FIFA 06: Road to the FIFA World Cup Review
|Developer: EA Canada||Publisher: EA Sports|
|Release Date: November 16, 2005||Also On: None|
Soccer isn’t the American sport. For whatever reason, it’s never been the huge craze that football, basketball, or baseball have been in the ‘States despite being the biggest and most popular sport everywhere else in the world. Because of that soccer video games are still a big market. With FIFA 06, I think soccer fans can find a little to appreciate but for the rest of us, this title won’t make you fall head-over-heels for the sport.
FIFA 06 on the Xbox 360 isn’t loaded with a lot of features, which has been a reoccurring trend on EA Sport’s launch lineup. It’s disappointing, because there are really only two or three gameplay modes, with Road to the FIFA World Cup being the primary selection. This is a very basic franchise mode where you’ll take your favorite soccer team through qualifications, tournaments, and eventually the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The franchise options, like stat-tracking and such, are pretty much the same thing you’ve seen in every sports game and there really isn’t much to set RTTFWC apart from the crowd.
On the pitch, it’s the controls that will feel awkward to first-time players, much like everything else in the game. FIFA 06 controls very slowly while maintaining a realistic feel that soccer gamers will appreciate. As one of those first-timers, I wish it had been sped up, because it seems like it takes ages just to run down-field, even when you’re not passing the ball around to othter players. On defense, tackling and sliding both pretty intuitive and it feels very realistic to slide in front of the attacker, intercepting the ball from him. While attacking, I felt that the kicking controls were a little too basic–it didn’t matter if I’d tap or hold the kick button, it seemed like my player would send the ball to Russia and back either way.
Visually, FIFA 06 reminds me of 2K Sport’s NHL 2K6 that also launched on the 360. The game is nice up-close, and you’ll notice a lot of clear, crisp details on players, fields, coaches, and referees. However, like NHL 2K6, the game is played from a very lengthy distance so this detail isn’t seen much and FIFA 06 has a stark feeling, despite being very bright and surprisingly colorful. Animations couldn’t be smoother, though. Tackling, running on the pitch, kicking, and almost every other action looks very realistic thanks to this. As for the commentary, I know there’s not a whole lot to say in soccer but the two guys leading FIFA 06 are as boring as they come. At least the crowd sounds and acts as realistic as ever.
While FIFA 06 isn’t a bad game by any means, it isn’t something that is accessible to everyone. I was disappointed by it because I was looking for a soccer game that could throw me into the international phoenominon and this simply isn’t the one. It’s still a decent game, and I found myself having trouble putting it down after I got a feel for the controls, but it’s not worth your $60 unless you’re looking for the high-definition graphics of the Xbox 360 or you’re a soccer fan with nothing else to play.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||7|
|Written by Cliff||Review Guide|