Have you played Atari soccer today?

The Atari 2600 (or VCS if you’re even more decrepit than I am).

Let’s get it out of the way, then. Thanks to the Stella emulator, a full romset and searching for the word “soccer” I’m giving you four for the price of one which considering this blog is free to read means absolutely bugger all.

Apparently this game was endorsed by Pelé – it’s hard to tell as there’s not really any mention of it on the box. I wonder if he actually played it and if so, whether he included any goals he scored into his infamously inflated tally. Hey, if he can count ones he got in fever dreams after necking too many Viagras…

54 game modes, eh? [Insert GIF of “ain’t nobody got time for that” woman that Russell Howard played to fucking death]

Start a game and oh, it’s Pong… fancy Pong but still…

You control a trio of Tic-Tacs bound together like they’re in a chain gang. The sequel to this should have been called “Gonna Dig Me A Hole”.

Kick the ball and you get to see their legs. I say legs, they look more like aelirons. I guess they’re UFOs flying in formation which probably explains why they have such little influence on the movement of the ball. It shunts about like a puck on a broken air hockey table. Not to mention it’s a bloody square.

If you do happen to score though, you get a nice little fireworks display on what I assume is one of those gigantic but charmingly crude scoreboards Americans are so fond of. Best bit of the game, that. Otherwise… it’s shit. But you might have guessed that.

Hang on… this is just Pelé‘s Soccer again. I knew there were a ton of rip-offs on the 2600 but this is taking the piss.

Oh… it says it’s the same game on that shiny sticker. Fuck.

Moving on…

…checks to see it’s not just Pelé‘s Soccer again… again

Phew.

First things first – recogniseable human beings. Sort of. Legs so bandy, they look like John Wayne’s got off his horse and not drunk his milk. That and he forgot his Vitamin D tablets. Never mind a football, you could get a medicine ball through that thigh gap.

Side on, they’re not much better. Running like they’re trying to perform the Moonwalk while moving forwards and bending over to reach for the remote control at the same time. Just like LiberoGrande, they also make Iggy Azalea look arseless. Say no to backstreet silicone injections, kids – they’ll be amputating your legs before you know it.

Where was I? Right… I thought this game was somewhat easy at first as my opponents didn’t seem to be doing anything. Probably idiotic A.I. once more, I thought. Whadadyaknow? I was wrong! Who’d have thunk it?

Turns out this is a two-player game. Two-player ONLY. I felt I missed the point as badly as those people who complained to the BBC after they took off an episode of the Antiques Roadshow to show Nelson Mandela being released from prison. This actually happened.

As a deeply lonely individual, I had to improvise. Digging out a spare USB controller and taking off my socks, my toes took on the role of adversary. So there I was playing with myself wiggling my joysticks.

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(Use this space to make your own masturbation jokes. Honestly, you’re sick in the fucking heads, the lot of you.)

What’s so real about this then?

Players per side – three. If you’re on your lonesome, you’re in charge of the indigo lot against those TWATS in salmon pink. I nickname my absolute gods of men Geddy, Neil and Alex as they all have to act as rush goalies, leading to a load of 21-12 scorelines on your way to the odd one little victory or two against those ABSOLUTE BASTARDS. HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Kill me.

No permanent waves here as the entirely invisible “crowd” barely utter anything save for the occasional burst of static. I promise I’ll stop now.

Each of your Adonises, your perfect human specimens, your saints is somehow confined to a third of the screen – top, middle or bottom like Strike It Lucky. Not that it stops them from destroying those COMPLETE COCKWOMBLES.

You switch between them by either pushing the button when not in possession or by somehow successfully completing a pass. This is indicated by said protagonist being illuminated in a slighter brighter hue like Eddie after his Ready Brek (please note: the ethereal glow gained from ingesting said porridge mix can only be attained by adding so much sugar that you hallucinate one just before falling into a hyperglycaemic coma).

OK… completing a pass. Again, ball movement is somewhat non-Newtonian. This particularly affects shooting – the number of times the ball will park itself right on the goal-line just before one of those STUPID PINK CUNTS manages to clear it, start a counter-attack and invariably score is frankly terrifying. This shit gets old quickly.

In conclusion… I blame myself for knowing exactly what I was getting myself into. Only before someone else beats me to it, mind.