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Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure On Soccer Island

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Released: 2002

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance

Publisher: Rage Software

Developer: Denki

After England’s loss to Italy in the World Cup over the weekend, we’ve been mulling over what it’d take to get the team out of the group stage – and more importantly, who could step up to deliver the goods. The national team has often been rescued by stunning individual efforts – David Platt’s incredible volley at Italia 90, David Seaman’s penalty save against Spain, and David Beckham’s exceptional free kick against Greece to ensure qualification for the 2002 World Cup.

Ah, Beckham. Once reviled by English football fans for his childish tantrum at the World Cup in 1998, his midfield talents eventually won back the respect of the crowd. By 2001 he was sufficiently popular that Rage Software, which had built its reputation on its debut football title Striker, saw fit to license his likeness for a football game. That didn’t do tremendously well and the team quickly looked for another way to utilise the licence. Go! Go! Beckham! is the surprising result of that search, from Scottish developer Denki.

Go! Go! Beckham! is actually a charming little platform game, with the main wrinkle being that Beckham can only collect items and defeat enemies by kicking the ball around the stage. It’s heavily reminiscent of Nineties titles Soccer Kid and Marko’s Magic Football, and provides a high quality platforming experience. It’s particularly good at easing you into the system, providing big, obvious arcs of collectable in early stages to show you where to kick. We’re big fans of the use of football terminology throughout the game – Beckham is fouled rather than killed, and fights managers as opposed to bosses. It’s unfortunately quite easy and a little shorter than we’d like, but if you don’t mind a pushover you’ll get on well with this – and if you have a football-mad kid, they’ll love it.

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