Atari 5200 Review: SOCCER

by Atari

Soccer Pic 1
For some reason, Atari's 5200 sports lineup went largely unheralded despite each one of its sports titles outdoing the efforts by its rivals on competing systems. While NASL Soccer for the Intellivision had long been the standard in console Soccer games prior to 5200 Soccer's release, Atari's version was arguably the superior of the two.

The game consists of two halves which may be set to last from five to 45 minutes (real time). It cam be played by one player against the computer or two players against each other. In single player games, the computer can be set to play at one of four skill levels from Beginner to Expert. As opposed to the real thing, 5200 Soccer (later renamed RealSports Soccer) consists of five players on each team: four fielders and a goalkeeper. You control one fielder, who wears a lighter shirt than his teammates while the computer controls the other three fielders and the goalie. Controlling the action requires the use of the numeric keypad and the joystick. To kick the ball, yoou set the type of kick on the keypad (low, medium, high or ground) and press the fire button to send the ball on its way. To help you move the ball and score, you can set throw-ins and corner kicks using the red buttons. To intercept the ball from your opponent, you run toward him and attempt to kick the ball toward your destination.

Soccer Pic 2
The graphics are good and everything is presented realistically, from the field perspective, ball shadows and player movement. Ball physics isn't too bad either. For example, the ball continues rolling after a kick and frequently goes out of bounds unless you get a player into position to receive the pass. Making a goal isn't a cinch either. The goalie is quick like a cat and quite adept at intercepting anything that comes his way. You won't be taking part in any double-digit games that resemble a football contest here.

5200 Soccer's sharp graphics, realistic physics (for its time), unique control scheme and advanced AI (again, for its time) make for what is perhaps the best Soccer game on any classic game console. It's definitely worth a look.

Title Soccer (RealSports Soccer)
Publisher Atari
System Atari 5200 SuperSystem
Graphics 7
Sound 6
Gameplay 7
Overall 7
Reviewer Keita Iida

Go to previous page