Sensible World of Soccer Review (Xbox360)

In the world of video game football we have come a long way since the days where Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer battled it out for supremacy. Modern football games now bust a gut to provide the most realistic and fully life like rendering of the beautiful game. Back then it was all about fizzle action that was often more akin to a game of ping pong than football itself. But what those games lacked in appearance and simulation was made up for in exuberance. They were simply great fun to play.

So it's with some relish that we got our hands on a review copy of Sensible World of Soccer on the 360. For 800 Microsoft points you can download a somewhat updated version of the old Amiga and SNES classic. Every aspect of the original game is reproduced on your 360 right down to the old time pixelated graphics and short clipped sound effects.

They think it's all over! HD Graphics never looked so retro!

It is testament to the quality of the original game that even without the updated graphics its quality and sheer fun shines through. If you remember playing the original you will soon be back in the saddle knocking out your favourite attacks and goals. If you didn't play the original it is likely to take a little longer to get going. There are a few odd features that players of more modern games will need to adjust to. The ball doesn't stick to your team's feet as we have become used to. Also you have a ridiculous level of after touch control; enabling you to literally bend your passes and shots right around the opposition.

To this classic formula is added not a few new features. First of all are the updated graphics. If you don't want to stomach the pixelated mess that was the best the 16-bit era could muster, the game provides a new HD mode that provides an updated visual experience. The players are still cute and small, but they are here rendered in all their vector based glory. Not only does this provide more rounded and anti-aliased images, it also enabled you to zoom in and out of the action at will. A simple tap of the right analogue stick takes the camera in and out of the on-pitch action.

Cover up lads! Mind bending goals.

The other new features in this version of Sensible World of Soccer is a none-too-shabby online mode that enables you to not only compare results and performances with you Xbox Live friends, but also to stump up for a head-to-head battle. Although the quality of the online play can sometimes suffer a little lag, in the main we found it to be a decent provision. The simple joy of challenge old rivals to a game more than compemnsates for any infrequent drop-out.

Overall, what could have been something of a confused update to an old classic actually turns out to be a pretty good release. Only the slightly inflated price gives us slight cause for pause. Barring this, both new and existing players of Sensible World or Soccer will find that classic football game buzzing beneath this Xbox Live release.

Instant r-r-r-replay What a save!

Favorite Game Moment
Seeing you tiny team charge onto the pitch again, and in high definition, is an experience that every seasoned gamer will enjoy. This is made all the sweeter for those (like us) who remember back to the original release.

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