FIFA Rtwc 98
The FIFA series of games on the PlayStation has been disastrous, but this FIFA looks like it may signify a turnaround (albeit a slow one) for the series. That is not to say that this is a great game--it's not. It is, however, a substantial improvement over last year's horrible FIFA 97. FIFA 98's 3-D graphics are the most detailed of any 32-Bit soccer game, but the problem is that the game's erratic frame rate and player animations leave much to be desired. Because of these problems, the control of the game isn't as smooth as it should be. Often, you are forced to take a few extra steps in the wrong direction because of choppy polygonal animations. Such a thing is annoying when those extra steps force you to kick the ball out of bounds or overrun a pass. Overall, the gameplay is pretty realistic, and includes all of the moves you expect to see in a soccer game. The passing has some problems, mostly due to passes not being led in front of their intended receivers. Also, the goalie intelligence is competent, but prone to some really dumb mistakes. FIFA easily has the most features and licenses of any soccer game. Player creation, hundreds of real teams and several modes of play are available, but does it matter if the gameplay isn't refined? EA should concentrate on improving FIFA's play SO; it can better complement its depth.
The two games may share the same name but the PlayStation version of Road To World Cup 98 doesn't quite have the magic that the N64 version provides. That said, RTWC 98 is the best soccer game I've played on the PS so far. The graphics have a clean look and the animation is very smooth. Although the Single-player Mode is fun to play, the multiplayer game is a blast and a half (as is to be expected with a soccer game). Not bad by any means.
RTWC 98 is a very, very good soccer game and one of the best available for the PlayStation, if not the best. It's a HUGE improvement over the last (forgettable) FIFA, and as usual with EA Sports games, it's loaded with options and has a fantastic interface. The game controls really nicely (Analog Pad support, yes!), and the animation is impressive too. My only complaint (again) is that it's just too easy. Scoring, stealing, whatever - make it harder, EA!
The FIFA series continues to improve each year but still has trouble reaching the ever-elu-sive all-star status. This year's edition shows off improved graphics and more moves and commands than you can shake a stick at. The mediocre frame rate, however, sticks out like a sore thumb--it's very difficult to look past. The passing still isn't very realistic and the goalie acts a bit strange sometimes (making exaggerated dives for the silliest shots).