International Superstar Soccer 64
Reviewed by Phil Kehoe
A few months back, FIFA 64 was released. I remember running to the
store the day it came out to see what EA could do with the N64. When
I first played the game I thought is was very cool. Since that time I have
traded in FIFA 64 and purchased International Superstar Soccer 64. Let
me just say that THIS is the game to show all of us just how much
potential the N64 has to become a great sports machine.
Since I owned FIFA 64 prior to owning ISS64 I will make the obvious
WOW! What a refreshing relief to see that the N64 can handle a high
speed sports game. After seeing FIFA's poor scrolling I was a little
worried. But ISS64 delivers near perfect graphics. The motion capture
is very impressive. I don't recall seeing a sports game where your player
can do so much. Everything from stretching to warm up, to all the in game
motions and the post-goal celebrations. It's all there. The night games are
equally impressive. If you watch the shadows on the players you will notice
that they change according to where they are on the field. Very impressive.
After hearing that Madden 64 will have 3-D weather effects, I kind of
wish Konami had though that up and it was in this game. A minor quibble
The only reason why this received this low of a score is because of two
complaints that I have. First the announcer while very cool does fall
behind more than I would like to see. Second the crowd chants. I do like
how the crowd get more excited and louder as you approach the goal
but they cannot touch the crowd chants that where in FIFA 64. IMO
that was the coolest thing about FIFA. Other than those two grips the
sound is very good. All the in game sounds are their and are accurate.
The announcer is very realistic and what he says is much more varied
than FIFA. I love when you score a goal and he starts screaming
GOAL!..GOAL!!...GOOOOOAAAALLL!!! FIFA's announcers never get that excited.
This is the best playing soccer game that I have ever played. I wish
more sports games had AI like this one. The computer doesn't try to
keep scoring one way like most games but actually reads the situation
at does what it thinks is best. This might include passing it back and
setting up. Their are five different levels for the AI. I have not played
levels four or five but I can give my opinion of 1-3. Level one is very
easy and is more their to help you learn some strategy. Level 2 is a
little harder. For the first two days I was winning most of the games but
I lost once in a while to a very good team like Brazil (I was USA). Well
I just moved up to Level 3 and let me say that it is kicking my ass. But
the beautiful this about this game is that if you learn strategies and use
more of the techniques you can eventually overcome the AI. It's not like
some games where the AI cheats. You watch some of the moves the computer
pulls off and your like WOW why can't I do that, but eventually you will.
What makes this possible is the very easy to learn control. This game
is like a good puzzle game. It takes five minutes to learn the control
but months to master the game.
This sections shows the reason why ISS64 is the best soccer game.
No matter what kind of game it is there are always the little things
that push a game from being good or great to becoming a classic. For
example, the game is highly configurable especially in the exhibition
mode. You can select the weather, time of day, referee, how good of
shape your opponent is in, Goalie AI, number of players on the field, etc.
Then their is the team strategies options. I love how you can select
different strategies with the press of the Z and C button. You can call
everybody up for and All Out offense one second and then quick switch
to an All Out Defense without and interruption in gameplay. The usual
player substitutions and formation selections are there but they are at
a level higher than any FIFA game.
The scenario section is another added bonus. They are very exciting and
I love how they range in difficulty. Nice touch. Also how nice is it to see
an ending in a sports game. Really cool celebration after winning the
International Cup. Take note EA.
This is the best soccer game I have ever played. I have been playing
FIFA '96 (PC), and FIFA 64 before this and I probably will never go
back to EA for a soccer game (As long as Konami keeps releasing
new versions). FIFA '98 has a lot to live up to. Their needs to be a
major overhaul in every department if it even wants to touch this
masterpiece. If you love sports game or even multiplayer games
this just might be the most exciting sports game out there.