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Thread: Best SMS Soccer game?

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Master System Best SMS Soccer game?

    The Sega Master System had an impressive eleven year run of soccer games, from the earliest 1985 Great Soccer to the late 1996 FIFA conversion. I'd like to see them re-appraised and ranked best to worst. Here's the 11 titles in question:

    (01) Oct. 1985 Great Soccer [Sega] 128KB
    (02) Jul. 1987 World Soccer / Super Futebol [Sega] 128KB
    (03) 1990 World Cup Italia '90 / Super Futebol II [Sega] 128KB
    (04) 1991 Super Kick Off [Tiertex, original by Anco] 256KB, cpuvscpu, cooperative
    (05) 1992 - Champions of Europe [TecMagik] 256KB, cpuvscpu
    (06) 1993 Sensible Soccer [Eurocom, original by Sensible] 128KB, cpuvscpu
    (07) 1993 Tecmo World Cup '93 [SIMS] 256KB, passwords, cpuvscpu, from GG Kick & Rush
    (08) 1993 Ultimate Soccer [Rage Software] 256KB, cpuvscpu
    (09) 1994 World Cup USA 94 [Tiertex] 512KB, passwords, cpuvscpu
    (10) Jun. 1994 - 94 Super World Cup Soccer [Open Corp.] (Korea) 256KB
    (11) Oct. 1996 - FIFA International Soccer [Tiertex] (Brazil) 512KB, passwords, GG port

    Let's the fight begin.

  2. #2
    Master of Shinobi
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    Well surely Sensible is the one that benefits the most from the system's limitations...
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    WCPO Agent segarule's Avatar
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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: usually when it comes to 16bit era, Sensible Soccer wins the contest by default, on every platform it has landed.

    The Master System might just be the exception to that rule, and that's because Eurocom's port of Sensible is supposedly quite poor:

    http://www.swos247.beebgames.com/sensifaq.php#Console

    This may place Super Kick Off on the podium: the "Super" 16bit versions (MD-SNES) were critically panned at time, but the Sega 8bit version isn't based on them, but rather on the Amiga original. The Tiertex conversion is considered quite good.

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    I remembered buying Sensible Soccer back in the day having previously owned it for the ST.
    How they managed to mess it up I donít know but they did. It just plays.....off.
    I also had Champions of Europe which I didnít like either. Iíve yet to play a good Ďsoccerí game and the Master System but Iíve not tried the FIFA port.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Okay let's give some statistics in order to help the thread gain momentum.

    The 1985 card version, or "Great" should technically be dismissed right away since it plays in teams of 5vs5 plus goalie, making this more a Futsal than a soccer simulation.

    Same with World Soccer (1987): it's still played 5 vs 5, but offers eight teams (Argentina, West Germany, France, Brazil, UK, Italy, US and Japan), each with their own national anthem.

    Italia '90 offers a quantum leap in quality, since it has 30 teams and a World Cup mode. It's however played in 7vs7 plus goalie.

    The first real soccer game on the SMS is thus Kick Off, offering real matches of 11vs11 players. Not only the teams have the correct size but you have national leagues, world leagues, friendly matches, weather and pitch conditions, formation tactics, choice of referee, and extra time. You cannot, however, simulate a real match in length, as you can have maximum two times of twenty minutes each.
    Last edited by Aleste; 08-31-2019 at 01:09 PM.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    UEFA's 1992 Champions of Europe has some good spritework, and I like the idea of sprites talking via balloons. The game however, is notoriously broken. It has 34 european teams.

    Sensible Soccer
    can be played with just one button, as in the computer original (something that isn't possible alas in the Megadrive version iirc), has lots of teams to select from, national and international, weather and pitch conditions, eight formation tactics, and matches that can last from three to seven minutes.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    The 1993 SIMS ("Tecmo") game offers 24 teams, a world cup mode which can be reprised via paswords, four possible formation tactics, teams of 11vs11, a good soundtrack and an "arcade" approach. I suppose it's an oddity and cool to see the SMS trying the lateral view that will make ISS so popular in future. However, the pitch is definitely too small (and the soccer ball too big!) and being this out-of-proportion does hurt the game overall.

    The quite late 1994 Korean entry is another arcade oddity, with some nice graphics scenes but definitely outdated. It seems to draw much of its setup from the 1987 World Soccer. It's again a 5vs5 affair. 24 teams to choose from.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One
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    On my hacked SFC, I only see "Super Kick Off" listed from this group, but I haven't played it recently. I do remember briefly playing Sensible Soccer on SMS, and found it horrible (esp. after playing the 16-bit Genesis version).

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Please note however that despite sharing the title and brand, the 8 and 16bit version are often entirely rewritten, with fundamental changes like ball physics.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Great Soccer is amazing fun with the best Over-head kicks in any footy game LOL, it's my fav
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    Pirate King Phantar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleste View Post
    UEFA's 1992 Champions of Europe has some good spritework, and I like the idea of sprites talking via balloons. The game however, is notoriously broken.
    Has anyone personal experience with the issues regarding Champions of Europe? Because I never came upon the supposed bugs the game is allegedly notorious for: scoring an own goal (which is harder to accomplish than it sounds by the way, since the goalie will automatically defend regardless of who shoots at the goal) did not count towards my team, nor did a draw during the knockout stages lead in my team advancing regardless. (/edit: I have also checked contemporary reviews, and so far I haven't found a single one mentioning these issues back in the day). It seems to me like this is one of these cases where someone started a rumor that just keeps being circulated without truly being verified (either that or there are two different revisions of the game). At least I never managed to recreate the issues this game is allegedly notorious for.
    Last edited by Phantar; 11-29-2020 at 10:05 AM.
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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One zilogandmoto's Avatar
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    I just picked up World Cup Italia 90, Super Kick Off and Champions of Europe, but haven't played any of them yet. Grabbed FIFA from Brazil earlier this year, and thought I would never get it due to how bad COVID got down there.

    As far as Great Soccer/World Soccer goes, I actually prefer the original Great Soccer. Yeah, it's a tiny, simple game, but it was more fun to me than Great/World Soccer.

    Also, I had issues playing Great/World Soccer with the sport controller, and I was never sure if that was because I was playing on the Genesis with a PBC or not. Need to try it again now that I have an actual Master System as well.

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