Go back to European Champions

Written by: Rik

Date posted: June 2, 2013

As any ex-Atari ST owner knows, there came a point at which developers just stopped bothering with ST versions of games altogether, leaving the ST sections of game shops to shrink and then disappear, while Mr Smuggy-Smug Amiga owners rolled around in fields of delicious console and PC ports.

So, while there was an ST version of European Champions, getting hold of a copy proved rather difficult for me at the time, and with a recent bad experience of the extremely-buggy port of Goal! lingering in the memory (my Dad actually had to post the disks back to the developer, and they had to post the new version out to us – think about that the next time you complain about patches and updates) it was another one that got away.

Until now, that is! I won’t do a full comparison here, as the ST version isn’t vastly different from the one reviewed. The graphics and sound are a little better (which means there actually is some sound), but the action isn’t as smooth and responsive. Players appear to skate across the screen, and the ball occasionally floats and hangs in the air – quirks which make this version more readily call to mind the original Emlyn Hughes. The behaviour of the goalkeepers is also a little more erratic, too, and they have a tendency to dive at the feet of the attacker only to lose the ball completely, prompting vaguely farcical pinball-in-the-penalty-area capers at fairly regular intervals.

Overall, I’d say the PC version shades it on gameplay, even if it doesn’t look quite as nice as it does on the ST. (The Amiga version, as ever, is of no concern to me).