The last time someone said they were remaking Speedball 2, it didn’t go well. The classic, fantastic future-sports game had even a sportless buffoon like me absolutely enthralled. For years after it came out, Greg, Fred, James and I regularly invaded Mike Smith’s house to engage in lengthy tournaments, before things inevitably descended into cider and Night Trap. Or just hammering away at the Atari ST version in ’91 aged 13, not having fully grasped the rules, but enjoying the punching. Then in 2007 Kylotonn decided to remake it in 3D. Remember Speedball 2 Tournament? No? Exactly. It was released onto Steam at the time. It’s not there any more.
But now we have news of yet another remake, Speedball 2 HD, due out next month, this time headed up by Sensible’s Jon Hare, and Bitmap’s Mike Montgomery. This sounds far more promising.
Not least because it’s still in 2D. Even the Xbox Live re-release in 2007 tried to crowbar in a 3D mode – and that too can no longer be purchased. Look, see, it looks like Speedball 2!
Well, almost. There’s something just off about the scratchiness of the players. Weirdly, they somehow look more dated than the original. I’m not sure quite how this earns the mantel of “HD”. Still though, it’s defiantly not a cloying attempt to modernise – let’s desperately hope it can maintain the speed and one-button perfection of the original. We’ll find out on the 5th December.