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Download UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League
 
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25472 kb
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Another licensed football game from Krisalis featuring the UEFA Champions League for the 1995/1996 season. You get to see some of the official Champions League videos for the intro and other ingame animations. Official licenses are usually no guarantee that a game is good, this is especially true in this game which, after the opening cinematic, has very little to offer.

As soon as you see the menu, you will understand just how similar this game is to another of Krisalis’ football games from the same year, namely Manchester United – The Double. The clubs, players and player attributes are presented in exactly the same way. This time however, you can only choose from among the sixteen clubs that played Champions League in the 95/96 season. Various options have been improved in this game. As well as playing the competition with the actual clubs, you can edit and make various competitions and single matches, with those sixteen clubs. No other clubs or transfers of players are possible. Starting options are now also much better. You can easily change the positions of players in the tactics menu, reconfigure keys etc. When the match starts, you will notice improved graphics resembling those of FIFA International Soccer, along with throwing the coin and choosing sides. That’s about it for the improvements. After MU – The Double that was really fun to play, it is very interesting to see how they managed to completely ruin the gameplay with several flaws.

Let’s start with minor problems and move on to the more serious ones. Slide tackles are very short and slow and are not much use. Penalties, corners and free kicks are very poorly done. These were much better in MU – The Double. There is still no way to change the player you control when the opposing team possess the ball. Behavior of the AI, among others, has one unexplainable flaw: no player will go for the ball unless it is really close. This means that if you control the ball, no opponent will trouble you unless you get very close. Even if you are close to their goal, they will just stand in one place. Same goes for your teammates. They don't even attempt to hinder opponents. All of them just stand and stare. They do move if the ball moves to the center of the field or towards your goal, but once you are in the goal zone they simply stand in one place. Same will happen if the opposing team is attacking. Now combine this with the already mentioned faults and the fact that players are now bigger which makes the visible part of the field smaller. The final result is gameplay which is not very fun at all.

Atop of it all there are the goalkeepers. Now their AI is really something to wonder about. If you enter the goal area the goalkeeper will come out to meet you. If you go towards the goal and shoot, he will almost always save it. If you go towards the goal and don’t shoot, he will throw himself and get the ball too. But if you move towards the goal until he starts coming out at you and then start going to the left or to the right edge of the field, the goalkeeper will follow you and won’t be able to get the ball. This means that as soon as he starts following you, you can move freely through the goal area as long as you are not too close to the defenders. The goalkeeper will be on your tail but won’t really do anything. You can simply walk into the goal with the ball if you wish. You can even stop and stand close to the goal line, and, if the defenders are not too close, you can stand there as long as you like. Nobody will bother you and the goalkeeper will simply stand there with you. That’s not all either, if you shoot from a great distance and manage to get the ball to the goal, you will most likely score. If the ball is moving slowly to the goal, the goalkeeper can’t catch it. You really have to see it to believe it. There is almost no chance to score if you enter the goal area and shoot, but if you shoot from a distance, even from your own half, and ball reaches the goal passing the defenders, there is almost no chance for a save. It is not impossible for the goalkeeper to save the ball. If it moves directly to where he is staning or hits the post for example, you will not score. But if the ball moves slowly right beside him, he will hopelessly throw himself after the ball is in the goal. Naturally, the same goes for your goalkeeper. If there was any chance of playability, despite all the previous flaws, this one kills the gameplay completely.

Even the improved options will become irritating since no changes you make are saved. This means that if you dislike the original lineup, you have to change it before each match. And for some reason, the lineups are mostly illogical and badly made, as if the programmers didn’t even know which player held which position. This is, perhaps, not so bad as players are mostly similar – they are all good with only slight variations. Annoyingly, pre-match options are always shown for the home team first, even if you control the visitors, which means that each time you play as visitors you have to switch to visiting team and do the same changes in lineup and tactics, which is very boring.

So, some things, including graphics, have been improved compared to the previous games from Krisalis, but the bare gameplay has became unacceptably bad. You won't care about the better options and graphics. You will find those small players in MU – The Double to be much more pleasant and cute as soon as you realize how bad this football game is. You can try this out if you want to play with some of the teams or players included, or simply to check out the first official UEFA Champions League game, but despite the graphics and movies, this game surely deserves a low mark for such bad gameplay.

The game may crash due to bad video card selection. The video card selected is “Random VGA” which seems to work fine with various machines. If you have any problems with the game, run SETUP.BAT and try different options.

Use GO.BAT to run the game from DOSBox.


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Reviewed by: marko river / Screenshots by: marko river / Uploaded by: marko river / share on facebook
 

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