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Sensible World of Soccer '96/'97
  opened by paleface at 02:16:53 10/09/22  
  last modified by paleface at 12:23:17 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PC; cat=Sports; reg=EUR]

Trying to get the hang of Sensible World of Soccer '96/'97 on PC! 'p'
Seems to be regarded as the height of a popular British game series which, as a US Amiga owner, I always saw mentioned in revered tones in my dwindling magazine but never encountered in the few stores carrying Amiga games in my major metropolitan area. Charming match presentation and appealingly simple controls, but your AI team mates are clueless about off-the-ball movement and no character short of a world-class striker can keep the ball at their feet while turning, or kick it past a goalie.
So, get a team with a world-class striker, ping-pong the ball up-field to them via lightning-fast tap passes--hoping your players happen to be lurking in roughly orthogonal positions--and fire a solo shot upon which the opposing team's goalie AI may or may not elect to pounce. Opposing team attempts same vs your goalie AI; repeat until whistle. A "90 minute" match shoots by in 4 minutes of real time.
The passing seems to be key but the very fleeting exchanges and heavy reliance upon one-note AI aren't encouraging of further practice. After a few hours vs the CPU, I could win if I played a world champion team vs a third-division team from a smaller country, so I guess I've pretty much mastered it. [_[
Career mode is handy for providing a succession of matches--I started by trying to work my way up in the Albanian league, which went very poorly--but aside from the matches--messy ping-pong affairs with very non-world-class players, in my case--it consisted mainly of swapping out injured players, a tedious and confusing chore I wish I could have opted to automate. Minimal feedback on player status is provided, with the game seeming to assume that you have memorized every shortcut key, abbreviation, and largely identical tiny player. I was a terrible coach.
The game is $2-6 from and runs in a 640x480 DOSBox screen (640x400 active area). I couldn't get it to recognize my Windows-compatible Hori Real Arcade Pro V PS3/PS4 arcade stick, so I used the Windows 3rd-party "JoyToKey" utility to map the 4 movement keys and single action key to the stick, and that worked fine.

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