Speedball 2. (Evaluation)
Speedball 2 is more than a futuristic, fast-action sports game; it's a full sports simulation that lets you complete in a 16-team league for the world speedball championship. Over the course of the competition, you'll use the detailed player and team members in order to create an invincible force of speedball demons. In addition, you can use the money your team earns to buy extra equipment to boost your players' stats.
When the game begins, you can choose from four play modes, including Knockout, which is a series of exhibition games against each of the 16 teams; League, which is a 14-game season; Cup, which is a single-elimination tournament; and Practice, which gives you a chance to run your team members through their moves without an opponent getting in the way.
Depending on the type of game you choose, you can view team and player statistics, fire and hire players, and buy new equipment. A splendidly crafted 3-D control panel--including player portraits, equipment display, moving buttons, and panel lights--guides you through this portion of the game.
When your team is ready, it's off the playfield where the fun really revs up. The object of the game is to get the speedball into your opponent's goal, but the playfield contains myriad devices and special items that complicate gameplay wonderfully. The score multiplier ramp, for example, increases the value of your goals each time you manage to roll the ball through it. In addition, electrobounce units change the speedball into an electrified menace, stars on the side wall light up and give extra points when hit, and wrap gates suck the ball up and spit it out in a new location.
Also on the field are coins you can scoop up and use to buy new equipment, and tokens you can grab, each of which affects some facet of gameplay. Tokens can reduce your opponent's statistics to their minimum, move the speedball instantly to one of your players, lock your goal, boost a player's energy, increase your player's statistics to their maximum, and more. Pieces of equipment, which appear sporadically on the playfield, boost one of a player's statistics when picked up.
Sensational graphics, convincing animation, snappy music, savory sound effects, and smooth gameplay combine to make Speedball 2 a guaranteed hit. Computer sports fans won't want to overlook this one.