FIFA International Soccer

a game by Electronic Arts, and Extended Play
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, Sega Master SystemSega Master System, PC, 3DO, GameBoy, GameGear
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 10 reviews, 12 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Soccer Games, FIFA Games, Simulator Games
FIFA International Soccer
FIFA International Soccer
FIFA International Soccer
FIFA International Soccer

There must have been squillions of footie games released on the pc last summer and on the face of it, FIFA International Soccer came pretty close to grabbing the cup. It looked quite fab, had more options than an Oxbridge graduate who's uncle is "somebody" at the bbc and played, well - let's just say that there was room for improvement in the gameplay department. In world-cup speak, it was something of an Italy - it played okay, was entertaining to watch and didn't overly disappoint, but when it came to the crunch; it lacked that certain sparkle to make it a winner (i.e. Roberto Baggio).

So what's new?

Well, unless you've got more than 4 Meg of ram, not a lot. The running commentary and. indeed, the whizzo intro sequences are notably conspicuous by their absence, although, in its favour, the game automatically skips the intro and disables Tony Gubba's commentary rather than simply crashing. You can, however, use the Editor to alter the names of your players (a much needed improvement) and although the new name appears in the text at the bottom of the screen, Tony Gubba still uses the old name. (A bit slow on the uptake these footie commentators.) If you have got more than 4 Meg of ram then you're in business. The game starts with a swirlsome intro featuring sweaty footballer types dashing about the field, chasing a ball that seems to have taken on the persona of Wilo' the Whisp on acid. The game proper then kicks in and off you go. Flick through the numerous options, change a few player names, shuffle through some tactics and wowzer - it's footie time!

Say what?

The commentary? Well, it's amusing at first, but you only begin to really notice it when it starts to repeat itself or when it makes a mistake i.e. you let go a super shot, the goalie grabs the ball out of the air and good ole Tony cries "Oooh - it hit the woodwork!" It's also a bit slow at times, and Tone tends to scream footie cliches after the action has finished whilst you're left wondering exactly what he's on about. Overall though, the commentary is a valid addition to the game, it's just a shame there aren't any real sound effects when a player thumps the ball or when it hits the bar.

Game on?

As for the gameplay - well if you haven't played FIFA before it will come as a bit of a shock. It's not that it's not playable, it just takes a little getting used to. Player control is potentially good - you can chip, lob, chest, head the ball (as well as perform the now almost obligatory scissor kick), but until you really get used to it, you'll probably find it a little inaccessible.

Even though FIFA looks and sounds fantastic, the game, unfortunately, is not without it's faults. Although player animation is smooth, the fact that you can kick the ball from the half-way line and score is a little unfeasible, especially on a slower machine (486SX25), where you only realise that you've scored because of the resounding cheer that bursts from the crowd. You then find yourself waiting for the camera or screen view to catch up with ball only to see it bouncing in the back of the net. It's also a bit frustrating when you're forced to take a free-kick from just outside the area and can't see the goal. Your target man dives for a ball automatically when you wanthim to hang back for the rebound. I could go on, but I won't 'cause the Ed.'s only given me the one page.

The long and short of it is: it's a nice looking footie game, the running commentary has novelty value, but if you are looking for the definitive footie game wait and see what the new year brings.

Download FIFA International Soccer

Genesis

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

SNES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Sega Master System

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

3DO

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Gameboy

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

GameGear

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

It's World Cup year of course, everyone and their half-breed pups are producing new World Cup football games at the rate of three a minute, for every computer game format known to man. Doubtless, before the competition starts, the earth will have been pushed out of orbit by the weight of the huge mountain of football games, the planet will veer towards the sun and we will all be burnt to a not particularly low-fat crisp. Still, at least the Germans won't win the' World Cup again.

Football... or sah-ker?

Football is a game in which the ball is played almost exclusively with the foot, except in America, where it's a game in which the ball is played with the foot once every 50 minutes and the rest of the time is thrown about among overpaid steroids-users wearing expanded polypropylene shirts. Football is also - it's generally agreed by experts - a game of two halves, which always makes it more than a little disturbing when the Americans get their hands on it and try to turn it into a game of four quarters with bigger goals, no offside rule and an advertising break every 90 seconds. It becomes even more perturbing when they get it into their heads to make a computer-based game of the sport. After all, if they'll even consider doing all that in real life, to what lengths will they go given the freedom of a computer game?

Fortunately...

Fortunately, the bods at Electronic Arts know a thing or two about sports games, having produced the best sports simulations on the 16-bit consoles in every sport from ice-hockey and American football to indoor parachute jumping and underwater judo. They can more or less be trusted not to go too apeshit when it comes to tampering with the "Beautiful Game". In fact, they've been markedly reserved; allowing only artificial turf and a clock that stops when the ball goes out of play, to creep in from the weird country of time outs and coaches who carry computers. Actually, I'm lying: in the Megadrive version, although you could only have two substitutions, you could bring on someone you'd previously taken off, which is a bit naughty. However, they might change that for the pc version.

Game types

There is a greater variety of ways to play the game than there is things to do on a Saturday night in with a Sooty puppet and a family-size jar of Marmite. You'll be able to play one-off exhibition games, World Cup style tournaments and leagues. The games themselves can be played in two ways: in Action games, players perform to their ratings throughout the match, impervious to the effects of climate and aesthetically displeasing football strips. Alternatively, the game can be played as a Simulation, in which a heavy pitch, an elbow to the jawbone or worries about what his wife really meant with that comment about mini-courgettes, can all take their toll on a player's performance.

Among the other factors that will influence the style of game you'll play is the Fouls option. This determines both how strict the referee is and the selectable weather. The selectable weather alters the colour of the pitch for that extra bit of authenticity.

The teams

There is a pleasingly "large" number of teams to choose from: 48 national teams altogether, which obviously ' includes a great many who (ahem) didn'factually make it to the real World Cup finals. The players in the teams are "fictional", which leads - in the Megadrive version at least - to some of the players having names that are occasionally rather difficult to associate with the supposed nationality of their side. For example, Cameroon has the prosaically-named, Stan Cooper as their midfield dynamo, and Spain has the interesting sounding, Randy Delucchi. A popular chap in the post-match team bath, no doubt. However, for all this jiggery-pokery in the nomenclature department, the team strengths have been painstakingly balanced to reflect, mo ately, the real-life team's ability. Therefore, another Scottish thrashing at the hands of Costa Rica beckons, me thinks.

The atmosphere

It has to be said that the game looks absolutely great. The never-before seen viewing angle, highly-detailed animation and the authentic footballing haircuts are combined to telling effect. Anyone walking into a game sho] and seeing a demo running on a screen would probably buy it on spot. The player sprites are large and well drawn, and the sound is amazing. Even the crowd are intricately detailed. They chant, burst into poorly enunciated song and make obscene gestures, and some of the most ardent fans even have tiny slogans tattooed across their foreheads. Rumours that the pc version has been enhanced to the effect that disgruntled supporters even stage little sit-ins on the pitch after disappointing results have yet to be confirmed.

The tactics

Despite what you'd gather from watching a football match on tv in Britain, tactics form a large part of football - and many continental teams - alter these from game to game to cope with differing match conditions. Sometimes, football experts on the continent also tell their viewers about it. It sounds pretty far fetched, doesn't it? However, ea have obviously decided to humour these hoaxers a little, because they've included several ways to change the way in which your team plays.

There are formations (4-2-4, 5-3-2 - you know the sort of thing) and a general playing strategy (long ball, all out attack, etc.), as well as an innovative Team Coverage option, with which you decide exactly how much of the pitch your defenders, midfielders and attackers will cover. The players' abilities are rated out of 99, in everything from Shot Power and Shot Accuracy to Bicycle Kicks and Slide Tackles, but followers of Franco Baresi will be disappointed to know that there isn't a separate Gets Away With Murder rating for his equivalent in the game.

The optimistic summary

It's often quoted that when FIFA International Soccer was released -at a time when the snes seemed to have all the best games - it probably saved the Megadrive (such was the clamour to buy it over Christmas). If the game's half as good on the pc it may well lure people away from the all-conquering, Sinclair Spectrum at last. The multitude of player moves, the detailed animation and above all, the atmosphere, certainly impress. It will be interesting to see how well it transfers to the pc, given the excellent job ea did on NHL Hockey last year.

Think you've seen every variation on a soccer game, and nothin' could impress you? Well, you're wrong! EA Sports is breaking new ground once again with an incredible soccer game that's gonna set the pace for all future sports sims.

The basics are familiar: Players choose from 50 international teams and compete in tournament, league, or exhibition matches. You can determine almost every play variable, from the weather to the length of the halves. The game saves top scorers from around the league, and players compete for league-leading positions. Individual players can run, kick, slide, head, and do everything actual soccer stars do.

The A.I. simulates coaching strategies, team formations, and coverage zones, and you get your choice of German, Spanish, French, or Italian text. Best of all, the game has wild six-player simultaneous play, either on the same team or on opposing teams.

What's so different about this game? Try a graphical interface that lets players check out the action from virtually any viewpoint - over the shoulder, overhead, from the side of the field, and from the ball's perspective. Better yet, you can control a crazy cam that moves all over the field (seven views in all).

The 3D graphics boast realistic, rendered players. An instant-replay feature includes the ability to view the action from any angle you like - relive that goal from every perspective! Finally, the giant fullscreen Jumbo-Tron shows off FIFA league footage for your enjoyment.

World Cup '94 has come and gone...so what! FIFA International Soccer for the 3DO hits the field with unrivaled graphics and playability.

Field of Dreams

Following in the respected cleat steps of the previous FIFA games, FIFA 3DO is no mere port-over from the cartridge market. The game features many of the same cart qualities - like tournament and league play - but it utilizes the 3DO's power to fashion a much stronger soccer experience.

In this version, 50 international teams are at your disposal (the first SNES FIFA listed 30 teams, and the Genesis version boasted 48). Weak teams like Kuwait and Luxembourg would be better left disposed; they're easy prey when matched against powerhouses like Brazil and Italy.

This is realistic soccer, so setting up the right passes is the key to winning. Take advantage of the strategy option, which enables you to choose to play an offensive or defensive game and switch formations, depending on how the game's going.

A Game with a View

The graphics are Ginsu sharp: The stadium has been given as much detail as the players, making for one beautiful, realistic soccer setting. The details complement the seven available views, and fans will not easily tire of the multiple perspectives. For instance, the ball view puts you directly on the field for a smoothly scrolling, up-close perspective. The stadium view offers the more removed and familiar 3/4-overhead view found in many sports sims. The five other views offer nice variations.

The quality of the sound almost equals the quality of the graphics. The rippling of ball against net is as clear as the frenzied chanting of the crowd.

Stadium Spectacular

FIFA is the first six-player game for the 3DO. While five more controllers could set you back by more than 200 beans, a six-player game is quite an experience. All six can even team up against the computer, but coordinating the efforts of teams of three is a task in itself.

For those of you who have been waiting for great sports games for the 3DO - the best has arrived. Now' you can get as close to an international soccer match as possible without worrying about a riot.

ProTips:

  • If you're having trouble with your opponent, don't hesitate to switch strategies.
  • When first learning to pass, use the stadium view. Your open teammates will be visible on-screen.
  • Use the position target to make your goalie kick accurately to a teammate.
  • In a breakaway, tap Button B to get by an oncoming defender.
  • Choose a team with strengths and abilities that match your style of play.
  • Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
  • Machine: Sega CD

If soccer is your game, move to Brazil! No, just kidding. This is a great soccer game, with plenty of action and detailed atmosphere. Say, if you can't use your hands in soccer, do you push the controller buttons with your feet?

  • Machine: Sega CD, Genesis;
  • Manufacturer: Electronic Arts; Extended Play

What if you were like me and wanted desperately to experience a World Cup match in person but lacked the required moolah and means to get there? Well, we both may still be able to fulfill our dream - in a vicarious sort of way.

FIFA International Soccer, which has already steamrolled its way through the competition on SNES and Genesis much like Brazil did against its opponents during the month-long World Series of Soccer, has made its way to the Sega CD. And it has brought the sights and sounds of international soccer with it. Full-motion video and CD-quality sound appear first in an impressive three minute intro, but continue to make their presence known throughout the game. The crowd's chants, cheers, and songs are so realistic that you could close your eyes and imagine yourself among the masses, or keep your eyes open and enjoy even more of the realistic atmosphere contained in this video game. Detailed player and crowd animations have been improved for the Sega CD version, making the game resemble the sport even more.

But with a CD product comes access time - and plenty of it. Fortunately, there are no interruptions during the action, yet between menus and during half-time you have to sit through quite a few static screens. The game play itself is marginally slower than the Genesis version, but that doesn't do much to dampen the game's overall enjoyment. The computer opponents have been strengthened somewhat or, if you prefer human competition, you can join three of your soccer fanatic friends on the pitch (with EA's 4-Way Play).

If game play is your main concern you might invest in the Genesis version. But if you're willing to sit through a couple of "Loading... Please Wait!" screens in exchange for more of the atmosphere associated with international soccer, look no further.

  • Machine: SNES
  • Manufacturer: EA/by Extended Play

Soccer fans have been inundated with sims hitting shelves in preparation for the World Cup. EA Sports' FIFA International Soccer set the standard on Genesis, and now it's ready to make the jump to SNES.

The new FIFA isn't an exact transfer of the Genesis version = there are both negative and positive variations from the original. For example, the graphics, sound effects, and music are weaker, but control is aided by a power meter and the L and R buttons, which make putting aftertouch on the ball a breeze. There are no scouting reports, but the game selects a "Man of the Match" at the end of each contest.

The realistic and action-packed game play, which provided the Genesis version's solid foundation, has essentially remained unchanged. The only noticeable differences are that the SNES goalies aren't as good at keeping the ball out of the net, and dribbling through the defense is much tougher and requires more passing skill. A give-and-go button has been added, but it turns out to be impractical most of the time.

FIFA's three-quarter overhead perspective and the 45-degree angle of the field give you a superb look at the action. You're automatically given the opportunity to scan the field for open defenders on corner kicks and throw-ins, and can place the cursor on the spot you want to deliver the ball. The chants and graphics aren't as dynamic as on Genesis, but all in all FIFA easily jumps to the head of the SNES soccer class.

Hot on the heels of last year's strong Genesis version, EA Sports' FIFA International Soccer comes to the Super NES with equal success. Incredible graphics, with the usual EA Sports attention to detail, create a truly realistic Soccer simulation. The ability to hook up five players on Hudson's Multi-tap makes this sure-fire sports entertainment.

FIFA Features

Options galore are at your fingertips in this game. Since FIFA stands for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, EA Sports has crammed 30 international teams, each with unique strengths and weaknesses, into this game. You can play against the computer or team up with four other players in every possible combination and in three game modes (Exhibition, Tournament, and Playoffs).

Strong and varied game play makes this the most realistic soccer game for the SNES. Although you play one on-screen player at a time, you have full control of your team's roster of 20 players, each of whom is rated in 14 skill categories. If you think a player isn't pulling his weight, bench him and replace him anytime during the game. Additional player-control options include manually adjusting your players' field coverage, adjusting the aggressiveness of play, and setting team formations. With a smooth interface and quick controls that efficiently execute your moves, the strategic possibilities are endless!

ProTips:

  • Let your teammates catch up to you before you shoot at the goal. Additional players offer more passing lanes and different angles for your shots.
  • Slide into a dribbling opponent from the front or at an angle. Don't attempt this move from the back, because he's usually running too fast for you to catch him.

Sights, Sounds, Soccer!

In general, FIFA has good visuals and audio. Cleanly rendered figures and smooth side-scrolling animation follow the movements of the ball. The angled field is attractive, but because you're watching from the corner you can see only a third of the field at once, a disadvantage when you charge downfield with no idea of what defensive or offensive formations await you. Start-up screens feature a hip, stereo, soundtrack, but sound effects are kept to a minimum during game play. The authentic, digitized crowd chants from various international stadiums create an eerie sense of realism.

  • Center your teammate's cursor in front of the goalie before a Corner Kick so that he has the best shooting angle.
  • Before kicking the ball back into play, put your teammate's cursor off to the sidelines and aim the kick at the cursor. This is better than kicking the ball into centerfield, where more opponents have a chance to intercept it.

Super Soccer Sim

Players of all calibers will be able to instantly pick up and play this game; however, mastering the game and the high-caliber computer opponents will be long-term challenges. Fortunately, FIFA is so good you'll want to keep kicking to the end.

How do you improve on the best soccer game? You don't! Thank goodness EA Sports didn't mess with FIFA International Soccer for the Sega CD. Like the excellent SNES and Genesis versions before it, this FIFA has it all: superior graphics, the coolest crowd noise, and truly realistic soccer action.

ProTips:

  • When you're on defense, and racing toward the ball, press Button C for an extra burst of speed.
  • On corner kicks, aim for the back post. When the ball Ls airborne, move a player into position for a shot. Press Button C quickly to catch the keeper off guard with a one-touch shot.

Super Soccer

The CD version pulls slightly ahead of previous versions with the addition of new video highlights from past World Cups. The game is basically the same, however, featuring the same wide range of options, including 48 international teams, three play modes, the ability to change team formations, and four-player control via the 4 Way Play adapter.

The controls are the weakest part of this game. Occasionally, the players respond sluggishly, and you can't control the ball's flight on shots or passes, a common feature of soccer games. It's also difficult to coordinate players in the four-player game setting.

If it's late in the match and you're ahead, change your formation to "sweeper" and your strategy to "all-out defense" to counter any offensive push by your opponent.

Get Your Kicks

The excellent sound effects have a definite European flavor. Instead of the typical musical soundtrack, the disc roars with realistic crowd chanting and singing, just like the kind you'd hear at World Cup matches.

The graphics are almost as impressive. Although the players are small, they sport realistic movements. EA also added great touches like crowd action and sideline advertisements.

If you already have the Genesis FIFA, save your money because there aren't enough changes to justify the CD price. If you don't have any FIFA games yet, get the CD, because FIFA is still the World Cup champion.

Chalk up another victory for EA Sports. What it did for football with the John Madden series, EA Sports has done for soccer with FIFA International Soccer for the Genesis. FIFA has excellent graphics, the coolest crowd noises this side of the Atlantic, and some of the most exciting game play of any soccer game on the market. Simply put, this is already the World Cup champion.

FIFA features 48 of the world's top soccer countries competing in three different modes: one-on-one Exhibitions, one- to eight-team Tournaments, or 25-game League seasons. The Tournament and League modes even have passwords so you can kick around anytime you want.

FIFA also utilizes the new 4 Way Play adapter, enabling you to share the fun among four players simultaneously. You can play three against one, two on two, or four against the computer. The only drawback with four players is that the high speed of the game sometimes makes it hard to determine who's who on-screen. This is especially true when playing four-vs.-the-computer games.

ProTis:

  • Let the computer take over at goalkeeper. Unless you've mastered the game, the computer will always do a better job.
  • If you have the ball near your goal, and you've got a defender closely guarding you, press Button C to shoot. The ball will be cleared from your part of the field.
  • When taking a shot, aim high and for the far post. The goalie will have a difficult time coming up with the save.
  • On corner kicks, aim for the back post. When the ball is in the air, move one of your players into position for a shot. Quickly press C to catch the keeper off-guard with a one-touch shot.

Sights and Sounds Deliver a Kick

The sound effects for FIFA have a definite European flavor. Close your eyes and you'll think you're watching a match in London. EA Sports doesn't miss a trick! You get great crowd reactions to diving saves and near misses. There's also rhythmic chanting, just like at real soccer matches.

FIFA's graphics are top- notch. Check out the lifelike movements of the players as they execute diving Head Shots and Bicycle Kicks. The playing fields, stadiums, and sideline ads provide even more realism. The only minor problem is encountered with the perspective. Some might find the angled side view a refreshing change, but the behind-the-player view of most soccer games is still the most natural for plotting strategy. Consequently, FIFA's viewing perspective may take some getting used to.

One other flaw is with the control of players when you're on defense. Defenders are sometimes difficult to maneuver and slow to respond. They'll start out fast. However, once they get going a few yards, they'll slow to a turtle's pace.

World Class, World Cup

These drawbacks, however, are minor compared to the game's strengths. If you love fast-paced soccer action with superb graphic details and real-life sounds, then FIFA International Soccer is for you.

This is a fine football simulator with the superb graphics, sound effects and animation, the convenient controls and the opportunity of the team game for players.

The game includes national teams, and real player names are not used, their abilities in each skill area rated out of 10 to give the player an overall impression of how good they are. Gameplay privileges quick runs, blistering shots outside the penalty box and short passes, and set pieces are controlled by moving a box into the target area for the ball, and then passed, lobbed or kicked directly.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

3DO Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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