It was exactly a year ago when FIFA first wowed 3DO owners. Now EA brings the same 3D stadium to the PlayStation with even sharper gameplay and sound.
Now more than ever before, EA Sports maximizes its FIFA license to provide more than 3000 world class players from 12 international leagues, including England, Italy, and Brazil, along with 59 international teams. Traditional FIFA options give you a Season, Playoff, Toumament, and Exhibition modes of play.
The gameplay simulates real soccer better than ever, and the computer brings a fairly tough A.I. to the field. Complementing the realistic strategy element is the great passing and shooting control, which adds to the depth of the game. If you're looking to showboat, powerful speed bursts can create great breakaways, and moves like the rainbow kick and 180-degree spin, while not easily mastered, leave your opponents searching for their jocks.
While not a radical departure from the 3D graphics seen on the 3DO, the sprites on the PlayStation have been cleaned up a bit, and the animation's smoother. Several views are offered, though none is really outstanding.
While the Ball cam puts you confusingly in the middle of the action with large sprites, the smaller sprites seen from higher views give you better playing perspective. The most helpful views are the overhead views for comer kicks and the optional bird's-eye view when your goalie has possession.
The sound has been enhanced with real-time commentary by England's play-by-play man, John Mot-son. Motson uses real player names in his commentary, and his voice is woven seamlessly into the action. However, the onfield sounds seem too soft. The great crowd noise remains intact, but there isn't the huff and puff you'd expect from running 22 men up and down the field.
FIFA '96 rolls onto the PlayStation with all the glory of a World Cup final match. While there may be more 32-bit soccer games on the horizon, you'll be hard-pressed to find any sims that bring home a more realistic soccer experience.
- Use the rainbow kick to put the ball past oncoming defenders.
- As the Italian world team, feed the ball to Baggio (#10) for guaranteed goals.
- If you're having trouble moving the ball upfield. switch your strategy and formation to compensate.
- To score on corner kicks, lob the ball to the near post and try to head it in.
- When first playing against the computer, give yourself the advantage of Brazil or Italy and take on weaker teams like Algeria and Luxembourg.