is the World Cup the way it should be.
by Colin Thames
5, 2006 - 2006
FIFA World Cup will rival any video soccer game on
the market. It's been inspired by Winning Eleven,
which until now, was the game to beat. By incorporating
some of the best of Winning Eleven's features, along
with some classic EA elements, 2006 FIFA World Cup
is a hybrid soccer game that definitely raises the
bar for EA.
with features and packed with action, 2006 FIFA World
Cup, has just the right blend and balance of controls,
moves and challenges. It's accessible to all gamers,
and the online modes let you play with or against
players of equal skill levels. The hardcores will
want to play through the tournament mode to unlock
the hardest difficulty level where the AI is programmed
to kick your ass. Regardless of what difficulty level
you play at the AI plays a very realistic game. What
may seem to be unfair at first, can be attributed
to your lack of skill. I wasn't prepared for the ass-whooping
that I got on the Perfect difficulty level but after
a couple of days I was able to compete without embarrassing
World Cup games of the past, 2006 FIFA World Cup,
features all of the teams - yes all of them. Even
the ones that didn't make the finals. Virtually every
country is represented here. If Antarctica has a soccer
team, you'll find them here. In all, there is a total
of 127 teams. You can skip ahead and choose a team
that has already made the finals, or you can try your
hand at an underground team in hopes of bringing them
all the way to the cup. To keep things in as realistic
perspective as possible, the teams that are already
in the finals will have a better chance of getting
to the cup than teams that didn't. This is due to
the fact that these teams typically have better players.
that have better overall stats will perform the various
moves such as passing and kicking with more finesse.
FIFA World Cup takes this a step further with the
star player feature that targets renowned players
such as Beckham, Owen and Crespo and allows them put
their unique skills to use on the field. Whether it's
passing, shooting, dribbling or all-out speed, when
the ball is in the hands of any of these players,
(which will be indicated by a star over their head)
they will display almost superhuman skills in the
areas of their specific talents. Quite often the game
will revolve around these star players.
World Cup, now incorporates the smoother and more
intuitive analog control system. There are less moves
in this game than Winning Eleven but I find that refreshing.
It makes things a lot more straightforward as I don't
have as many things to remember. I didn't use most
of the moves in Winning Eleven and unless you're playing
it for months on end you probably won't need all of
them anyway. The game controls great the way it is.
Just use what you've got. There is passing, shooting,
dribbling, chip shots, short crosses, one-two passes
and the ability to change your strategy in real-time
with the D-pad. You can also call over teammates to
help defend you or get into a better position for
lot of the control is context-sensitive. The CPU takes
into account the players' stats as well as his position
on the field and if he's moving or standing. There
is no power meter per se, so if you want a more powerful
kick make sure the player that has the ball has the
appropriate stats for that move, and also make sure
that the player is running and has the required momentum
for a more powerful shot.
a penalty shot the goalie has the ability to psyche-out
the shooter by moving around and taunting him. To
make the shot, the shooter has to line up the ball
in the shot meter. The longer he takes to line-up
his shot the more he will become adversely affected
by the crowd and the goalie. The shot meter will begin
to shake as the shooter becomes unnerved making it
more difficult to line up properly. By the same token,
the shooter can also unnerve the goalie by dancing
around and taking faking shots.
animations are very smooth and realistic. The goal
animations are incredibly varied. I don't think I've
seen the same one twice. Sometimes the ball bounces
off the post and other times it deflects off the goalkeeper.
The players' and crowd's reaction to goals seem spontaneous.
You can see the look of glory on the players' face
and the audience responds with cheers, throwing confetti
and waving flag and banners. The stadiums look virtually
identical to their real-life counterparts. They come
complete with their own national anthems. There are
more than 100 different anthems. Even the commentary
is impressive, not only for the drama and excitement
that Clive and Andy provide but the fact that they
seldom repeat their comments. I don't know how much
dialog these guys recorded but there seems to be many
play accommodates up to eight players and while getting
into a game is made easy thanks to the famous FIFA
lounge, there is some delay with the controls. The
lack of an online tournament mode did not go unnoticed
and it's something that needs to be addressed in next
year's version - and considering how good this game
is, you can be rest assured the series will continue.
WITH YOUR HEROES: The world's superstars look and
play like their real life counterparts. Player attributes
like ball skills and playing style have been uniquely
re-created for each player to mirror real life.
THE 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP: Compete as one of 125 teams
from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction
of the FIFA World Cup Final in Germany. Play in
any of the 12 official stadiums that come to life
with the pageantry and festivity of the 2006 FIFA
CHALLENGE: Introducing a new mode called Global
Challenge that recreates 40 classic moments in FIFA
World Cup history. Earn rewards to unlock legendary
players and classic apparel.
SHOOTOUT: Experience the elation and agony of a
penalty shoot-out as if you were on the pitch. Use
new moves to distract the goalkeeper or put off
the penalty taker. Master your nerves to score the
goal that puts your team in the FIFA World Cup.
SHOOTING MECHANICS: New context sensitive shooting
provides even more realistic action. Player shooting
ability, pressure from defenders and distance from
goal all contribute to the success of the shot,
just like in real life.
MODE: Play as your favorite national teams in up
to eight-way multiplayer sessions with friends from
qualifiers to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final.
ZONE: Visit the cities and stadiums of the 2006
FIFA World Cup Germany via in-game videos.