Review by Millers C

"Actua Shocker"

Actua Soccer is essentially an updated version of the disappointing Euro 96, with all the premiership teams from the 1997-1998 season included.

Looking back on this game in comparison to the pace setters of this genre we can see that it is painfully dated. For instance, the game struggles along at a horribly slow pace, with the players taking a mind numbingly slow time to dribble across the pitch.
This is a problem that World League Soccer and Sega Worldwide Soccer 98 have managed to alleviate and I was disappointed Gremlin didn't really improve on this area. If a soccer game is slow paced, it isn't going to get very far and Actua Soccer just doesn't have the feel of a decent realistic soccer game either.

The players hover around the pitch on yellow circles which morph into triangles indicating that a pass in that direction is "on". Soccer is a simple game. This feature despite seeming like a good idea can become a little too confusing and unnecessarily complicated and it's just not realistic enough.

The players themselves are sparsely detailed and poorly animated. The goal nets resemble wire mesh and look far too small whilst the pitches are varied at least, and look fairly impressive. Gremlin have gone into stat overload with this game, cataloguing a myriad of useless trivia in the games menus - interesting if you want to know how many times Man United have won the Premiership, although of little interest to anyone else. As far as game modes and options go, this game is far too limited In that you can only choose between playing exhibition matches or the full league mode. A little bit of variety - after peering at the plethora of options available on World League Soccer - would have gone a long way. The lack of international sides in this game is disappointing, despite this being the "Club Edition" - but again this game is far too limited for a genre which thrives on variety.

Comparing this game with World League Soccer, a game released several years later may seem a tad bit unfair, however writing this review after playing both games in the future is an affordable luxury. This game is a major disappointment, a shoddy and dated game engine complete with dodgy physics, poor graphics and a drought of options result in Actua Soccer being an absolute mess. This was the last Actua game to be released on the Saturn, and we can certainly see why.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/05


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