Company: Alpha Denshi
Controller: Two-button joystick.
Early 80s, the videogame industry is growing, with the associated pains, primary in Japan and the United States, so in sports titles, baseball ones were the most common, but the ones about the most practiced sport in the rest of the world, association football, were more scarse at the time. However, there were some efforts, and in some cases really good ones, to try to sell those videogames in other parts of the world like Europe or Latin America. The company Alpha Denshi, which we have written before, tries its luck with a title for this sport.
The game has a vertical view of the field, which is quite colorful and the players move with good pace. The virtual footballer under control of the player appears surrounded with a square, which functions to distinguish it from the others, but with the con of being hard to distinguish when there are near a lot of other virtual footballers either from the same team or from the rival.
A novel feature of the game is that some rules of the sports are applied, which I don’t remember see in others of the time, like the corner kicks, throw ins or goal kicks. I don’t know if fouls are implemented too, because I tried too many times to do one with no avail. It’s possible to see cheerleaders near the goals, even, you can hear some synthetic voice announcing a certain play like a goal kick or scoring.
The control schema is quite simple, with the joystick the player can move the highlighted virtual footballer, pressing one button it can pass the ball or change to another player if it does not have the ball (a de facto standard currently, again, it’s not the first time of its use in a game from this company), and with the other button you can shoot to the goal (having the ball) or sliding as a deffensive maneuver. While shooting at the goal, behind the rival goal appears a moving arrow that moves constantly, which can be disorienting at first, but it’s possible to make crossing shots.
In case of a tie in the score, the match is decided in penalty kicks. If the videoplayer loses the game, it’s game over, otherwise, you advance to a match against a harder team. The videogame offers six teams to choose from:
- West Germany
- United Kingdom
There are different versions of the game, where according to which part of the world was the game sold, the teams can chang. You can play as either Japan or the United States instead of Austria, or even Italy.
The game had a sequel, which came two years later, with the extremely original name of Exciting Soccer II, with the following changes:
- The title has a “II” at the beginning
- Japan instead of Austria, always.
- New music
Aside from that, the game is practically the same, in playability and fficulty. That practice was common for that company.
Funny and enjoyable game with powerful teams at the time. Very recommended for a quick match.