Sensible World of Soccer (360)

I don’t know why I returned to this today, but I did. No online play, however, for two reasons: 1) they haven’t patched it yet, so I would assume it’s as crap and impossible to play as it was previously, and 2) no-one is playing online any more, presumably because of point 1.

So I played lots of friendlies offline, won a lot (playing as Parma), then completed a few leagues coaching “London Reds”, eventually winning the Premier League. Aces!

Sensible World of Soccer (360)

Things have not improved overnight with regards to online play. Which is a shame. Once again couldn’t finish any online matches as they all froze part way though. Some guy I was playing sent me a message to say it’s been happening to him all day too, so it isn’t just me.

Did play some single player games though, and also played through a whole season of the Premier League managing “Manchester Reds”, who you’d have thought would have been pretty reasonable, yes? No. They finished second from last, and my star striker spent about 30 of the 38 matches banned from getting red carded. Rubbish.

Sensible World of Soccer (360)

Yay! I bought it and it’s ace and just like SWOS ever was and brilliant and everything! But! There are problems. Which is a shame.

Firstly, the 360 pad just isn’t right for this game. You need proper 8-way digital control, and the stick can’t provide that, and the d-pad is (as always) in the wrong place. This isn’t a huge issue, but I can’t help feeling I’d be playing better if I had a proper controller.

Far more serious are the online problems. Basically, online, SWOS is broken. For starters, there’s the lag. It’s not terrible lag, but it does make the game pause momentarily occasionally. Then there’s the real killer – the fact that in 15 online games, I’ve so far completed just one. Why? Because the game crashed on every other one. Froze.

Then there’s the issue which plagues lots of online titles (especially one-on-one games) and I’m amazed there’s no solution yet. When you try a “quick match”, 90% of the time you get told the session is full. The same happens (although less often) when you search for a custom match and try and join that. I know why the session is full – someone else joined first, but why is it that all these sessions fill instantly, and when I start a match, no-one joins for a good 20-30 seconds?

Finally, there’s the bloody stupid issue with team picking. Both players have full control of picking both teams, so with some games I played tonight, the other player either picked my team for me, fought with me over control of the cursor to pick my team, or once I’d chosen my team deselected it and chose Munich instead. Grr!

But offline, it is lovely. The graphics haven’t been broken, the gameplay is just the same, and the additions (you can zoom in, and out, of the pitch) are really actually very nice. And it plays Goal Scoring Superstar Hero on the title screen! Amazing.

Sensible Soccer 2006 (Xbox)

The other game was this. And I’m not really sure what to make of it.

On one hand, it’s really trying to be a new Sensible Soccer. On the other, it just seems wrong. Where it works: simple controls, similar pace of game, same menus, same game “feel”. Where it doesn’t: camera angle is wrong. Two buttons? Wrong. No widescreen, borders top and bottom too. 3D players don’t fit.

It isn’t a bad game, by any means, it just isn’t the New Sensible Soccer I was hoping for. It’s just another football game with the same name.

For the record, I played a few matches as Liverpool (losing to Norwich 4-3), and a few as England in the World Cup (drawing them all).