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Ice cream! Ice cream!
The original Speedball is a cracking bit of science fiction themed sports action, but this sequel blows it out of the water, improving on almost every aspect of the already solid base. The essential gameplay remains pretty much the same, but thanks to that classic Bitmap Bros. style, this one just feels smoother, faster and just altogether more enjoyable and needs to be added to any collection which includes their other work like Xenon 2 and Gods. Here, you're thrust into the role of the manager of Brutal Deluxe, the worst team in the future sports league that is Speedball. It's your job to take these losers and turn them into the ultimate champions on the pitch but the catch here is that Speedball isn't your average sport. It's a mix of hockey, soccer and Blood Bowl, being fast, furious and very violent, as two teams go head to head in a rough and tumble competition for goals. The essential elements are classic sports stuff, but it's in the details where Brutal Deluxe scores, from the clever ways of scoring extra points to the sheer fun to be had from knocking seven bells out of the other guys. As far as future sports games go, this remains a top notch experience. Right from the super stylish visuals, which could only have been done by the Bitmap Bros, to the impressive audio and sheer outrageous fun of the sport itself, you're in for a great time with this. It's not an overly complex game, but this works to its benefit, and it is pretty tough, thanks to some sharp AI, so if you're in the mood for some bone crunching sports action, this is a great choice.
American Football like game but more aggressive
There is no shortage of fantasy ball games which put an accent on violence. Blood Bowl took the characters from the Warhammer universe and pitted them against each other in a violent ball game that took both audacity as well as good tactics to win, while other games tried to make ball games more entertaining for an audience which might have found the vanilla, real world counterparts a bit too underwhelming. The Speedball series tries just this trick by making American football a lot more violent. The game is set in a future where mech players compete in a team based sport similar with American Football but also with rugby. The game mechanics are simple and direct. You have to pass the ball; try to avoid tackles while some strange bribing of the referee options makes cheating a part of the game. The game plays fast o you have to think on your feet and also, as you play, an emergent new layer, this time tactics based will emerge. The game never feels overwhelming but it sure takes a lot of practice until you learn it. From there on the game can prove a very good episodic team based ball game to return to from time to time, and a good old school game for those that love the mayhem of Blood Bowl based games, though played in real time.