|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||ADIDAS POWER SOCCER '98|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|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 characteristics. 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.
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.