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Developer: Psygnosis OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Psygnosis 1-4 Player
Game Type: Sports Sim Memory Card
Review Date: June 1998 Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Adidas Power Soccer '98 is the third in the series from Psygnosis.  
The original was one of the first soccer games to appear on the Playstation 
and brought with it fairly good reviews, but this series has always been 
hounded by the fact that rival titles, such as FIFA and Actua, were always 
that one step ahead.

An upgraded version appeared during last year titled Power Soccer International 
'97 and offered an updated set of team statistics for the English Premier 
Division and four brand new European divisions.  Also included was a new 
tournament mode which allowed you to play your own version of Euro '96.

Both games were instantly recognizable through the Arcade mode that 
allowed the players to kick, punch, handball and unleash those 
unstoppable Predator shots.


Adidas Power Soccer '98 is a soccer game that has no shortage of 
teams to select from with 123 International and 209 top European clubs 
involved.  Unlike many other soccer games, real players and teams names 
are used with individual abilities set at realistic levels.

The Power Soccer range has sold over half a million units worldwide 
since its launch by Psygnosis in April 1996.


The game opens with a superb CG intro depicting our Power Soccer hero 
dreaming of taking part in this years Finals in France.  The movie lasts 
several minutes but is of such a high quality that you will find yourself 
watching this over and over again.  Allowing the CD to run a little 
further you will discover that there are several Adidas television 
advertisements on view that include many top international soccer stars.  
The futuristic Del Piero cloning match is a classic along with the famous 
Marcel Desailly demolition football ad.   

Following much criticism in the past of the slightly dated Power Soccer 
graphics it appears that Psygnosis have been back to the drawing boards 
and introduced a brand new game engine.  As we know from EA's FIFA 
experience this does not always provide immediate success but with 
perseverance the rewards will be reaped.  

Power Soccer '98 reminds me very much of FIFA '97.  Instead of last years 
under detailed stick men you now get big chunky motion captured animations 
wearing fully rendered realistic kits.  Now this is fine in my book but...  
unfortunately there is a big but and should be in capitals, so... 
BUT the players chug along at a snails pace slowing the game speed right down.  
To combat this problem there is a fast run button and once pressed the 
player in control goes into turbo mode and runs faster than Linford Christie 
chasing his lunch.  If only the balance had been tuned correctly between 
speed boost and normal play then Psygnosis could have been onto a winner.  
As it stands it's fingers on the turbo button or else you will eventually 
fall asleep.

Sounds and Effects

The background music is quite chirpy, which is just as well considering 
the amount of time you can spend in the massive options menu.
The game contains all the necessary crowd noises to help create the 
atmospheric conditions required at a football match while each contact 
with the ball provides an accurate sound representation of the act. 

Commentary is provided by top ITV sports presenter Brian Moore who once again 
summarizes and provides comments on play without grinding on your nerve ends.


One thing that Power Soccer 98 is definitely not short of is game options.  
If you want to play a tournament then how about this for selection:  
Champions League, World Cup 98, Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup, 
African Nations Cup, African Champions League, Copa Libertadores, 
Copa America or a specially selected world Top 30.  
There are 11 full seasons to play out from the scorching Brazilian 
Championship to the rather cooler Scottish Premier League.  
A practice mode allows you to hone in on your skills before entering 
a Friendly between any two of the available teams.

Thirty four unique stadiums provide the settings for the on-field competition. 
There are over 60 different moves that can be accomplished, some of which 
can be linked together to perform a combination of moves.

Gamers can select between varying levels of refereeing from 'blind' to 
'strict' and three difficulty settings. Match length varies between four 
and 30 minutes.  During the match in-game options allow you to change 
the strategy that your team uses, such as going on the defensive when 
you have captured the lead. You can change the way your team lines up 
through the formation option. You can also encourage your team to play 
more in certain areas of the field. Substitutions let you freshen the 
legs of your players or add skill levels that might be missing from your 
starting line up. From aggressiveness to skill with their right foot, 
every player was rated by a premier soccer journalist on eighteen unique 

There are four unique camera angles (side, virtual, dynamic, or isometric) 
to follow the action, and a completely moveable action replay camera so 
that you can follow your awesome goals from anywhere. 

Value for Money

If you enjoyed the leisurely pace of FIFA '97 then Power Soccer '98 
with it's multitude of gameplay options should provide fitting enjoyment.  
However, if you much prefer the speed and graphics of World Cup '98 then 
this game will sadly disappoint.
GRAPHICS: 14/20 Considering how many copies of the ultra-slow FIFA '97 sold there may just be a market out there for this title. Maybe not everyone wants to play their soccer games at breakneck speed, but I certainly do.

Hopefully lessons will be learned from this and we look forward to next years offering which should hopefully compare favorably with FIFA 99.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 15/20


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