Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Hut! Hut! Grab your crash helmet and prepare to wrestle on the gridiron in this new Sega American football simulation.
Great Football is a one or two-player game, and is played over a horizontally scrolling pitch. Play is controlled via a series of menus, and the player is also given control over the quarterback during play.
If a two-player game is selected, both teams battle together in a "realistic" fashion, with the ball changing hands as in a real game. The one-player version is different though - the computer team is given a score which the human player must beat. The computer team never actually plays the ball - the player's team is just penalised and moved back ten yards should he fail to move the ball ten yards in four downs or the computer team intercepts a pass. Although this does make for an exciting game - you're making the plays all the time - I did think it was a bit of a cop-out. I'd have liked to take on a computer offence.
At the start of a play a menu of moves are displayed, and each is highlighted in turn - pressing the fire button when the desired move is lit selects it. The only problem with this is that each move is always lit in turn, even after a selection has been made, resulting in a long wait between plays. This might be alright for the two-player game, so the opponent can't tell which move you've selected, but playing against the computer I thought it unnecessary and tedious.
The play itself is joycard-controlled, and the player takes part directly by being the quarterback. Depending on the move selected, the ball can be passed (whereupon the player takes control of the receiver), or a running play can be attempted. Although the players are tiny, and detail is lacking, I found this part of the game quite rewarding, especially when a long play move was successfully pulled off.
Great Football is a good simulation, but I think it could have been improved in a few areas. The move select screen is a major gripe, and it gets decidedly annoying having to sit while the computer slowly highlights each move. Graphics could have been improved too - close plays can get rather confusing due to the myriad of milling pixels.
On the positive side, the game is fun and challenging - especially in two-player mode - and the wealth of moves and plays available should keep the American football enthusiast happy.
Definitedly one to look out for if you can't wait until Sunday!