Diary of a Game
World Cup Carnival Zzap Review
• US Gold £9.95 cassette, £14.95 disk, one or two joysticks
The World Cup is happening at this very moment, and if that isn't enough, here'S US Gold's World Cup Carnival so you can play your own footy matches in between watching the real ones. What the program does is allow you to set up your own little world cup tournament starting from the quarter finals. When the program loads you're asked to input the number of players and their choice of teams. Once that's been sorted out the computer takes control of any other teams remaining and the footy matches can begin proper.
WCC plays similarly to International Soccer, being viewed panoramically in 3D with the game played over a three screen long pitch which scrolls with the ball. At the beginning of the match the two teams beetle out of the dressing room and make their way to their various positions on the pitch. When they're all ready the match begins. You're given control over the man nearest the ball and you can move him anywhere on the pitch. If the ball falls to his feet he automatically dribbles it until you press the fire button, which makes him kick it. The opponent's player can steal the ball when it's in your possession by simply running into you, forcing you to have to steal the ball back. If the ball isn't in your possession and the fire button is pressed control is handed to the player nearest the ball (useful if your man currently under control is far away from the ball).
When your opponent gets the ball anywhere near the goal your goalkeeper is automatically under your control, allowing you to make him dive left or right. Set pieces such as corners, throw-ins and goal kicks are automatically taken for you by a helpful team mate, although penalties are taken by the player. The game is played over a simulated 90 minutes with a short break at half time. When the match finishes your score is shown along with the others and you're put through to the next round if you qualify. The game continues in the same way through the semi finals to the finals, the winner of which is shown a representation of the Jules Rimet cup and proclaimed the winner.
Along with WCC comes some impressive and very glossy packaging. First there's a poster informing you of lots of World Cup trivia. There's also a free competition for you can enter with a CD player as first prize, a World Cup wallchart and stickers, poster size instructions and a World Cup sew-on badge.
World Cup Carnival is here at last, and what a load of complete and utter crud it is. I thought that US Gold had something really special for us football fans, but no. Just a recycled copy of Artic's pathetic World Cup II. The game plays so incredibly badly it's not true — when you have a player under your control, the rest of your team mates don't move a muscle — they just stand there like dummies. The set pieces taken by other players are a complete joke — they just bung or kick the ball completely at random giving you no chance to play properly. Speaking of playability the whole game is incredibly simple and I whizzed through the rounds and won the world cup with ease — an ardent International Soccer fan would have even less trouble. The graphics are awful with totally pathetic animation and wobbly scrolling and the ball moves like it was filled with water. The sound is pathetic too and the tune which plays throughout the game is annoying, repetitive, unimaginative and abysmal. Even if you're a football fan don't go out and buy this hyped drivel, get International Soccer instead, it's infinitely better.
Commodore's International Soccer is great, which is more than can be said for the real thing. I don't like football. And I don't like World Cup Carnival either. Crap is a word that sprang to mind many a time while I was playing it. The graphics are, on the whole, crap. Twenty two chunky hunchbacks hobble around a football pitch with seismic problems, whilst a random selection of pixels pretends to be a crowd — and rather badly at that. Ugh. The music played throughout the game is also crap, and would make Rob Hubbard turn in his proverbial grave. But the crappiest thing about World Cup Carnival is the game itself, which is basically Artic's World Cup II with a few minor changes. Beneath the glossy wallchart and cloth badge ('ooh look, mummy, please can you sew it on?') packaging there is, quite simply, a pile of crap which you could smell a mile off. Avoid this game at all costs.
If you have any idea what should go in this box, please let me know! :)