All the hype and pomp of the grand finale of this year's
American Football season, Super Bowl XX has been captured
in Ocean's latest release, Super Bowl. Featuring
both teams which played in the final, the Chicago
Bears and the New England Patriots, the player
is given a chance to replay the final and rewrite recent
NFL history . . . which team will win this time?
program caters for one or two players, the former played
against the computer controlled Patriots team
and the latter played as a head to head. Now, we're
not going to give a precis of the rules of American
Footy here and now, but don't despair if you don't know
anything about it. Super Bowl has been designed
so that novices can play with ease and the package comes
complete with two cassettes; the game and an audio cassette
explaining the rules.
screen is split vertically into two separate parts.
The right hand side shows an overhead view of about
half the pitch (which scrolls up and down as play moves
the ball to opposite ends of the field), and the other
gives details on the current situation of play, the
team on the offensive, the current down and match time
elapsed. There are also two mini video screens which
show a close up of the actions of players from both
match is played in four quarters each lasting
15 realtime minutes with a change of end at each quarter,
and the first and third quarters commencing with a kick-off.
Controlling the actions of the team is done using a
series of pop-up menus from which the player (if playing
offensively) sorts out the tactics of play, type of
pass and the player to receive (if any). The primary
menu gives passing options; long, short, rush play or
special play (which leads to a sub menu allowing the
player to choose to attempt a punt, field goal or goal
line rush). Each type of play leads to a sub menu allowing
further specialised tactics to be dictated. Once the
passing play has been set up, there is an option which
the player selects to view what the players will do
during the forthcoming play. Once happy with the tactics
the player then has to select the player to be placed
under his or her direct control during the play.
two players are playing simultaneously then the defensive
tactics are sorted out using the same sort of menu system.
From this the defensive strategy to thwart the initial
forward movement of the offensive team is decided (eg
3-4-4, 7-1-3 etc). Then individual players can be given
instructions to mark certain offensive linesmen. This
is another very comprehensive menu which has potential
for all sorts of defensive tactics. Once that has been
settled, the player can then choose which player he
or she would like to control during the movement.
the play can begin proper. A press of the fire button
'snaps' the ball to the quarterback and control of this
team member is given to the player. During this time
the other members of the team follow the instructions
dictated to them by the menu screens. The quarterback
can run anywhere on the field and under your control
you must guide him through the hordes of players as
far as possible before being inevitably tackled. If
a tackle is imminent and the quarterback hasn't passed
the line of scrimmage, then he can throw the ball by
pressing the fire button. As long as the fire button
is depressed the player can choose which player to throw
the ball to, but very swift action is needed otherwise
he'll be tackled. As soon as the ball is thrown the
catcher is put under the player's control and the game
continues. Care has to be taken when throwing the ball
lest the opposition intercept or the catcher fumbles.
the play the defensive team's allocated player is active
and can be moved into an intercepting position or mark
a player the controller thinks is on a threatening position.
the ball either at kick-off or during an extra point
attempt is done by keeping the button pressed and rapidly
moving the joystick up and down. This activates the
'power bar' seen on the left hand side of the screen.
The player has to determine how much power is needed
to either kick the ball up the field or between the
every play, a window emerges from the left hand side
of the screen and replays the whole move using three-quarter
screen-high players, just like you'd see on the telly.
If you don't want to see a replay then a press of the
fire button skips it so the game can be continued.