Cast your mind back, if you will, to the 1994/1995 football season. It was quite a year. Manchester United's super-talented but slightly bonkers French striker Eric Cantona was banned from football for eight months for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan who was giving him abuse following a red card. Arsenal manager George Graham, chief architect of the famous "one nil to the Arsenal" chant, was sacked for taking a bung. Spurs bought German striker Jurgen Klinsmann from Monaco for £2m and Manchester United bought Newcastle United's goal machine Andy Cole for £6m (Keith Gillespie went the other way). And guess who won the league?
Blackburn. That's right. Blackburn Rovers, with the deadly strike duo of Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer, or SAS. Together they tore up defences up and down the land on their way to securing the club's only Premiership title and, tragically, Big Al's only piece of silverware. Oh, and Sensible World of Soccer was released.
And now it's back, some 14 years later. And it's exactly the same in every way, except it's got online play. Oh, and of course, Achievements. Like Gentlemanly Conduct for getting no cards in a match, or Deus-Ex-Socca, for simply winning a game against the computer, or the ultra hard Thrash 'Em, for defeating any team in single-player by 10 goals or more.
But we all know SWOS isn't about single-player. For those of us who were there back in the day, it was always about beating your mate on the Amiga. It was about super fast birds-eye view football action. It was about curling the ball with simple twists of your joystick. It was about diving headers, sliding tackles, made-up names and trying to injure the opposition's star player.
Is it as good now as it was then? Predictably it isn't. The gameplay itself is fiddly and sometimes frustrating. Back then having the ball skate about as if it were on ice was cool. Going back now you can see SWOS for what it is - a fun, fast football game with surprising depth and great multiplayer. But it's not the best football game ever made by a long shot.
When we reminisce about games we played years ago, it's hard not to fix nostalgia goggles firmly around our eyes. It's a bit like going back and watching classic Transformers G1 cartoon episodes after seeing the new Michael Bay movie - they're not as good as you remember. But that doesn't mean Codemasters shouldn't have bothered bringing the game back, especially now they've added online multiplayer.
For those of you who weren't there, back in the day, SWOS might at first glance appear, well, a little crap. It might also feel, well, a little crap, too. But give it a chance. Once you wrap your head around the fact that the A button is used for everything - shooting, passing, sliding tackles, diving headers - and that the type of kick you make depends on how you move the left control stick - pull back for long balls, twist left and right for curling - and you'll soon be knocking it about like Chelsea did when we had Di Matteo, Vialli and Dennis Wise.
Apart from the online multiplayer and lovely re-mastered high definition graphics, SWOS is as you were, with a full career mode that sees you taking control of a team, setting tactics and buying and selling players over the course of a season; DIY cup and league options; tonnes of teams (with no real names) and a save highlights feature. If you've been looking forward to downloading SWOS it's everything you could have wanted.
I remember listening to a US video game podcast recently (which will go unnamed) where the presenters were slagging off SWOS for having Sensible in its title, for having soccer in its title when it was British - "WTF! Shouldn't it be called football? LOL Stupid Brits" - and generally for not being American Football. Well screw them, and their Madden games. We don't need no rubbish next-gen title to get us excited about our national sport. All we need is simple, down to earth footballing fun, and that's what SWOS is.