Thursday, March 19, 2009

Human Sports Festival

Super CD-ROM

This disc contains three separate sports games, so I might as well break 'em down individually:

Final Match Tennis Ladies is the girlie counterpart to what is probably the most well-beloved PC Engine tennis game. Perspective-wise, the action is reminiscent of World Court Tennis', but the gameplay is much tighter and more enjoyable than WCT's. Still, the game is a little "dinky," and I prefer the more realistic feel and presentation of Davis Cup. But FMTL is certainly fun and fast paced, and it should be a treat for anyone who thinks WCT is even remotely playable. It easily could have stood on its own as a worthwhile HuCard.

Formation Soccer Human Cup '92 makes a poor first impression with horribly repetitive music and a cumbersome control scheme that has you press Run both to switch from one player to another and to select a teammate to pass to. Once you've got the controls down, the game isn't exactly terrible, but it can be quite boring, as you have to spend a lot of time simply fighting for the ball. Halftime is the highlight, as you can change the channel on a monitor that the contest is being "watched" on and check out other stuff like wrestling matches and Human's weather channel. It's pretty amusing (once).

Fine Shot Golf was a pleasant surprise. The gameplay is tight, and everything that needs to be done in setting up and taking a shot is made convenient for the player. The holes get pretty tricky but never stupidly so. I'm sure that some golf-game aficionados will find it too simple and easy, but it fits the bill fine for me as an enjoyable pick-up-and-play title. The graphics are definitely on the simplistic side (you never actually see a guy swing and hit the ball; it just sort of takes off on its own), but the jazzy music is surprisingly good and actually reminds me of Langrisser's soundtrack at times. This game manhandles Power Golf.

So the disc gives you two good games, and since it's extraordinarily cheap (often five bucks or less), it's easily recommendable to players who have even the slightest interest in tennis or golf sims.

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