by Atari

While other system owners get to enjoy games like EA Sports FIFA Soccer and Konami's Goal Storm, Jaguar loyalists are stuck with the likes of Sensible Soccer and the latest football dog on the Jag, Fever Pitch Soccer.

The screenshots looked less than impressive on the box, and they were no lie. The graphics don't beat FIFA '95 on my Genesis, and the gameplay is not as good. There are some nice elements, like a stadium announcer who calls out "Corner" for a corner kick, or "Yellow Card" when a yellow card is issued. In addition, the name of the player controlling the ball appears in the lower left corner of the screen, and you have options to see instant replays, celebrations, etc.

Unfortunately, the game plays way too fast, much like Troy Aikman Football. It is difficult to control due to the speed, and the ball is too easily kicked out of bounds, or lost to an opponent because of how fast the game is playing. As for the players, they are way too small, and there are just as many blondes on the Swedish team as on the Japanese team. The names of players from each country are more appropriate, with a Murphy for Ireland and a Xiao for China. Still that doesn't make up for the lack of control present in the game. I noticed also that after turning the game off, I had to reset my options every time I turned it back on.

I went out to the living room and compared it to FIFA '95 on my Genesis, and immediately afterward, I put Fever Pitch back in the box. Comparing it to FIFA may seem unfair, but I'm only comparing it to the '95 version on the Genesis...not '96 on PSX or 3DO. It's not the Jag's fault: if EA would have done FIFA for Jag, Atari owners would have a truly great soccer game to play.

If you really want to pick up Fever Pitch, I suggest you wait until you find it somewhere for $14.99. At that price, I don't think you would be too disappointed, but by no means would I suggest that you pay the current MSRP of $59.99 for it.

Title Fever Pitch Soccer
Publisher Atari
System Atari Jaguar
Graphics 4
Sound 6
Gameplay 4
Replay Value 4
Overall 5
Reviewer Patrick Holstine

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