Aug 29, 2012
It’s almost appropriate that Speedball 2 Evolution has finally been released on Android, given that this futuristic bloodsport contains plenty of robotic players. A modern enhanced version of the classic Bitmap Brothers game, this takes the guts of soccer, ups the scoring, adds in bumpers and bonuses like pinball, along with the kind of extreme violence of football. Players can be killed outright. The only rule of Speedball 2 Evolution is that there are no rules, besides the ones that govern scoring! YEEEEEEEAHHHHH!
The game may be a couple decades old at this point, but it is still gleefully brutal fun. The controls have been simplified for mobile, where taps and holds on the screen perform all the actions, and movement is either through tilting or a virtual joystick. There’s a fun campaign mode whwre players earn money and fight their way through the ranks of the various Speedball leagues, taking on themed teams, like one named after metal singers. The developer Vivid Games is based in Poland, which explains the inclusion of a player named Nergal. I throw up the horns for that.
The problem with the game is really that it is too easy. Yes, players of the original are probably wondering what is wrong with me. But the mobile version is tuned to be much easier for the modern gamer. I’m fine with this, but the AI is just awful and easy to exploit. In fact, most goals are thanks to the AI being inspired by Leeroy Jenkins. Once it is discovered that they rarely go for the ramps that multiply points, it becomes easier to run up the score, and even if the player’s team is relatively outmatched, there’s still a fighting chance. It just takes a few matches to get used to, and boom, domination. I was clamoring for a harder difficulty, but none was to be had!
However, despite the game giving good players a sizable advantage, there’s still something so purely fun about smashing faces in a futuristic bloodsport. Just do expect a walk in the park.