by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Speedball… what’s that?
Ahhh… Speedball 2. Was there a better game on the Amiga system in the 1990’s? Maybe there was, but based on the amount of time I spent sitting in front of my computer screen getting my team of gladiators to win the Speedball championship, it sure was one that took up much of my time. It would, even now, be one of my favourite games of all time (it even rates a mention on the HG contacts page).
For those of you who have not heard of Speedball 2 (especially those too young to have experienced the joys of the game), Speedball 2 is part management game, part action sports game. The game of speedball is something along the lines of a futuristic European Handball game, albeit a violent one. As manager, you would train and select your team of speedball stars and then when the match begins, you were in full control of the playing squad. Points were scored in a variety of ways, including goals, pinball-type multipliers, and even by injuring opponents enough to send them from the metallic-looking playing field.
When I heard that a remake of Speedball 2 was on the cards, my eyes lit up like a small child on Christmas morning when they’ve just received the [insert gift of choice here] they wanted from Santa. Was it possible? Was one of the all-time great sports games going to be resurrected? The answer of course is yes. And even more importantly, Bitmap Brothers, the team behind the original were going to have input into the development (along with Frogster Interactive and Kylotonn) of the latest version.
Shiny new outfit
As you’d expect from a remake of a game that is more than a decade old, the graphics have been given an overhaul. Arenas look stunning. The glistening walls of the pseudo-indoor playing fields capture the feel of the original, whilst portraying a new look of their own complete with stadium advertising. The players have also been given a touch up. Gone are the days of the 2D birds-eye view of players. Instead there’s the new 3D view which gives the game a whole new aspect.
But who wants to play with the standard in-game characters? Well, if you are one of those modding types, Speedball is said to have a number of customisable features. There will be three different player models - male, female and droid. Gamers will be able to customise their team as well as add in team logos.