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This isn't a FIFA Football Game. This is much much better. Bring on the Fever Pitch!

Posted by Invisible on Dec 3, 2010 23:02 (Dec 3, 2010 23:02)

Let me tell you a story. 

One million years ago, okay well in 1994 EA brought a football game called FIFA International Soccer. It was isometric it was well animated, had proper crowd sounds, beautifully presented but really played like a dog. Passing was impossible and long ball or rather shooting substituting as long ball as was pretty much order of the day.

Accurate it was not, but. it was very successful because of what it did and the hype around it and spawned the franchise that is either liked or loathed depending on who you talk to. The first sequel was Fifa'95, it ditched the very well done graphics from the first game and still didnt fix the playabilty it was less polished and was well erm shit for want of a better word.

However Fifa was not the only isometric kid on the block. Oh no, not by a long way Accolade tried and failed miserably with Pele and Pele II ( not awful awful but flawed majorly) and US Gold with one of their last ever releases came up with Fever Pitch Soccer. In the years building up to this arcade football, and Iam assuming it was arcade games that were responsible for Fever Pitch's creation had taken a somewhat cartoony effect. Euro Champ and even the semi serious Neo Geo ones Super Side Kicks, Goal Goal Goal and so on had elements that were sensationalist. Fever Pitch took these to new heights and then some.

So when you heat up Fever Pitch (FPS from now on) you are presented with some fantastic music and taken straight to the menu. The easiest way to play is to select an exhibition match and get ready for a suprise!

Yes, that's right you are taken to a menu where you are allowed to pick you team what type of pitch you want to play on and your opposition the teams formations and star players are noted. From there you can choose which player wants to pick which team and so on. Once that's done you are sent straight to the isometric view point and the game is to begin.

Straightforward so far huh? It gets a lil crazy from then on in

The star players I alluded to before are what makes the game in this stage,. There are several different types including the Diver based seemingly on Attilo Lombardo who at the push of a button will dive to try and con the ref for a free kick or the Tricky midfielder who looks like Carlos Valderama with his massive hair who can jump with the ball to evade tackles. This is where FPS really comes to the fore.

Unlike Fifa with its identikit players ( who would remain so for some time) The players in Fever Pitch look different, yes there are stock players and when you have a number of the same stars things can get samey, but in terms of a football game this was a radical change at the time as before hand all players were seemingly identikit with just colour changes to mark any difference.With that bombshell covered you then have the fact that these players have special powers, and can do some funky things with the ball including flame shots that really do brighten up the game.

It isn't a bog standard football game, that's for certain. With the cartoony, arcadey aspect you may expect a game that doesn't flow, but much like the frankly brilliant Sega Soccer Slam, the game mechanics haven't been ignored the ball zips around at a fair pace, you can volley, header, cross and most importantly zip passes around quite easily, this isnt the plod that Fifa can become.

Unlocking a defence can be done a number of ways and whether you have a team of stars or a team with out any the game itself is a fantastic play. Attention to detail is key and the game genuinely has some of the best free kick mechanics I've ever seen. Brilliant yet simple.

When there is a direct shot on goal, you have a ball icon to set where you want the ball to curve to and then once you have pressed fire again you will have the option to set height and distance by using the same football icon. Free kicks have seldom looked so good in a game and wannabe Beckham's Baggio's and Roberto Carlos's can have field days coming up with some frankly outrageous free kicks.
Simple yet amazing, none of this twizzling sticks for spin or whatever useless thing they have come with thus far.

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