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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
There was a time, in the late eighties and early nineties, when The Bitmap Brothers could do no wrong. The isometric wonder of Cadaver and arcade brilliance of Magic Pockets and The Chaos Engine defined my Amiga days as strongly as the work of Sensible Software, and Xenon II: Megablast blended tight design with electronica long before Wipeout came onto the scene. But it’s Speedball 2 that dominates my memory of those days, and with good reason.
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.