After an eight year break, one of the most loved soccer games returns at last. Whereas before, Sensi’s style - the top down view, hyper-speed players that could only run in eight directions and crazy curling shots - could have been attributed to technological constraints, they now act as vital parts of the Sensible “feel”. Admittedly, it’s now in 3D and the all-important player likenesses are achieved through the use of huge heads that sport the right hair color.
Putting this aside, the creators of Sensible Soccer 2006 have tried to stay faithful to the original game. Unlike most others, they have also made a point of not trying to make it overly realistic and hence avoid going up against the soccer giants that are FIFA Football by EA, and Winning Eleven by Konami. The result is that you have twenty two hilariously disproportionate players zipping around the pitch making crazy fifteen yard sliding tackles and taking some wild banana shots that occasionally end up in the back of the net. Sounds pretty much like the original!
The controls remain as simple as ever with buttons for shoot, pass, and sprint. For shooting and passing, the longer you hold, the further the ball will go. The system used for sprinting is such that each player has their own energy bar which is meant to last the whole match. Once the bar runs empty there’s no going back, so use it wisely. To unlock extra features like alternative team strips (e.g. Union Jack shorts) you have to finish the tournaments, and there are plenty of them to keep you occupied for a while.
When it comes down to it, Sensi 2006 is fun for a kick-about and should stir up some nostalgia for anyone who had played the original. However there were some strange warped graphics during our tests and as fast as this 3D incarnation is, it will never be as slick as its predecessor from almost a decade ago. What makes it worth a look is that it will appeal to absolutely anyone, football fan or not, thanks to the healthy mix of comedy with high tempo gameplay.