The team at Retro Domination love all sorts of genres in gaming, however some of the hidden gems are hiding in sports titles. Daz and Matt Cawley uncover their favourite games in what is typically an overlooked genre in retro gaming.
When playing retro games I’m usually shooting at spacecraft in games like Bio Hazard Battle on the ‘Sega Megadrive’, or going a few rounds on Street Fighter 2. However, sometimes I like to change it up a bit with a sports game with a friend or two. I’m generally not much of a sporting fan, but when I was a child playing on the C64 there were some I really enjoyed. One, in particular, deserves some recognition…
My all-time favourite sports franchise on the C64 is The Street Sport Series by EPYX. Love it to bits as it is really hard to get tired of the games in the series; Street Sport Football, Baseball, Soccer and Basketball, which is my favourite, playing against the computer or a friend is awesome. Of all the sports I found Football (NFL) the least exciting one out of the lot, but that’s probably because I’m not familiar with the game.
Starting off is done the same way for each game by selecting which ground or court you want to play in; stages include Ally, School, City and Suburbs. Once the stage is chosen it’s time to select your team of young street kids – the kids have different abilities and advantages; for example, faster movement, more accurate scoring or ball stealing, you get the idea.
All games had a pumping soundtrack that only the Sidchip could deliver. And although only one button is used, the controls were perfect, it worked a treat.
It’s a load of fun I had a ball, and still do, playing mainly Basketball and Soccer with mates. Want a sport series with a different spin on things? I definitely recommend grabbing a copy and giving it a whirl, you will not be disappointed.
Let’s go back in time to the early 90’s, during my high school years, I was highly addicted to the Sensible Soccer series, in particular Sensible World of Soccer.
SWOS was designed and developed by Jon Hare, co-owner of Sensible Software and released during the USA 94 World Cup. It was a sequel to Sensible Soccer and made for the Amiga 500.
What was so great about this game was the simplicity of the mechanics, (Just 8 directions and one button was needed). When I was lucky enough to interview Jon, he said “ We played Kick Off constantly on the Amiga, all we thought whilst playing was that we can make this better”
What made it remarkable was the vast database of players and teams from around the globe. These were true facts, if you wanted to play in Scottish League 3, then you could and with real player names and teams.
What it also offered was a true managerial experience, being able to buy and sell players to make your team better and qualify for any of the European, Oceania and South American competitions, depending on the league you are playing in.
It also offered depth by way of the likeness of an individual player, now I’m not comparing this to the FIFA series, where you can see the actual facial expressions, it would have been difficult to do so from a birds-eye view, I’m talking about the colour of a players hair, or whether or not they had any facial hair.
SWOS was rated the best game of all time by Amiga Power and we were lucky enough to receive a series of updates on different platforms, SWOS 95/96 for the Amiga, SWOS European Edition, in time for the UEFA Euro 1996, which was released on the Amiga, PC, as well as the Sega Master System and finally SWOS 96/97 for the Amiga, PC CD-ROM and much later in 2007 on Xbox Live Arcade.
SWOS is one of those special gems that has lasted the test of time as one of the all-time greatest football games in existence and personally it means so much to me during my childhood years.