103 of 111 people (93%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
I wish there were a "depends" recommendation option for this.
For people familiar with the Amiga classic, yes I reccomend this - for nostalgia if little else. It's billed as a HD version of the original. It's not. It's a copy of the original, but not a totally faithful copy. The feel is fairly different, including but not limited to:
In the original you were limited to 8 directions for throwing the ball. Speedball 2 HD has some kind of auto-aiming which I think is worse because it is requires less skill.
Substitutes never seem to run out (you had 2 in the original and after that you had less players)
The AI is worse - it practically ignores the scoring multiplier and the stars (AI is a lost art form in modern gaming)
There are other things that can be annoying. Player auto selection can be infuriating and unpredictable. It is also buggy - sometimes the highlighted player isn't the one that moves - and not as responsive as the original. Then there's the bugs with achievements and cups (hint: never exit the game immediately after winning the league or champion's league) and the fact this game feels more like a grind to get the best players than the original where I felt a bit of skill could work against far superior teams.
It's OK. It's not a classic like the original. Despite being a very similar game with HD graphics, it seems to be missing the soul of the original game and they've made changes based on making the game easier when easier isn't always better. If there were a bugfix release with a few improvements, I'd change the recommendation to a Yes. It's just too flawed for the moment.
44 of 50 people (88%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2013
If you love the original Speedball 2 then don't get this. It will ruin your memories.
This is a terrible "HD" remake of the game. It is actually lacking in some features the original had, like the manager mode. What it also is lacking is any difficulty at all, you will easily steamroll every team in the first two seasons, except when you suddenly play a team that is completely maxed out when you still have very low stats.
What this game also lacks is any decent graphics. Sure, they are "HD", even though you only get to choose from 4 basic resolutions. Sorry laptop users. But they look terrible. Bitmap Brothers games were known for their slick, stylish graphics and this game almost seems to make a mockery out of that. To add insult to injury the game is locked at 29 FPS, making it difficult for me to play for any length of time due to eye-strain (as if the graphics weren't insulting my eyes enough already).
Then finally you would probably expect an HD remake to have online multiplayer. Nope... Sorry guys. All this remake offers over the original is the higher resolution/horrible design graphics. That's it. No Manager mode, no online multiplayer, no challenge, no point in buying this. Oh did I mention the game crashing, save file corruption, playing teams with identical outfits to yours making it impossible to tell them apart (and then crashing after the match), terrible intro "video", lack of the awesome original soundtrack...
I could go on but this should really be enough for you to make your mind up. Avoid like the plague.
42 of 58 people (72%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2013
even playable with my old competition pro joystick i used in my amigatimes, if you know and loved the original - get this. For all other lamers ;-) nice scifi rugbylike sportsgame singleplayercampagn, local multiplayer and a lot of fun. There are different targets and goals to get points for winning a match. No mercy foul the opponents as often as you can :)
26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2014
Preamble - I was an avid Amiga owner and at the time a fan of pretty much anything involving Renegade or Bitmap Brothers.
This? This is a missed opportunity.
It's the laziest port I could possibly imagine. The original parts of the port - the new character models and the stadium graphics are the kind of quality you would expect to see from work experience placements, not a decent studio. There has been no attempt whatsoever to update the game with modern effects, playstyles or really much of anything over the original game save a couple of powerups.
So it's not a new or expanded game; it's a faithful conversion of the original, right?
Well, no. It's not a very faithful or interesting remake either. The parts retained from the old amiga game appear to be a few faces and still shots (like the winning/losing graphics and the team portraits) which have either been resized and given the blur treatment, or traced very horribly. Worse, these scaled up and blurred originals contrast garishly with the new player graphics and other elements, making the whole thing seem like a poorly stitched-together hack job.
The gameplay is at least loosely faithful to the original, meaning that the players are feel hard to control at first (a fair complaint to level at the original and one that sadly hasn't been improved), but they've actually managed to make the original - which gets better with practice - worse, in that it feels very floaty and unpredictable off of the ball, and simple things like catches that would at least act consistently in the 'miggy version are almost impossible to pull off as the timing on performing a catch and/or a slide seems way off.
I would've hoped - since they were departing from a flat conversion by so much - they would've taken the extra mile and applied more interesting effects on the player field, and actually made a smoother analog-friendly movement and control scheme (GASP! Seperate out catch, throw and tackle buttons! Put aftertouch on the triggers or bumpers! ZOUNDS!) to actually play to the strengths of this PC platform rather than bringing all the problems of having to cater to a userbase mostly having one button joysticks.
Eh, too much work it seems.
So... Graphics? Miss. Gameplay? Miss. Sounds? Well, they nicked a bunch of the original ones but chucked some other stock effects in there so I'm going with miss. The gym interface is slightly better I guess. Hard to screw that up with a mouse you would think.
Don't bother. Play the original on an emulator instead. You'll get a more consistent and coherent experience, and if you take a moment to scale the emulator surface at least everything will look equally stretched and blurred.
I must have spent thousands of hours as a kid playing this game. Never getting tired of the bone crunching tackles or the "Ice cream" yells. Always coming so close to winning the league and then getting stomped on by that one team. After a few failed comebacks it's nice to see someone sticking to the orginal formula but giving it a bit of polish. The addition of a 10 year career mode is a welcome addition. The new teams are brutal at first but they are beatable. It's also nice to be able to play in new arenas but somehow I can't help but be drawn back to those original steel coloured floors.
They left out some stuff from the first one if memory serves, like you could bribe a match offical to give you more time on the pitch. I'm kind of sad they replaced some of the artwork too.
Sadly the people who made this game are no longer around. To the Bitmap Brothers. For missing and forgotten homework, not enough sleep and most of all, Brutal Deluxe.
23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
This is an awful remake of a great classic game, I recommend playing the dos verison of Speedball 2 in DOSbox over this.
The controls in this game are just awful, press down and your player may go down or just some other random direction. When the computer is control of the ball, press the action key and your player may slide tackle towards the computer player or away from him. I question whether anyone bothered to test this game before releasing it.