Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tecmo World Cup Super Soccer

Tecmo / Media Rings
Super CD-ROM

My curiosity is piqued whenever I see "Tecmo" at the beginning of a sports game's title, a phenomenon that exists only because of the brilliance of Tecmo Super Bowl, as many of the company's other endeavors within the genre resulted in utter awfulness. And I'm always up for trying Media Rings products, as they seldom fail to be interesting and sometimes achieve sleeper-level greatness; but porting a standard-looking soccer title didn't seem like a project that would grant the group much opportunity to showcase their ingenuity. What this means is that Tecmo World Cup Super Soccer intrigued me thanks to the names involved, but empirical evidence indicated a feast-or-famine result was imminent.

As it turns out, Tecmo Soccer is a rather middling title--playable and innocuous, sure... memorable, not in the least. It looks nice (except, perhaps, during gloomy rained-on matches), as it employs a small batch of bright colors and relatively large sprites. The animation is poor, and the scrolling, choppy; but the game still plays smoothly and at a decent (if not exactly exhilarating) pace. It isn't superior to the soccer games EA delivered for the Genesis, but it's solid in its own right, and it comes cheap.

There are a number of different nations you can represent, but the USSR isn't among them, unfortunately. I go with Argentina since it has always been like a second home to the Duomazovs.

Tinker with your formation before kick off. An offensive alignment really can help keep the ball in your opponent's zone, and you won't have to worry much about defense if you can maintain your assault. Once you've settled on a strategy, you can adjust the weather conditions.

This idiot wears the same outfit to every game regardless of said conditions.

Remember the old NHL Hockey games in which players would continually try to carry the puck down the rink sides to set up one-timers? The bicycle kick is Tecmo's one-timer and your best bet for scoring goals.

As in most other old sports games, playing goalkeeper is always an adventure.

Neat, I thought, a game where penalty kicks/shots don't employ the usual "fancy" close-up view. Then I remembered that the fancy close-up view is typically the only thing remotely cool about them.

Goals are appropriately hard to come by, so make them stand up. A single tally can prove decisive.

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