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// article by Jeff

HEY, MAN.

Ah, hello once again. You look a bit sad.

DIDN'T YOU HEAR? A COUPLE OF THE STAPLE MAINSTAYS HAVE LEFT GAMECOLA.

Yes, I'm sure we'll all miss the raving antics of Michael Gray and Zach Rich.

WHO?

Michael Gray? Zach Rich?

...WHO?!?!

They're two popular writers for GameCola who opted to depart the team over the past month! Haven't you been paying attention?

AWWW, MAN. I WAS HOPING THE MAINSTAYS WOULD BE US INSTEAD.

Sorry, but I think we'll be sticking around and looking at more wacky and obscure games for years and years and years and...

DEAR GOD, SAVE US ALL.

Allow me to cheer you up with an obscure game! Well, it's somewhat obscure. I didn't know it existed. Have you heard of that fancy sporting event known as "football"?

YEAH, THE ONE WITH THE SUPER BOWL. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO REVIEW A TECMO BOWL GAME, ARE YOU? I'VE HEARD OF THAT!

You're wrong on both counts. Only crazy Americans call something else "football," but to the rest of the world, your "soccer" is called "football." So, no, I'm not going to look at Tecmo Bowl. Or Super Tecmo Bowl. Or even NBA Action '95 starring David Robinson. No, I'm going to look at a soccer/football game, and it's definitely not one you'd expect to exist. It's called Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island, and it stars that lovable Posh spouse, David Beckham.

UH-HUH... SO IT'S JUST A SOCCER GAME STARRING DAVID BECKHAM. THAT'S... ER... UNIQUE.

Actually, that would not be unique, except for the fact that this is NOT, in fact, a sports title. It's a platformer, only released in Europe, where you get to use your soccer ball for great justice, rather than for the thrill of being deafened by a thousand vuvuzelas. Now I have no idea why, but David Beckham (in a more cartoonish form) has traveled to Soccer Island to stop some maniac called Mister Woe from causing havoc there (and thus, to the rest of the soccer-loving universe). But David Beckham has no idea how to use his fists for fighting off evildoers — he was trained not to — so he must embark on this quest using only his soccer (or "football") abilities.

HEYYYY... THAT SOUNDS AWFUL. IT'S LIKE THE SHAQ FU OF THE SOCCER WORLD.

Ah, relax your bowels, my good friend. It's not the travesty to gaming that Shaq Fu was. There's much more to it! It's a typical platformer — y'know, running, jumping, the usual stuff — but you bring with you a soccer ball for all sorts of purposes. You can use it to bash enemies, unlock end-of-level goals by booting it at a floating locked sphere, AND you can only collect coins with the ball, not your own body. How lousy is that? Mario must be spinning in his... billion... dollar... mansion? Nah, forget it. You can use multiple parts of your body in conjunction with the ball — kick with your foot, bounce off your head... any soccer fan should be familiar with the moves in this game. However, I follow sports like fat children follow yoga trends, so I'll have to live with only knowing the bare basics. You'll have to make your way around a Super Mario World-style map through different levels in order to finally defeat that Mister Woe. And, as a bonus, the game keeps track of goals and fouls, just like a real soccer game, only this time, it doesn't make any sense! Yahoo!

WELL, YOU DON'T HAVE ME HOOKED. BUT, JUST FOR THE SAKE OF THE READERS AND NOT FOR MYSELF, COULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO HOOK ONESELF ONTO THIS GAME?

Indeed. It actually handles well and seems far more fun than it sounds. For those who can't get enough classic-style platformers, this one is not one to miss! Unfortunately, you'll have to import it if you live outside of Europe, but hey, that's the way life goes.

I'M SURPRISED YOU WERE ABLE TO HANDLE A SPORTS-RELATED GAME FOR AN ENTIRE COLUMN.

I'm just that manly.


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