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FIFA World Cup 2006 Review





Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: April 24, 2006 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2, Xbox and Xbox 360

The first time I spent a considerable amount of time on a soccer
game was back in 2004 with 989 Sports’ World Tour series. I’d hardly
call myself a fan of the sport, but I have grown fond of it in video
game form. FIFA is no exception. I was a big fan of the N-Gage and
PlayStation Portable (though critical of its lag) versions of the
game. So far, I’m pretty pleased with what Electronic Arts has done
with the console FIFA as well.

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Normally a soccer game would revolve around a season of play (or in
the case of World Tour, building a dynasty from school-level to the
big leagues). FIFA World Cup 2006 is all about the World Cup. There is
no season to speak of and you’re definitely not going to build up your
own team. In a sense, the World Cup limits this game compared to other
FIFA’s and soccer games on the market. Sure, there are an impressive
130 or so countries represented, but it’s the modes of play that need
quantity, not just the team selection. The good news: you get to play
as well known (U.S., England, Brazil) and lesser known (Azerbaijan,
Macedonia) teams.

Where World Cup 2006 falls is that it fails to provide a compelling
reason for gamers to keep playing. Basically you can play from the
qualifiers in each region (Europe, Africa, North America, etc.) or you
can start from the World Cup Finals. The qualifiers are not
single-elimination, so you will play multiple games against teams in a
group, receiving points from wins and draws. Obviously your goal is to
advance as far in the World Cup as possible.

There are a few other game modes to speak of. You can play back
classic games of old, play a friend or try out a penalty shot
challenge. There’s also online multi-player, so you can display the
colors of your home country while beating someone from somewhere else
in the world. Interesting enough, there are four and eight-player
online tournaments as well.

Being the first time that I’ve played FIFA on a home console and
not a portable, I’m surprised how constrained you are with gameplay
when games like Winning Eleven go very deep. That said, FIFA is a much
friendlier game for soccer newcomers to play than Winning Eleven and
as such, probably more attractive to gamers in America. If you can’t
make it to Germany, this may be your only chance to take part in the
World Cup; that makes this an acceptable package for some fans of the
sport.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide