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Article #60 (79 is last):
From: Kevin Dangoor 
Subject: LYNX: European Soccer Challenge
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Edited-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Tue Jun 15 11:45:42 1993

Review by: Robert Jung.

1-2 players, horizontal game
Telegames, for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No

    Telegames, one of the first third-party developers, returns after a
prolonged absence with EUROPEAN SOCCER CHALLENGE, a portable version of the
world's most popular sport. From a side-scrolling stadium seat, one or two
players each control an 11-player team, picking from over 130 teams in 36
European countries. Game options allow changing the control scheme, setting
the length of matches, and entering passwords to resume earlier tournaments.

    After a string of disappointing sports games on the Lynx, I'm pleased to
say that EUROPEAN SOCCER CHALLENGE is a playable, well designed, quality
title. The amount of detail crammed into this card is incredible. Each country
has a stable of two to eleven teams, each with its own name, players, and
attributes. The team you pick does make a difference; players run, steal, and
defend better depending on who you pick. Unfortunately, there's no way to see
a team's abilities, so experimentation is necessary to find the better crews.

    The full gamut of soccer rules and actions are implemented, including
tackles (stealing), throw-outs, and penalty flags to remove aggressive
players. Controls are responsive, though a little complicated. A team's goalie
is operated by the computer, who blocks and acts intelligently. User control
goes to the player nearest the ball, and uncontrolled teammates follow a
standard formation selected before the match. Kicking is done with the A and B
buttons for high and low kicks. Holding down a button lets you aim and set the
strength, allowing you to run one way and kick in another. The overall action
is brisk, and following the game is not difficult.

    For comparative purposes, EUROPEAN SOCCER CHALLENGE is much more enjoyable
than Atari's WORLD CLASS SOCCER cartridge. There are a few quibbles, though
they are minor. Because control automatically goes to the man closest to the
ball, there is the possibility for confusion when it enters a crowd, and
chasing the ball carrier can be tricky. The instructions are also a bit
confusing, and assumes the reader has a thorough understanding of how to play
soccer. These make learning and playing the game a little more difficult than

    Sights and sounds on EUROPEAN SOCCER CHALLENGE are vastly schizophrenic.
The graphics are consistently wonderful, as game screens everywhere are done
with great use of detail and colors. Sprites are moderately small, allowing
for a wide view of the surrounding area while still showing sufficient detail.
The animation of players is average, but the actions depicted are numerous and
realistic. Scrolling is fast, although sometimes a little jumpy.

    In stark contrast, sounds are dismally dull; aside from a short musical
loop between games, the only noises are a shrillish whistle and the quiet thud
of a ball being kicked. There are no fanfares, no crowds, no other sounds to
add to the experience.

    EUROPEAN SOCCER CHALLENGE is a very respectable version of the popular
sport. The sophisticated gameplay, quality design, and crisp controls are
complimented by some very elegant graphics. Non-soccer fans won't be swayed,
but enthusiasts will find this title very enjoyable.

                GAMEPLAY:        8.5
                GRAPHICS:        9
                SOUND:           4.5
                OVERALL:         8

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