Head-On Soccer

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Head-On Soccer
Sega Genesis Head-On Soccer cover art.jpg
North American Sega Genesis cover art
Developer(s)U.S. Gold
Silicon Dreams Studio
(Super NES)
Distinctive Developments (Jaguar)
Publisher(s)
Director(s)N. Ishihara
Designer(s)Martin Sawkins
Rod Mack
Programmer(s)James Robertson
Artist(s)Colin Wren
Emil Sergiev
Hayden Jones
Composer(s)John Hancock
Max Little
Platform(s)Atari Jaguar
Sega Genesis
Super NES
Release
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Head-On Soccer[a] is a soccer video game originally developed and published by U.S. Gold for the Sega Genesis in 1995.

Featuring an arcade-style approach to soccer compared to other titles that were released at the time, Head-On Soccer allows players to have the choice of playing across any of the game modes available against with either CPU-controlled opponents or other players with the team of their choosing.[1] Initially launched for the Genesis, it was then released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System a few months after the original version and was later ported to the Atari Jaguar in December of the same year under the name Fever Pitch Soccer, which was the title of the game on PAL territories.

Head-On Soccer received generally positive reception from critics since its release on the Sega Genesis, with praise towards the graphics, sound, gameplay and the ability to upgrade the various abilities of the team players upon winning matches. The Super NES version also received positive reception, with praise to the improved graphics and sound from the Genesis original while the Jaguar version, though criticized for not taking advantage of the hardware and its similarity with the 16-bit versions, was generally well-received and considered by some reviewers as one of the better titles for the system. Critics, however, compared the game with both the FIFA series from Electronic Arts and the original International Superstar Soccer from Konami.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot showcasing a match between Sweden and Germany (Genesis version).

Head-On Soccer is a soccer game that is played from an isometric perspective in a two-dimensional environment with sprites. Although it follows the same gameplay as with other soccer titles at the time and most of the sport's rules are present as well, the game opts for a more arcade-styled and slapstick approach of the sport,[2] instead of being a full simulation, as the team players tends to have a lean towards "dirty" play, in addition of having their respective special abilities such as the ability to dive in an attempt to win a free-kick or penalty and as the player's team wins games, they gain access to additional team players. There are also multiple stadiums to choose from, each with their own characteristics.

With the exception of the Jaguar port,[3] the Genesis and SNES versions feature support for multitap accessories, allowing more than two people for multiplayer. Every version also have five types of language settings to choose from at the main menu screen and a password system to resume progress.[4][5]

Modes[edit]

There are two main gameplay modes to pick at the menu: Tournament and Exhibition.[1][5] Exhibition, as the name implies, is a non-competitive mode for two or more players, while Tournament is the main mode of the game, where players compete against computer-controlled teams and a password is given out following the successful completion of each game in this mode so that progress can be resumed at any given point.

Teams[edit]

There are 51 teams available to choose from before the start of any mode, each one representing their country and having their own in-game behavior:

Development and release[edit]

The Jaguar port was originally previewed in early 1995 by French magazine CD Consoles under the name Red Hot Soccer, featuring various differences compared to the final version,[6] and the Jaguar port was also showcased at Autumn ECTS '95.[7] Atari UK marketing manager Darryl Still stated in a 2016 interview that the game was chosen to be ported for the Jaguar as part of Atari's European center of development, which was established in January of the same year with the aim of working alongside small game developers around the region to make titles for the system.[8][9]

Head-On Soccer was first released for the Sega Genesis on North America and Europe in 1995 by U.S. Gold, and this version was later published in Brazil by Tectoy, in addition of also being published in Australia by Sega under the Sega Sports label. It was then released for the Super Nintendo in Europe on August 1995 and a month later in North America. In Germany, the game is known as Mario Basler: Jetzt Geht’s Los! on both the Genesis and Super NES, due to being endorsed by the former German football winger athlete. It was later ported to the Atari Jaguar by Distinctive Developments and published by Atari Corporation in both North America and Europe on December 15, 1995,[10][11] under the name Fever Pitch Soccer, which was originally the title of the game on PAL territories for the Genesis and SNES. A version for the Sega 32X was planned but never released.[12][13]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
Atari JaguarSega GenesisSNES
AllGame2.5/5 stars[17]2.5/5 stars[15]2.5/5 stars[16]
CVG74 / 100[20]89 / 100[18]88 / 100[19]
GamePro13.5 / 20[23]15.5 / 20[21]16.5 / 20[22]
Next Generation3/5 stars[26]3/5 stars[24]3/5 stars[25]
Atari Gaming Headquarters5 / 10[27]N/AN/A
Game PlayersN/A80%[28]80%[29]
MAN!AC72%[31]80%[30]72%[30]
Mean Machines SegaN/A90 / 100[32]N/A
Mega FunN/A82%[33]87%[34]
ST-Computer80%[35]N/AN/A
Top ConsolesN/A13 / 20[36]13 / 20[36]
Total!N/AN/A2[37]
Video Games72%[40]76%[38]77%[39]
VideoGames8 / 10[43]8 / 10[41]8 / 10[42]
Aggregate score
GameRankingsN/AN/A87%[14]

A critic for Next Generation scored the Super NES version three out of five stars, saying that the game has more strategy than the average soccer sim and is decently fun, especially when using a multitap.[25] GamePro gave both the Genesis and Super NES versions positive reviews. They commented that the unrealistic gameplay makes it more fast-paced and potentially more fun than other soccer simulations, and were especially pleased with the exaggerated soccer moves which would not be possible in real life. They also remarked that the graphics and sounds of the Genesis version, while not as good as those of the Super NES version, were more than good enough.[22][21] Their review of the later Jaguar version said that though it is a port of the Super NES version with no enhancements to make use of the next-generation hardware, "it's still fun."[23] Next Generation also found the Jaguar version retained the fun of the game, scoring it three out of five stars. The reviewer summarized, "Not exactly the game for soccer idealists, Fever Pitch Soccer is fun, but it's a little on the frivolous side."[26] Next Generation reviewed the Genesis version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Ultimately, Head On Soccer is easy to play and, unfortunately, it's just as easy to stop playing."[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also known as Fever Pitch Soccer in Europe and on the Atari Jaguar in all regions and Mario Basler: Jetzt Geht’s Los! in Germany on the Genesis and SNES.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Team EGM - Head-On Soccer - Super NES". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 73. EGM Media, LLC. August 1995. p. 107.
  2. ^ Sponsel, Sebastian (October 29, 2012). "Genesis Reviews - Head-On Soccer". sega-16.com. Archived from the original on 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  3. ^ Rat, The Lab (February 1996). "GamePro Labs - A Player's Guide to Power Peripherals - Feline Friends". GamePro. No. 79. IDG. p. 22. Archived from the original on 2018-07-08. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  4. ^ "Fever Pitch Soccer - Ahora Puedes Practicar Un Nuevo "Toque" De Balón". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). No. 46. Axel Springer SE. July 1995. p. 101. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  5. ^ a b Fever Pitch Soccer game manual (Atari Jaguar, US)
  6. ^ "Dossier - Ils Arrivent Sur 64 Bits - 64 Bit Divers - Red Hot Soccer". CD Consoles (in French). No. 4. Pressimage. February 1995. p. 102. Archived from the original on 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  7. ^ "Messe - ECTS Autumn '95 - Atari". Video Games (in German). No. 48. Future-Verlag. November 1995. p. 7. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  8. ^ Still, Darryl (December 1995). "Letters". Edge. No. 27. Future Publishing. pp. 17–18. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  9. ^ zapiy (September 8, 2016). "RVG Interviews – Darryl Still". Retro Video Gamer UK. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  10. ^ "Atari Corp.'s Jaguar 64 hits mass market price; in time for holiday sales, Jaguar now $99". TheFreeLibrary.com. Business Wire. December 15, 1995. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  11. ^ Castle, Justin (July 21, 2018). "Historical Atari Jaguar UK Magazine Advert/Reviews Collection" (PDF). Issuu. p. 340. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  12. ^ "Hobby Sports - Fever Pitch - Fiebre de fútbol". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). No. 45. Axel Springer SE. June 1995. pp. 126–127.
  13. ^ "X-tra X-clusive News For 32X - Soulstar X". Mega Console (in Italian). No. 16. Futura Publishing. June 1995. p. 18. Archived from the original on 2018-11-17. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  14. ^ "Head-On Soccer for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  15. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett. "Head-On Soccer (Genesis) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  16. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett. "Head-On Soccer (SNES) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  17. ^ Scoleri III, Joseph. "Fever Pitch Soccer (Jaguar) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  18. ^ Clays, Simon (July 1995). "CVG Review - Mega Drive - Fever Pitch". Computer and Video Games. No. 164. Future Publishing. pp. 64–65. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  19. ^ Merrett, Steve (June 1995). "CVG Review - SNES - Fever Pitch". Computer and Video Games. No. 163. Future Publishing. pp. 84–85. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  20. ^ Davies, Paul (January 1996). "CVG Review - Jaguar - Fever Pitch". Computer and Video Games. No. 170. Future Publishing. p. 38. Archived from the original on 2018-09-01. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  21. ^ a b Gus, Greasy (September 1995). "The Sports Page - Head-On Soccer Speeds past Slower 16-Bit Sims - Head-On Soccer (Genesis)". GamePro. No. 74. IDG. p. 76.
  22. ^ a b Glide, Tommy (September 1995). "The Sports Page - Head-On Soccer Speeds past Slower 16-Bit Sims - Head-On Soccer (Super NES)". GamePro. No. 74. IDG. p. 76.
  23. ^ a b Gus, Greasy (April 1996). "Sport Pages - Jaguar - Fever Pitch Soccer". GamePro. No. 81. IDG. p. 93.
  24. ^ a b "Finals - Genesis - Head On Soccer". Next Generation. No. 9. Imagine Media. September 1995. p. 102.
  25. ^ a b "Finals - Super NES - Heads On Soccer". Next Generation. No. 10. Imagine Media. October 1995. p. 128.
  26. ^ a b "Finals - Jaguar - Fever Pitch Soccer". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. April 1996. p. 88.
  27. ^ Holstine, Patrick. "AGH Jaguar Review: FEVER PITCH SOCCER". atarihq.com. Archived from the original on 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  28. ^ Salmon, Mike (September 1995). "GP Sports - Reviews - Head On Soccer". Game Players. No. 75. Signal Research. p. 71.
  29. ^ Salmon, Mike (October 1995). "GP Sports - Reviews - Head On Soccer". Game Players. No. 76. Signal Research. p. 87.
  30. ^ a b Gaksch, Martin (August 1995). "Spiele-Tests - SN/MD - Mario Basler presents Fever Pitch Soccer". MAN!AC (in German). No. 22. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. p. 58.
  31. ^ Gaksch, Martin (January 1996). "Spiele-Tests - Jaguar - Fever Pitch Soccer". MAN!AC (in German). No. 27. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. p. 71.
  32. ^ Steve; Gus (June 1995). "Megadrive Review - Fever Pitch". Mean Machines Sega. No. 32. EMAP. pp. 64–67.
  33. ^ Schmiedehausen, Götz (September 1995). "Test Mega Drive - Mario Basler präsentiert: Fever Pitch Soccer". Mega Fun (in German). No. 36. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 72. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  34. ^ Schmiedehausen, Götz; Girlich, Stephan (August 1995). "Test Super Nintendo - Mario Basler präsentiert: Fever Pitch Soccer". Mega Fun (in German). No. 35. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. pp. 66–67. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  35. ^ "Jaguar-Spiele - Fever Pitch Soccer". ST-Computer (in German). No. 117. falkemedia. February 1996. p. 63.
  36. ^ a b Khârmo, Kingblade (July 1995). "Test - Super Nintendo/Mega Drive: Fever Pitch". Top Consoles (in French). No. 4. Pressimage. pp. 82–85. Archived from the original on 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  37. ^ "Test - SNES - Mario Basler Präsentiert: Fever Pitch Soccer". Total! (in German). No. 27. X-Plain-Verlag. August 1995. pp. 14–15. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  38. ^ Sauer, Dirk (August 1995). "Mega Drive - Reviews - Fever Pitch Soccer". Video Games (in German). No. 45. Future-Verlag. p. 72. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  39. ^ Sauer, Dirk (September 1995). "Super Nintendo - Reviews - F. Pitch Soccer". Video Games (in German). No. 46. Future-Verlag. p. 109. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  40. ^ Sauer, Dirk (January 1996). "Atari Jaguar - Reviews - Fever Pitch Soccer". Video Games (in German). No. 50. Future-Verlag. p. 46. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  41. ^ O'Connor, Frank (July 1995). "SportsWire - Genesis - Head-On Soccer - Well-done, but hardcore soccer fans will probably still go for FIFA". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 78. L.F.P., Inc. p. 92.
  42. ^ Higgins, Geoff (September 1995). "SportsWire - Super NES - Head-On Soccer - A feverish pace makes this game extremely entertaining". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 80. L.F.P., Inc. p. 94.
  43. ^ Higgins, Geoff (April 1996). "SportsWire - Reviews - Feverish Futball - Fever Pitch Soccer". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 87. L.F.P., Inc. p. 77. Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-14.

External links[edit]