FIFA Soccer: preview by Justin Beech
A review by Justin Beech <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Virtual Stadium (EA Sports, $80) is out in Japan. I originally
went to the shop because I heard from this newsgroup that SFII2T
was out in Japan, but the shop says 18th November, so scratch that
one for 2 weeks.
The only other new releases were a bunch of cheap porno Photo-CDs of
Japanese girls.... reviews of them just as soon as I invest enough
time with the Zoom feature to really explore them in detail... :-)
Actually, its strange that EA Sports spent the time and money to do
this title FIRST, before the US version. First Nova Storm, now this,
could it be that 3DO is worried about the Xmas competition in Japan
and is pushing developers to release Japan first ?
Anyway, to stop rambling, A one word review of VS : excellent.
A many word review:
This title must be the EA FIFA engine with a Japanese framework around
it to adapt it to the local soccer league here. 12 teams are available,
most of the text is in Japanese, all the teams colors are Japanese.
Stadium and Camera:
The stadium looks great, the crowd angles up and the roof ramps in, the
majority of the crowd is a static bitmap, but the front few rows are
animated, cheering and jumping etc.. Actually, as the camera moves
around, the normal flickering with detailed bitmaps viewed from afar
is a plus, as the whole crowd looks animated.
There is a giant scoreboard, that shows score plus little animations
for happenings in the game.
Great! unlike the madden "tape loop", this crowd really seems alive,
there is a background cheering that seems to match the action, and
overlayed on that are a number of different themes that come in and out
randomly: banging the seats, horn blowing etc... the crowd just sounds
real. A shame is that they didn't do any "chants". The Japanese crowd
only really knows one (We Are the Champions), and I guess they couldn't
have "Ere we Go, Ere we Go, Ere we Go..." or some of the other more
colorful European soccer chants. Pity.
Looks good. the players look a little small, its hard to tell sometimes
whats going on when there are two or more near the ball. The pitch is
a drab olive color, but each game gave me a different lawn-mowing pattern
of a slightly different (but still darkish) green, plus a different sky
I think.. ie good variety. Didnt see sleet or rain, so its not Virtual
Good, a fair amount of animation frames. This is helped by the fact
that they are indistinguishable, all brown haird, no numbers or
anything, just the team colors, so loads of memory saved. players
are viewed from 8 angles, walking, running, kicking high, sliding
tackle, tripping, header etc are all done with enough frames to
look good, but not perfect. Actually, in one low-to-the-ground view
I watched as a player jogged up to the camera, and it looked just
like an Imp from Doom ... [yes, Doom II is occupying my time]..
Great, the ball noises are done well, kicking, bouncing and so on are
heavy deep thumps, much louder than a real game, but it helps the
feeling of being on the field rather than just watching.
The current player is highlighed with a dim circle in the color of
your controller, which goes bright when you've got the ball. You can
switch to an alternative "near" player, tackle and head the ball if
you are in the right spot. My only criticism would be that it seems
too easy to have the ball taken off you, maybe its because I'm just
starting out, but when I watched the computer play against itself, the
ball just didnt stay in control of one side for more than 3 passes.
6 controllers are supported. Your choice which side, ie, you can have
six on one side, or 3 on each, or whatever. All the football stuff is
done, fouls, off-sides, corners, goalie kicks, throw-ins, free kicks etc.
You can setup also your current team overall behavior, ie, attacking,
normal, defensive, strong attacking, long kicking etc, plus pick
formations, plus change the zones of defense forward and attack etc.
Awesome! 8 or so different views available of the current action, plus
replays may be viewed by a number of other camera angles.
The camera movement is silky smooth, it rotates and pans in all
directions, moves up and down, zooms in and out to follow the action.
The free-mode, for replays, is really fun. More so if you have something
to rub your opponents nose in :-). You have all the normal video-cam
controls, plus your camera can be positioned basically anywhere on
the field, or in the air (with a height max of 100 feet or so). Actually
this mode shows about the most convincing 3D of any 3DO game !
Half time and end-game offer video clips. Half-time has some famous goal
moment from Japanese football, and end-game has either dejection (losing)
If you score a goal, the team leaps around convincingly, although they
don't all jump on top of each other, but run towards each other, and then
rather oddly stop about six feet apart and jump up and down in private
celebration. I guess doing the graphics for hugging, ear kissing, and
group cuddling is tricky...
You can play a single game, go for challenge mode, or season. You can
substitute players, save your progress, watch a match, play against the
computer, play against or with your friends, change camera angles, config
sound effects, view player Bios, all the usual stuff.
If FIFA on 3DO is this title with European leagues, then buy it ! It should
be awesome if you happen to own more than 2 controllers, but 2 controllers
is fun also.
To be honest, it pisses all over Madden, technically its more advanced,
plus I think Soccer with >= two controllers is more fun (and intense) than
American Football, but thats my opinion.