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Sensible Soccer 2006 Xbox

From Kick Off World of Soccer - wikickoff

Right in the beginning the intro gets me in a good mood seeing nice highlights while a remix of "Goal scoring Superstar Hero" is being played in the background. The menu is pretty nice and I feel at home right on the spot. Just like in SWOS there are not so many options but that doesn't really matter. It is very funny to see the loading sequences with jokecular quotes and two pixelmen doing a one-two!

Friendly match, career mode and of course DIY-competitions are at your choice. Additionally there are preset competitions such as national leagues, cups and last but not least the world cup. From a SWOS-freak's point of view you will feel familiar to the menus. After having chosen the teams you are able to select kits right before kick off. Let's go...

The controls are very similar to the Amiga version. 3 buttons make the difference. Shooting, passing and sprinting are devided whereas sprinting is a cool new feature. You will be able to adapt to the new button system very easily. >From the first kick off you can strike out and try to score.

Passing is really flowing in this game and makes you feel good although curled passing is not possible (compared to SWOS). Nevertheless it is great fun and 360°-control supports your passing. You can even play with a D-pad and control your players in the old 8-way style. This will get you in a retro-feeling. Aftertouching shots is even better with a D-pad compared to the 360° stick. But you will get used to it in either way as long as you won't like to miss the new "freedom" given by the 360°-control.

There are also some negative aspects in this game which I would like to mention here. The ball seems to have too little weight. Playing your first matches you will recognize that your shots go far over the crossbar. It seems as if the ball travels to long and to slow. Furthermore the sound of a shot could be better. Listen to the Amiga version which is much better. PES- and Fifa-gamers will consider the new Sensi a very fast game but old SWOS-fans are used to even faster gameplay.

360°-control is great but also has some negative aspects. Taking a penalty is really difficult. I don't like that at all. The camera is sometimes a bit annoying as it zooms in and out depending where I want to go. Beware of getting seasickly. The camera angle is very similar to the Amiga which is good.

Actually I am the biggest fan of 1-button-gameplay but I have to admit that 2 buttons have their advantages. Chipping the ball right over the keeper or tap it in using the pass-button feels absolutely great.

The goalies are still a bit of a surprise, sometimes great and sometimes so bad, it just has to be seen to be believed. But as long as I have only played the preview code maybe the goalies will be better in the final release.

As some of you might know I am really a fan of headers, especially in SWOS. I am sorry to say that I am really disappointed because it is nearly impossible to perform decent headers. Not even talking about looping headers... I suppose they are not possible in the new Sensi. Nevertheless the CPU knows how to head the ball, scoring some against me. In my opinion too few flying headers are performed.

Overall it is a really good gameplay, fast and intiutive. In my opinion the best soccer game since 1996. Graphics are decent and nice, video sequences (animations) during the match are really a pleasure to watch. Additionally there are more nice features like editing your own custom team and improve it by winning the various competitions. Next to the trophies there are further game features like different shoes and balls to win. Long time motivation is garantueed.

Improving some bits and this really can be a great game. I'm sure that Sensi will make new friends and give veterans like me new challenges. I really recommend to buy this game to anybody searching for alternatives to Fifa and PES. Just imagine SWOS with new graphics and 360°-control, combined with online-play in the future. This dream may come true and Sensi 2006 is the first step in this direction. It won't turn out to be a flop.

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