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When describing the features of Adidas Power Soccer, it's perhaps too easy to go on at length about the sheer weight of options and what have you. We've described the main features a bit later on, but the most important aspect of the game to note is the control method. Without a shadow of doubt this is the make or break of a console soccer game, and it's good to see what Psygnosis have settled on a simple, very easy to master system. Although the buttons are easy to get the grips with, actually getting the very most out of this system takes quite some time, making it perfect for beginners whilst posing some long-term challenge for potential masters of the game.
Who has possession of the ball then ?
1. In possession
When in possession of the ball, you can either shoot ( ) or pass. Two different passes are available - the low pass ( ) or the toe-punting high pass ( ). Also of great use is a means to avoiding tackles. Pressing causes your player to leap slightly, which effectively dodges any sliding tackles the opposition have planned for you.
2. Chasing the ball
Two options are open for players who are after the ball whilst it is in the possession of an opposing footballer. Tackling is the obvious choice, and Power Soccer offers two variations. The basic tackle ( ) is a relatively safe way to secure possession of the ball. A more serious challenge can be initiated using either or . One of these tackles must be perfectly executed or your guaranteed to foul the opposition. The final option is to catch the ball mid-pass via the intercept move ( ).
The formation tactics
In the time honored tradition, Adidas Power Soccer enables you to choose the formation of your team - and thus shape the potential performance of your team. An impressive selection of seven formations are available.
The default selection is also the most practical. This formation places equal importance on the midfield, and defensive aspects of the game. Four players at the rear provide a solid defense, with a quartet of midfielders providing plenty of potential for a break to goal. Two strikers provide the finishing.
Something of an ingenious formationn the 3-6-1 relies on midfielders being able to operate in multiples roles. Should the opposition get a break, they're expected to support the defense, while presence of only one forward means that the midfielders also set up (and perhaps score) the majority of the goals. A requirement for this formation to work really well is a world-class striker at the front.
Perhaps the second most popular tactic after the ubiquitous 4-4-2. This formation provides a very strong defense with equal importance given to midfielders and strikers. This is something of an inspired team tactic to use provided you have versatile defender who can aid the midfielders in certain circumstances. The presence of three up-front men allows for multiple possibilities when it comes to finishing.
4. 4-3-3 line
As you might imagine, this bears more than a slight resemblance to the basic 4-3-3 - the difference being that the defenders, midfielders and strikers all keep formation alongside one another (forming three human « strips » essentially). In a term of gameplay, this gives you an even greater sense of instinctive play - before you pass you know exactly when your players should be.
Let's face the facts - not many people are actually going to use this formation in the game. At least not in a two-player game. However, when you're playing one of Adidas's tournament it can be heady. For example, you drew 1-1 on the away leg of a European match. Keep the score at nil-nil on the home leg and you'll go through on the away goals rule. This formation provides that strong defense. It's boring, yes. But it does happen in real life and it had to be in the game.
A tactic for the confident manager who (rightly) believes that most of the work in a setting up a goal occurs in the midfield, they break down the defense and supply the ball to one of the two strikers at the front of the formation. Confidence is clearly the key to here as the heightened midfield presence is at the expanse of the defense. Reduced to three men , you need to make sure that the opposition don't make a break through your midfielders and blast through to the goal.
A bold tactic, placing equal importance on the defense and the forwards, compromising greatly in the midfield department. A great deal of versatility is required from both defensive and striking players with this formation in order to make up the deficit. A great deal of chances are set up in midfield and with only two « full-time » in these positions, they're going to need all the help they can in breaking through to the defense of the opposition.
A matter of substitution
A good manager should be able to spot when a player is not on form. A striker might be having something of a bad day, or a midfielder just isn't performing so well after taking that flying karate kick full-on in the face. Substitution might well be in order. This can be achieved at any point in the game by using the select button to bring the in-action menu. Choose the player you wish to change and suggest a replacement and the substitution occurs the next time the ball is out of play.
Adidas Power Soccer is a creation of Psygnosis (c) 1996 All rights reserved
All photographs are reproduced with the kind permission of Psygnosis.