You control the player on your team who’s in possession of the ball or whomever is nearest the ball should an opponent have it or it be loose in the arena. Don’t like a player on your team? Exchange him plus a fee for another team’s player on the Transfer Market. Don’t like a player on the other team? Beat him to a pulp and watch as a robot drags him out of the arena for a less experienced sub to replace him. Despite the simplistic premise, the game certainly has character. Around the rectangular arena are various items for players or opponent to collect to increase the chances of winning. You’ll spend a lot of time throwing the ball at the walls where you can find such things as a sphere that will electrify the ball, devices that multiplies further points, and warps. These devices all contribute to the strategy side of play and give Speedball 2 some added depth. Speedball 2 can be very simple or complicated depending on how much you want to get out of it. There are tons of options during the management side of the game, but they can be bypassed if you want to get straight to the mauling. Going straight into a game will be fun but figuring out strategies is a trial & error process. Play a single game, practice, act solely as the manager, play in the League or enter the Knockout tournament. This game has the potential to last a while.
The graphics are excellent, everything in the game appears very refined and sharp, although they are very…well, blue. Nearly everything is a greyish blue, from the arena floor and wall to the player’s sprites and the Team Management interface. Sure it fits into the futuristic sports theme but a bit more colour wouldn’t have been a bad thing. The only way to identify your team is by the small coloured arc above their heads, you have green, the opponent has orange, but other than that the sprites are the same. Overall this is among the game’s best aspects, it’s very polished and there are little touches thoughout to be appreciated. The sound is minimal to say the least. At the title screen a fitting tune plays, at the end of a game one of two ditties will play depending on whether you won or lost and that’s about it for music. Luckily the effects during actual play almost make up for it. The roar of the crowd is nice but not in any way realistic. The sound of one team member tackling an opponent is effective and the various methods of gaining points all with their own individual “pinball” sound do contribute to the atmosphere. Speedball 2 is a well-made and challenging game that can be frustrating at times but is very rewarding in the long run. Winning games is very satifying, it balances the management and action aspects of the game very well, and more importantly it’s fun!