Sunday, July 26, 2015

Team



Jumpers For Goalposts

Team is a soccer game released late in the day by a dedicated company called Impact Software in 1995. Specifically developed by Ralph Lovesy for the Atari STe, it makes full use of the enhanced hardware often ignored by commercial companies: extra colours, 50fps hardware scrolling, Blitter and DMA audio. Wow!! O_o

If I'm honest, I feel unqualified to review Team as I'm not a soccer fan. However, from what I have played, I was impressed. I'm hardly a convert but I did enjoy running around the pitch and having a good kick about! But not knowing the game's technicalities stopped me from progressing further. Interestingly, there is a friendly mode that displays much of the game's styles and playability, like passing, tactics, tackles... Hmm, sounds fun?

Well, it is and I've really enjoyed playing this pointless game of runaround. The tactics and strategy elements are limited with little beyond picking your team and whether you'd like it muddy and windy. But who would wanna play any kind of Football Manager? Erm, forget I said that! Anyhow, as an arcade/sports game, it's ace. Really enjoyable with fast, responsive and accurate action. If you're a footy fan, then I'm sure you'll love it. I know I did.



Check out this video record dear soccer fans of the world!


Graphics!

Check out these two images, below, which cunningly displays just what Team has hidden up its sleeve? Yep, overscan is used to drastically increase the playable area massively. Oddly, the footballer's sprites are quite small but their movements are fast and the screen is fluently moving at a smooth 50fps. But, from what I've seen of most other footy games, this is pretty normal. I suppose it wouldn't work very well if they had giants on the pitch!

Animations are fine and the pitch colours are deep and strong. Plus there's both a great and subtle use of colour and style throughout the menus which works really well. But, come on, all the gameplay is in overscan... Amazing. Once again, the Atari STe proves itself. Kudos to the skill and commitment of Ralph Lovesy.


The left image is captured at the standard resolution of 320x200 whereas the game is played in overscan!


Plink Plonk Sounds?

Sound effects are good - when you hear them. Perhaps that's the norm in these types of games, but I found the stadiums eerily lacking in atmosphere and ambience. It's annoyingly silent for most of the game. Okay, there are kicking effects and the odd Ref whistle blow but it's pretty lame and a lot more was needed. Like the roar of the crowd being played more frequently. I don't know, but it's the weakest part of the game which is a shame.

Thankfully, the music is excellent with cheesy MOD music throughout the menus. It's tacky but in stereo with the tracker routines developed by a familiar name from the Atari ST demoscene - GRIFF. Excellent!!



The front cover was... different... and the back of the box isn't much better ;-)


The CryptO'pinion?

Overall, I had lots of fun which shocked me because I hate soccer! Whether it's better than Kick Off or Sensible Soccer, I really couldn't say. But, I will say this, as a hater of this boring game, Team was seriously entertaining so take it for a kickabout and try it for yourself. If I can enjoy footy then I reckon anyone can...

Take it for a kickabout and I'm sure you'll enjoy it so let me know what you think in the comments below.


- DOWNLOADS -

Download from 8bitchip which has been adapted for HDD!
Old Games Finder has access to floppy disk images.
Team's author, Ralph Lovesy, was interviewed for Maggie #16.

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