Unfortunately when Super Action Soccer was published in 1984, little of that quality seemed to remain. Oh sure, the graphics were better than we’d seen in other games on other consoles... but only just.
Having booted up your Super Action Soccer cartridge (I wonder why it was never known as ‘SAS’, by the way?) you were quickly greeted by the sight of two teams lined up and ready to play. The players, for their part, looked like the symbols off a Gents toilet door - one team coloured light blue, the other in a shade of yellow we shall henceforth refer to as ‘Smoker’s handkerchief.’
In a future echo of games such as Kick Off and Sensible Soccer, Super Action Soccer also offers a top-down map of the pitch showing where your players were during ‘close-up’ mode. There's also a basic clock that twitches nervously along with the match score to keep you fully briefed too.
Atmosphere-wise, there’s a constant hum from the crowd to accompany the gameplay and though it sounds like the interference you’d get on an old radio, it works well enough along with the other token blips and bleeps.
If it’s any consolation, at least you get to see the net rippling when a goal’s scored. It’s just a shame there weren't a few more of those charming little effects in this game as it probably could have done with them. Super Action Soccer (renamed ‘Super Action Football’ for the European market) might have looked an exciting proposition back in the mid-80’s, but in reality it lacked any real zip or excitement. And all that on the console that brought us Donkey Kong Jr too. What a shame...