Go back to Striker ’95

Written by: Rik

Date posted: March 3, 2016

Ever since EA asked BBC commentator Tony Gubba to record various remarks and exclamations for the CD version of FIFA International Soccer, it was pretty much considered a requirement for all new football games. With the marketplace in those days a little more crowded than it is now, every media professional who had been near a TV studio on match day stood a good chance of being asked to provide some commentary for some game or other. Kick Off ’97 utilised the services of ITV’s Jim Rosenthal, who was more of a ‘back to the studio’ type man, so it was a bit like asking Des Lynam or Gary Lineker to provide the commentary for your game.

It still amazes me though that the one-time Sky Sports commentary ‘A-team’ of Andy Gray and Martin Tyler managed to make their gaming debuts in extremely low-profile titles. Tyler provided commentary for Puma World Football ’98, alongside a man credited as Iam Mitchie (who pretends, for the duration, to be called ‘John’). Despite the low-budget nature of the game, Tyler’s performance is that of a model professional. I sort of imagine the initial conversation between him and Ubisoft producers being along the lines of:

Ubisoft: We’re really excited to have you on board, Martin.

Tyler: Thanks. Can you tell me a bit about the game?

Ubisoft: Er, well, Puma World Football ’98 is one of the best football games around!

Tyler: I see. Because my son has a game called FIFA ’98, and it has 3D graphics, music from Blur…

Ubisoft: …to be honest Martin, I’m not sure how many people are going to buy this game.

Tyler: Ok. Well, your cheque cleared, so I’ll do my best.

Ubisoft: Great, let’s get started. Can I introduce you to Iam Mitchie, your co-commentator? He’d like you to call him John, though, if that’s ok?

A few years earlier, Andy Gray got in on the action for Striker ’95. I imagine a similar conversation between him and Rage Software would have been something like:

Rage: We’re really excited to have you on board, Andy.

Gray:

Rage: Er, now, there’s something we need to let you know about the game. Although it is of course going to be one of the best football games of all time, unfortunately we don’t have the licenses for real teams or players, so we had to make a few changes.

Gray:

Rage: For example, we might call the team from Liverpool that play in blue shirts, “Neveron”…

Gray: I used to play for Neveron.

Rage: Ok, that’s the spirit!

Gray: And Aston Frilla. I played for Aston Frilla too.

Rage:

Gray: You boys got any porn around here?