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Liberogrande is possibly the only football series I have known since European Soccer on the old Amiga system that lets the gamer become so totally immersed in the action in this manner. This is achieved by allowing the gamer to virtually tie on the boots of a chosen player from a selected International team and then take him onto the field of play. So instead of gaining control of any team member nearest the ball you must now move your ‘solo’ player into space and then call out for a pass.
Before taking part in a match I would recommend first checking out the options and settings. Sadly there are no real name players so I’m afraid it requires a lengthy trawl through the ‘player name edit’ screen if you prefer to add that further touch of realism. As real names are only icing on the cake it would be suggested that your attention be diverted towards the match settings. Rather than have block difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard) the player in your control, teammates and CPU opponent can be individually tweaked to perfection. For example, the opposition could be set at very hard difficulty, your player could be set on easy control with your teammates on semi-automatic (they will shoot and tackle according to AI, but you can issue them orders).
Now its time to select a player to control for the entire game. Striker, winger, midfield, defense or goalkeeper? The choice is yours. Most players will undoubtedly choose a forward (as we all love to score goal’s), but you’ll be surprised how much enjoyment can be gained from the other positions. A defender must not only mark out the opposition’s main striker, but also try to push up and bring the offside trap into play. Whatever you decide try not to run the player too far out of their zone. It is possible for a goalkeeper to dribble up the entire pitch and score a brilliant goal, however should he lose the ball mid-way, then there will be little chance to get back to his line leaving a totally unguarded goal.
There have been quite a few changes in the visual department since Namco’s first attempt at third person soccer and most of them are for the better. Rather than huge chunky polygons the players now have more of a grainy sprite appearance. This allows the frame rate to keep moving along at a fast flowing rate, which is a massive improvement over the last effort. On the downside I found the camera angle to be slightly disorientating. I found that constantly watching the ball while marking a player left me feeling slightly dizzy and I constantly had to take breaks from playing (unusual experience for me).
The crowd sounds are adequate being a constant noise of drum bashing, cheering and chanting supporters. Other effects have taken into account the third person perspective as each touch and bounce of the ball gradually fades as the play moves away from your position. There is again no commentary, which is fine by me considering the usual crazy character employed to comment on these types of arcade soccer games.
· SCEE bring us the second Playstation conversion of the Namco Arcade hit, Libero Grande.
· Third person perspective soccer game
· International teams including England, Brazil, France and Germany
· Game modes include:
· Exhibition; the single match mode that allows you to play alone or with/against another player.
· Liberogrande Cup; A tournament mode with 32 teams
· International Cup; A tournament starting with a preliminary league of 4 teams in 8 groups, plus a knockout stage for the qualifying teams.
· World League; a league with 32 World teams
1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
2 way split screen multi-player option
Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility
REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:
We promise that we have fully played 'Liberogrande International' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)
00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.
70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.
A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.
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