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Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 Reviewed by Tom Lenting on . Rating: 78%
Sega Worldwide Soccer '97
Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 Sega Worldwide Soccer '97
  • Review Score:

  • B+
Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 came to me as a surprise; the Saturn finally has a good soccer game. The game isn't officially licensed, so there are no official player names or jerseys. It also isn't possible to play with club teams - you can only play with the squads of different countries. You can import the player names yourself since it's possible to edit the names, but I don't really see the point of that (and it's a lot of unneeded work).

There are enough options to keep you busy for a while - exhibition, world league, world wide cup, cup tournament and penalty shootout. If you bought the four-player adaptor, it's possible to play the game with four players. In the two-player it is not necessarily to play against each other, you can join up in the same squad and work cooperatively. But I found that to be a bit hard, since the switching between players sometimes seems somewhat arbitrary. Still, it's a nice possibility.

The graphics are excellent, especially in the close-up camera view. I usually played in that view, looking sideways at the pitch, which makes it look a bit like FIFA. The only drawback of that view is that you usually have to guess where your teammates are since they're usually off of the screen. But if you know your tactics, it works. Of course, you can pick another view as well. The sound is very suitable for this type of game, Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 features commentary from Gary Bloom. If you don't like it, you can turn it off as well. Ah, everything seems possible in this game.

However, something critical must be said about the AI ... because it sucks. On 'easy' you'll probably defeat the computer with 30-0, on 'normal' it's closer to '20-0' and so on. 'Very hard' seems too hard at first, but with some practice it's easily beatable as well. The goalkeepers are sometimes doing strange things, too. Also, some actions always seem to come to a goal. Assist from the side and a header means 1-0. A free kick taken with the long pass button, 2-0. The game is definitely most fun against a real human opponent.

Sega Worldwide Soccer is the best soccer game for the Saturn, even with the lousy AI and lack of official license. Its fast-paced arcade action, excellent control, accessibility and wide range of options make it a game you'll be coming back to time and time again. In the two-player mode this is the best soccer game since Sensible Soccer that I have encountered for a long time.
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