The old school Amiga 500 game makes a
welcomed return on the PC in Speedball 2 Tournament that is set in the distant
future where blood sport is a number one game. Ironically, the game
looks almost identical to its distant predecessor but it now
features 21st century graphics with a twist here and there to make
this one of the most original games in a long time. However all this
renaissance comes at a price.
The storyline still revolves the clichéd tales of the 90's where
street gangs rule the streets and play the blood sport called
Speedball in order to control the streets.It's camp, it's cliché and
it's pure 90's cheese but at the end of the day, it actually goes
towards the enjoyment of the title.
Speedball also offers single
play (e.g. league and cup) and even two player action on the same PC
which is true retro gaming. Best of all is the multiplayer aspect of
the title that almost makes up for the flaws of the game ad nothing
is more enjoyable than violent pummeling your opponents or friends.
My first issue with Speedball 2 Tournament was the installation
process, thanks to the developers using the online verification
system called Steam. Although I installed the game from the CD, I
had to download a plethora of updates and additions in order to make
the game work.
Once installed, Speedball 2 Tournament is a strange beast that is
quite a lethargic creature when it comes to load times, even though
we had a Quad Core processor with 4GB of RAM that created some
discord among our staff. Once loaded, our staff were brought back to
a simpler time that was fraught with nostalgia and entertainment.
Apart from the graphics, the game has hardly changed and still
features all the thrills and excitement of the Speedball franchise
that feels like the gamer is playing a futuristic soccer game with
no holds barred.
As with soccer, the main point of Speedball 2
Tournament is maneuver the ball into your opponents goal by using a
variety of means possible, match that with some futuristic powerups
and it's almost as you are playing Fifa with swords.
The control system of Speedball 2 Tournament definitely requires a
controller and if you attempt to play it with the keyboard, you are
in a whole world of hurt and frustration. Still, nothing is more
enjoyable than knocking your opponents across the field as fight
your way into the opponents goal. Every now and then, the control
system seems a little forced and sometimes difficult and we're not
sure whether that is the programming or our gaming skills.
Graphically, Speedball 2 Tournament is a little dated on the PC and
is quite resource hungry in the graphics department that requires
quite a powerful CPU and graphics card to play the title at high
resolution. The game is reminiscent of the original with its
top-down view and bulky characters. There are a variety of shadow
effects and lighting in the game to assist in the illusion of a
futuristic blood sport but at the end of the day, it seems like it is
a few years behind. There are also a variety of different stadiums
in the game to liven things up which assist the gamer in being drawn
into this futuristic world gone mad.
In conclusion, Speedball 2 Tournament
is an interesting game that also has a great price point. The only
downside of the title is the horrible installation process and
sometimes antiquated gameplay. Definitely a title for the lovers of
the original or for those seeking a different type of sports game.