With the World Cup coming to America next year, it's time to put a Genesis soccer game on the market. It comes in the form of World Trophy Soccer by Virgin Games.
Was it worth the wait? Yes and No.
First off, the game's graphics are excellent. World Trophy is probably the sharpest-looking soccer game to ever lace up its cleats. This game offers some of the hottest, most life-like soccer action this side of the World Cup.
If you want realism, World Trophy Soccer uses real players from real teams, so pick your favorites and go for it.
ProTip: Don't be like Mike. Think more like Magic and be unselfish. If you quickly pass the ball down the field, you're chances at a good shot are dramatically better than a ball-hog strategy.
The game draws a yellow card for its controls. How fun is a game if you can't control the players? It's not. Be patient, the controls are tough to master. This game is also a little sluggish when you switch from one active player to the next. In fact, when the ball heads toward a crowd, the game doesn't always choose the most strategic player. A little less lag time would have put this game over the top. Don't fret, the graphics and action make this game well worth the investment.
When you're driving toward the goal at a 45-degree angle, wait for the keeper to come out and try to loft the ball over his head to the opposite corner of the net for a goal. Most of the time the computer's keeper is too slow to react to a back-post shot.
A Soccer Smorgasbord
World Trophy Soccer offers two basic game modes, Exhibition and Tournament. The Exhibition mode is a one-match competition. You can choose any two teams and play against the computer or a friend. Match length can vary from 10 to 90 minutes.
In the Tournament mode, you select one team and enter the World Trophy tournament. Up to eight players, of course only two at a time, can play in the tournament. Passwords are given for each round to resume tournament play. Make it through the prelims and play for the ultimate prize -- the Super Cup. This is a tough one. Not just anyone can win.
In each of the two modes, players choose teams from five different continents and 32 countries, including the United States. Each team has real-life national players, which adds to the realism of the game.
- Don't be a patriot, at least not at first. Since the game is based on World Cup teams and players, the good 'ol US of A isn't a strong squad. If you're just beginning, take either the team from Brazil or Argentina.
- On defense, don't use the sliding tackle to stop an opposing striker. Most sliding tackles will result in a foul, followed by a yellow card and eventually a red card, which will disqualify your player.
After selecting your team, you have to choose from one of the six different formations. Not every formation is suited to every team. Each formation has its advantages and disadvantages. If you have fast strikers, pick a formation that features a lot of forwards. If not, then like they always say, the best offense is a good defense. Pick a formation with the maximum fullbacks.
When your wing players are driving toward the goal, don't try and work the ball inside the penalty box. Take your shot from outside the penalty box and aim toward the near post. If the keeper bobbles the ball, there's a better chance for a rebounded scoring goal.
World Trophy also offers a unique option. If you don't like the team jersey, or if you have a little Calvin Klein in you, just change it to your liking. Make that fashion statement.
Once you master the controls, this game is as good as they come. So screw in your cleats, flatten your foreheads, and set your sights on the World Trophy.