Heavy Smash (Arcade)

Foreword

Handball is an awesome sport, which despite staying in the Olympic Games for decades, it’s until the 90s when gets enough popularity outside Europe. Trying to measure the popularity of this sport in other countries, the company Data East creates a videogame about this sport, but with many differences when compared to the real sport. This was justified saying that the videogame has a futuristic setting.

Datafile

Company: Data East
Year: 1993
Platform: Arcade
Controller: Joystick de 3 botones.

Game

You can’t touch this goalkeeper’s area.

Considering that handball shares a lot of features with football (specifically, with football association) like running through a field trying to put a ball into a goal, guarded by a rival player. Actually, it’s pretty simple starting to play, with one button you shoot to the goal, with other pass the ball to a teammate, and with the las one, jump.

One of the most known plays in handball, is jumping and throwing the ball towards the rival goal. Even if in this game is not mandatory, it looks really good, that aspect is really well made. Passing to a teammate is intuitive, along with changing players to move another one.

The fields change according to the team. It can change the appearance of the time (from samurais, american football players or roman legionaires) alongside futuristic elements.

Vistoso el disparo a portería, eso es definitivo.

Being the 90s, of course there are extravagant visual displays, when a power bar (located at the top of the screen) is at maximum, the shoot to the goal has an energetic effect which is more flashy than useful. However, it’s the opposite with a power used when defending, to stun a rival player using the shoot button.

Finally, there are other elements which are not allowed in a real handball match, like doing a bycicle kick from football association. When a tie, an overtime is played, and if ends in tie, the player loses the match and it’s game over.

When beating all the other teams, the videoplayer must face another team made of evil red robots, and if winning, now the game has been beaten.

Teams

In versions outside Asia, South Korea is replaced by Spain. That explain why when using Spain, the players are ninjas.

Probably the videogame designers took inspiration from football association powerhouses, or known in their continent, or appearing in previous videogames of that sport. Example, Italy only has appeared in one Handball World Championship and that was after the videogame was released. Brazil is not exactly the top powerhouse of South America in that sport, even if appeared in many World Championships.

Funny, South Korea has been the top powerhouse in Asia in Olympics, winning gold medals in female competitions.

Every team has different pros and cons, actually we recommend starting the game with a classic balanced team, like England or Spain/South Korea. The skills to consider are speed, offense and defense.

Epilogue

The videogame is entertaining, and probably the first one of something related to handball. We comment this, because it looks more like a football association one with small changes to pass it as one of handball.

The first one, oficially of handball was IHF Handball Challenge 12 from the german company Neutron Sports.

It catches my attention the ideas during the end of the previous century on how would be the future evolution in sports. It’s not the only title where robots and women were treated as equals to men in a sport.

References

Console Icon taken from Retroarch.

Sport icon designed by Vectors Market of Flaticon.

EstadioRetro

Informatic guy and fan of retro videogaming. Mexican and spanish. I like to drink good coffee. My favorite sport is baseball, but I like to watch others.

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