Great Soccer

3/11/2013 8:02:18 AM

By Tommy

I have lots of RetroCopy themes waiting to get online, and one of them is Great Soccer.

Download theme which can be used in RetroCopy v1.0: (2.53 MB)

"Great Soccer" is one of the very first games released for the Mark III in Japan, in 1985. It is also one of the smallest games (32 KB), released on a card in both Japan and Europe (must not be confused with "World Soccer", which was released as "Great Soccer" in the U.S.). Being the first soccer game released for the system, it holds up quite well against later Master System soccer games, which weren't THAT much better, even though they are much larger. That being said, "Great Soccer" is in no way a fantastic game.

The pitch is very small, and actually there are only five players on each team. Maybe you could say it's five-a-side football. Also the game is very slow, so if the field was any larger it would take forever to reach the opponent's goal. It still feels very slow though, and the screen isn't able to scroll so that the ball is always in the middle of the screen. Instead you either see the top of the field, the middle, or the bottom. When the ball gets close to the edge, the screen moves so that you see another part of the field. This can be a bit annoying as you reach the opponent's goal. Often when the screen moves and you can see the goal, it's too late to shoot.

Passing the ball is also very difficult, and another problem is you control both outfield players and the goalkeeper at the same time, which often brings the keeper out of position.

"Great Soccer" has its charm though, and it reminds me of a time when life was much simpler. You can't select which team you want to be, but does it really matter? In "Great Soccer" it's just red against blue, and you can play against the computer or against a friend. As simple as that. And trying to get the players to do what you want is a fun challenge, rather than being frustrating. So I like the game in some ways, even though it's very simplistic and probably didn't take too long to make. There are better soccer games for the Master System, but as this was the first, it deserves some recognition.

As the game is so simplistic, I once again tried to make my RetroCopy v1.0 theme simplistic as well, and at the same time look cool. The background is just an overhead view of a football field, similar to the game, but with some nice effects put on top. For the right and left item I chose to use a silhouette of a football player, as perhaps Sega would have done if they had made this theme in 1985. The players in the game have no names, neither do the teams - it's just red against blue, so my silhouette player is also just some generic random football/soccer player.

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