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Flawed but fun soccer action
The Kick Off series quickly established itself as a firm favourite with soccer loving gamers thanks to its simple to pick up but deep gameplay which accurately represented the sheer knockabout fun of playing a good game of football. This entry is however, something of a disappointment for long term fans given that there are a number of flaws which hold it back from being truly great, although newcomers to the series might not feel quite so let down. As a soccer game, this offers all the usual bells and whistles that you might expect, including the option to customise your teams, take part in a variety of competitions, friendlies or just practice, while you also have several views to choose from, including the classic top-down perspective. Controls are straightforward enough to pick up, with an extensive range of moves possible in the correct context and which are largely pretty easy to use. The gameplay itself is as fast and fluid as ever and matches do get genuinely exciting, although defending can be something of a challenge as you need to be absolutely precise to keep track of the opposing player. A further issue lies with the AI, with computer controlled players all too frequently engaging in frankly bizarre actions that leave the player wondering what exactly just happened. The visuals are reasonable enough, with a decent level of detail and some fluid animation which helps keep things moving at a decent pace, while the sound is exactly as you'd expect. While not quite up to the standards of its predecessors, Kick Off 2 being perhaps the standout, this remains enjoyable stuff if you can get past the flaws, but Kick Off 98 rectifies many issues and should perhaps be played instead.
Kickoff your soccer fever
Kickoff 97 has almost all the features which should be present in a soccer game. The graphics are quite clearly designed and defined which facilitates an easy play. You can select many custom options to fabricate the kits, appearance and the name of the players. Similarly the competition options are also vast as you can play exhibition matches, tournaments, practice mode games and can challenge your desired team anytime. Four camera views have been integrated to add a unique touch to the game play and each camera angle is quite playable. Four direction control buttons have been incorporated with two buttons that are there to carry out different action and tricks. The game play has been made competitive where it is not easy to penetrate the defenses of the opponent for striking goal. One wrong move can cost you a goal so you need to be tight with your defensive actions. The game play is fast and smooth and calls for good reflexes. The crowd roars or the music is good enough to make you feel like being in the middle of a match. The game has lived up to its famous predecessor Kick Off 3.