a halt to opponents' surges, while an arsenal of kicks, traps, and headers leads your charge to the goal. Every maneuver is based on motion-captured player movements, giving you true-to-life soccer action.
Stunning high-resolution graphics deliver the action in unbelievable detail. Crowd chants and authentic game noises make you feel like you're out there on the field. Arriving this fall, Microsoft Soccer brings you the best in gaming for the Windows® 95 operating system. Customize your team. Edit team uniforms and other player features.
Microsoft Soccer plays in single game or advance to tournament competition mode. Be the coach by setting your own game strategy by choosing formations and plays. The game play is fast and furious, just the thing that gamers like. The game is easy to learn and play, another mark to the good of this game.
Zoom feature allows you to get closer to the action and see more details.
The computer artificial intelligence of the computer competition is to pat with players anticipating other players moves while your computer controlled players sometimes move along but others just stand there and foul up your play making. Poor AI marrs the product.
Be the best of 102 teams in four leagues, which lags behind FIFA Soccer 97 which has 225 teams in 12 leagues.
You choose from only two screen resolutions of 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 pixels. The choices force you to use higher powered PCs to make the game smooth. The graphics have less details and are cleaner than the competition.
AnimationMotion capture technology of real players creates authentic and smooth player movement, but not as smooth as FIFA Soccer 97. The animation of the bicycle kicks, headers, and other soccer moves is smooth and easy without any frame rate glitches or shudders. People can be seen dancing in the stands, since the crowd has real people in it not just a sea of moving colors.
Sound EffectsMicrosoft Soccer augments their digitized spectators with authentic crowd chants and noises immerse you in the game, including the fanatical "Ole', ole'" cheer. Players grunt and groan realistically when colliding on the field.
UtilitiesThe game has a player editor that can change fourteen character statistics and create new teams, which is not available in FIFA Soccer 97. The game works well with the Microsoft Sidewinder gamepad, but also works will Gravis, Suncom and CH Products Gamepads. A nice feature, a transparent automap is displayed in the upper left hand corner of the screen. The map keeps track of the locaion of all the other players on the field, which helps to increase situational awareness and is a nice innovation for this type of game. About time.
Multi-player FeaturesOne to four can play over modem (1-2), network (1-4), and internet (1-4).
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
JournalistsScott says that FIFA Soccer 97 is the best and leaves Microsoft Soccer in the dust.
ReferencesMicrosoft Soccer Web Pages Scott A. May, Computer Gaming World, issue 153, April, 1997, pg. 115, 40%.
Tom Hurley, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 11, April, 1997, pg. 70, 80%.