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International Superstar Soccer 64

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Reviewed by RanmaM Every year game companies bring out football games by the dozen all looking for their game to battle it out for footballing supremacy and after the dreadful Fifa 64, the N64 needed a football game to show off it's power. Konami come along with International Superstar Soccer 64 (ISS64) hopefully the game to give us back our footballing faith. I'm a huge football fan and next to RPG's, my CD and cartridge drives have been mostly playing football games. I have had hours of fun playing this on the SNES when it was first released, even then on a 16 Bit console it was clearly the best around. Now ISS64 has arrived I am glad to say that my faith has been restored in football games. Konami have pull out of the hat an excellent game that must have given other companies a major headache mostly because it'll take a massive achievement to get any where near an effort like this. The animation is just amazing, from static screen shots it doesn't look much, but if you see this moving you'll understand that this could have only been done on the N64. There are so many tricks and different touches that can be pulled off. its very close to watching a real game. When players are fouled the one who done the tackle may lean down and help up the victim or shout at him and walk away. Other things like players looking around to see who is in the box before crossing are there to make this as realistic as possible. Its viewed at a side-on and has small rotation when near the goal. But ISS64 still has bad points, like slow-down, it only happens when the view changes to behind the goal (when the keeper is taking a goal kick), if there are more than 15 players on one part of the screen and sometimes on corner kicks. Though only noticeable when playing the game. Its packed full of speech, loads more than what was in the debacle Fifa 64. No famous commentator is needed for this game. Just simple phrases that you at home would say. But being phrases its never linked together. The sound effects are added at just the right time, if the game gets boring the crowd start to play a tune or sing a song or if its goal mouth action then they are very load. There's even oooooohhhhhss and aaaaaahhhhhhs when shots are saved or hit the post. Shame about the 70's style music. Even though the gameplay is a pick-up and play the controls do need to be learned. All but two buttons on the joypad are used and they are strangely placed. You can't configure them to how you want, which is annoying. First of all you need to learn the four main moves: shooting, passing, dash and lob. After that there is the tackling and then the excellent special moves. Passing is made so easy though, the astonishingly high and intelligent AI in the game places your team mates exactly where you want them. Once learned though you'll impress your mates (and probably annoy them to) with great touches and spectacular goals. Value for money comes within the amount of extra options that's included in ISS64. Along with the usual International Cup and World Cup, there is a great training mode. You need to use this to perfect all the moves. In training you can choose from three situations: Free training is the first one to use, its your team against no one, you'll get to use the one-two passing and curving the ball techniques. Free Kick and Cornering lets you practice on exactly what they say, free kicks and cornering. But the best highlight in ISS64 is Scenario Mode, there are 16 different scenarios of you to take part in. Ranging from one to six difficulty levels. The easiest is being one-nil down with two minutes to go in the International Cup, while the hardest is being 2-1 down with ten men and only 30 seconds to go. Each of them you HAVE to win. Try to imagine the best football game with all the things you've ever wanted, right now add the best animation, intelligent AI, jaw-dropping special moves and a multiplayer mode ......done it?. Well this is it. This is the best football game so far, the satisfaction of scoring a 20-yard free kick is unmatched in any other soccer game. Once you pick this up you just can't put it down. At first it may appear hard to control, but please stick with it, you'll be awarded with and absolutely awesome game. Get-togethers will never be the same because the multi-player mode is simply excellent.

Graphics: 4.5 out of 5.0 Sound: 3.5 out of 5.0 Control: 5.0 out of 5.0 Fun Factor: 5.0 out of 5.0 Overall: 4.0 out of 5.0

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