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Adidas Power Soccer features a number of « special moves » when played in the arcade mode. Don't be in any doubt about these techniques - for the most part, they're totally outrageous and would have no business being in the proper « simulation » area of the game. However, such is the excellence of these moves, they can seriously boost the enjoyment factor of the game, particularly when playing again a human opponent. To distinguish these techniques from the average movements of the player, each of them is accompanied with some minor pyrotechnics.
A whole host of attacking techniques
Once in possession of the ball a choice of three special moves are included in addition to the basic techniques available to the player. Each move is designed for a different scenario, to shoot more effectively, to evade a tackle and to confuse the opposition.
Heeling the Ball (In possession, + )
This is the archetypal heel - a surprise kick of the ball backwards, hopefully into the possession of another of your players. After a long run towards goal, it's pretty clear that opposition will be ready for your assault. The heel is good for throwing this preparation off-guard. Followed up with some clear passing, forward this one move can help decimate the opposition defensive plans. A more silly use for this move is to line yourself up with the goal, turn your back backwards it and then execute the technique. Believe it or not, sometimes it works on particularly dopey ‘keepers.
Back Flick (In possession, + )
A particularly flashy special move, designed to spectacularly defend the player from an opposition's challenge. As the opposing footballer closes in to strike, this move causes the player to heel the ball from behind, over his shoulder and right in front of him. To be honest, the straightforward tackle avoidance move is probably more useful in the majority of the cases, but if multiples footballers are closing in on your player, this is the best move to use. Problems arise sometimes when the ball drops down to terra firma - the player occasionally loses possession for a short time, during which the ball can be stolen.
Mega shoot (In possession, + )
The pride of your offensive arsenal is the Predator Shot, an incredible strike powered by the Adidas Predator boot. Accompanied by some major fireworks, the player propels the ball at great velocities towards the goal with an improved sense of accuracy behind the shot. To be honest, it's perhaps too tempting to make every shot on the goal a Predator-powered strike owning to the superior speed the player but behind the ball. Such is the power, a goalkeeper who catches the ball head on can sometimes stagger back as a result...right into his own goal. A somewhat unexpected, and indeed hilarious turn of events.
Taking up a defensive position
When you're not in the possession of the ball, obviously the best course of action is to get hold of it as soon as possible. In addition to the two challenges and the interception of the basic control mode, there are three special moves designed to get the ball by cheating basically. The more severe technique, the greater your chance of getting the ball (and a red card).
Karate Kick (Chasing the ball, + )
This is perhaps the most downright dirty attack in the game. Unlike certain Manchester United player, this flying kick isn't targeted at the spectators but at other footballers! Close in and press the buttons to watch your player performs a neck-high kick... particularly nasty when attacking from behind, the referee has to be blind (and indeed stupid) not to immediately penalize the offending player for this particularly nasty technique.
Nudging (Chasing the ball, + )
This is definitely the technique that's subtler than the karate kick. Taking the from of a simple nudge, this has power enough to deck an opposing player while looking quite innocent to the untrained eye.
Two-handed Push (Chasing the ball, + )
A most violent, totally unjustified move which is just so outrageous, only the most short-sigh referee will let it pass. A blatant foul, this has a most comedic look.
Receiving a high ball
Adidas Power Soccer is a passing game... just running up the pitch with one player and attempting to score isn't exactly a wining formula. From the basic control mode you know that there are two different heights you can pass the ball at. These special moves apply to receiving a ball kicked using the high pass.
The Hand of God (High reception, + )
A special move clearly inspired by Diego Maradona's hand-ball scoring antics that sent England spiraling out of the 1982 World Cup. Fire off a high pass towards one of your forwards and he use his hand to direct the ball toward the opposition's net. If you get away with this one, it's an outrageous travesty...
Bicycle Kick (High reception, + )
As a set piece maneuver, there's little to match this astounding move. Send a high pass towards one of your strikers and he'll use an excellent overhead kick to boot the ball towards the opposing goal.
Receiving a low ball
As you might imagine, a different range of special techniques are available for the discerning player attempting to receive a pass aimed at the lower portion of the body.
Mega Volley (Low reception, + )
A surprise, fast-paced shot at the enemy goal. The ball is sent at the ground level towards the striker, who volleys it at Predator speeds towards the net. The speed and power of the shot is such that if a winger outside the box pulls off this move, there's a good chance indeed that he'll score.
Diving Header (Low reception, + )
The equivalent of the Mega Shot whilst receiving a low ball, the diving header can produce one of the most spectacular goals in the entire game. Setting up such a goal is not an easy task - the players need to be in the correct position with the low pass being of sufficient length beforehand.
A couple of techniques that defy any of the above classification follow: The Mega Run special in particular should be committed to memory as it can set up any number of spectacular goals.
Juggling (Receiving low or high ball, + )
One of the most spectacular moves in the game. The payer receives the ball and stops it with one foot. He then proceeds to juggle the ball between one foot and the other for a short while before unleashing a terrifying shot at goal.
The Mega Run (Any time, + )
A final move which is activated at anytime whatsoever, whether you have the ball or not is the Mega Run technique, activated by pressing square and circle together at any time of your choosing. Every player as a small amount of Mega Run capability, and this can be used sparingly to out-run opposition with little effort whatsoever. A somewhat cheeky use of the technique is to save your energy until the player is in the penalty box and then use the Mega Run to speed out the goalkeeper's range before firing off a shot (preferably one of the Predator variety). At this point, the ‘keeper should still be running to catch up with you and the ball should sail into the net with no problems.
Adidas Power Soccer is a creation of Psygnosis (c) 1996 All rights reserved
All photographs are reproduced with the kind permission of Psygnosis.