Speedball II: Brutal Deluxe Review

Some things simply donít age well, even if you try to spruce them up with a new coat of paint. This is the case with Speedball 2, a nearly two-decade old PC game that has made its way to the Xbox Live Arcade virtually untouched. Well, except for that new coat of paint.

Speedball 2 is a futuristic sports game thatís a combination of rugby and handball. To score you must have a player throw the ball into your opponentís goal, but you can also earn points by taking out an opposing player. It sounds simple enough, but playing the game is another matter entirely.

The gameís controls are very clunky. Trying to maneuver a man downfield is kind of like trying to walk a hippo on stilts through a park. When you pass the ball it seems to go off in some random direction which is almost never the direction in which you want it to go. Making matters worse, the computer-controlled team doesnít suffer from the same issues and will steal the ball from you, run it down the field, and stuff it into your goal with surprising regularity. Not only that, the whole game kind of lurches along as if it were a turn-based game with the speed turned way up.

There are options to play in tournaments, to spend cash to improve your players, and to play online against other players, but when the gameplay is this frustrating and unappealing youíll have no desire to spend the time with the game to make use of these other modes and features. Unless you grew up playing Speedball 2 and have a strong desire to relive your childhood you should probably pass on this one.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 54%. Let this blast from the past pass on by..


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