STORY / GAMEPLAY
Each match is played in overhead view while replays can be seen in side-on perspective (which actually does look better and I wish normal gameplay would support this perspective). Control is unorthodox but, ultimately, quite effective. There are two ways to pass the ball: you can hold the fire button and guide the on-screen cursor, or alternatively you play a "ping" pass (like in Sensible Soccer). This allows you to play effective one-touch football, guiding the pass towards the player with the halo atop his head. Shooting is simply a matter of holding the fire button, determining the direction of the shot and letting fly.
The game supports a variety of options at the main-menu, with friendlies, cups, six different leagues (Premier League, La Ligua, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and a mixed Ocean league) plus replays, a tactics editor and even definable referees (from lenient to strict!). The game offers actually real club teams and real player names! You can also alter the pitch, introduce wind etc. Matches can be played against the computer or another player. As with its rivals, there is also a radar on the screen showing the position of the players in the pitch. Regarding gameplay, there are the obvious similarities with the rest of the genre, but this time a few innovative features are found. For example, it contains an automatic corner kick, throw-in and shoot system. This may sound a little odd, especially shooting, but it does produce some spectacular finishing. With an auto-throw and corner kick it also means that while a computer player is taking the throw, you can control a player the throw will be directed at!
Surely, not the best soccer game ever produced back in the early 90's but still worth a look if you're in to such sims, especially for a soccer game that added a surprising breath of fresh air to its competitors of the genre. GRAPHICS / SOUND
European Champions differs from rivals like Goal! and Sensible Soccer in its graphics and presentation. For one, the sprites here are a lot longer and detailed than those in either of its rivals. Sprites are well done in detail and move nicely and fast around the pitch. In general, when you're accustomed to the control system, the game is really enjoyable and runs fluently when on the pitch. Both Amiga and STE share the same quality in terms of colors and design, though the Amiga runs just a bit smoother here I think.
The sound is also fine and consists of digitized crowd voices, tinny jeers for fouls, as well as decent sounds for ball kicking etc (same as with the STE version).