I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again Review

World Cup '98 Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 8

Publisher

  • EA Sports

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • N64
  • PC
  • PS

rating

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Are you ready for some futbol? No, I don’t mean that sissy, full-body

padded, 60-minute crap. I mean real futbol, no pads, no hands, 90-minutes of

non-stop adrenaline rush. Futbol fever is sweeping the world and there is

no event bigger than the World Cup, a global tournament of epic proportions.

Only the strong will survive and only the most skilled will claim the

cherished World Cup. There will be tension and drama, and probably a lot of

drunken rowdy fans and maybe a riot or two, not to mention a lot of

hard-nosed slide tackling, lightning fast strikes, and spectacular goals.

Ah, futbol at it’s best!

World Cup ’98 by EA Sports is definitely one of the top futbol game currently

available. It matches up very well with FIFA ’98 and blows Goal Storm out of

the water. Visually fluid and lacking those faceted polygonal players,

World Cup ’98 is graphically excellent. Although the players are a little

small (no matter what view you choose), they move smoothly and without any

jerky motions or glitches. Each player moves with ease and does not at all

resemble the dot racing of Goal Storm (kick…run…kick…run…). I was

rather disappointed by the lack of venues for the matches; specifically, all

the pitches (that’s ‘field’ for the uninitiated) look exactly alike, despite

the myriad choices of stadiums to play in. Even the billboards are

identical in all the pitches with the omnipresent Snickers advertisement

standing out the most. Despite the lack of variety, the overall quality of

the playing field is good; it’s consistent all the way through.

The fans in the stands are another matter completely. I think it’s about time that

developers of video games take the time and effort to actually create 3-D

fans with depth and substance. Sure, it would be a bitch to load, but at

least it will be a whole lot more realistic. The fans look like

television static with the occasional flash of a camera. The lack of fans

and variety in stadiums notwithstanding, the graphics in World Cup ’98 are

superb.

Adding to the whole futbol ambiance are the announcers/color commentators

John Watson and Chris Dawdle(?). John is an English guy and Chris is an

English guy with a failed contrived Scottish accent (why is there always one

Brit and one Scot?). At the beginning of the match, they set up the two

teams and give a pregame analysis and predictions for the match. Sometimes,

they talk about the local culture and the fans. Eventually though, they get

around to calling the game. Their comments are well-placed and

non-repetitive, except they call for the replay after every goal. One thing

I liked was the way they could keep up with who had the ball no matter how

fast I passed it around. Beware though, if you should foul up or miss a

tackle, John and Chris are as ready with the biting insults as they are with

the praising comments. In other words, you get the full range of comments

from, “What a spectacular goal!!!” and “Superb tackle!” to “I don’t know

what he was thinking with that play. He must have taken too many headers off

the noggin!!” and “Is the keeper insane? He must have left his brain in his

kit bag!!”

Also, for your listening enjoyment you are treated to the sounds

of Chumbawamba and that “Pissing the night away” song, a song I found oddly

appropriate for futbol (don’t ask me why). I don’t have any complaints

about the audio effects. The announcers are funny, the fans boo and cheer

at the right places and occasionally break into a fight song, and who can

resist a roaring, bloody good drinking song? Not I (hic!).

World Cup ’98 truly puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you full and

absolute control over the match. From the broadest game strategies to the

most specific of moves during the game, you are responsible for your own

fate. Every conceivable offensive move and defensive move is covered, from

jumping a slide tackle, to faking, to rainbow kicking, to flip overs, to

nutmegs, to step-overs, to sliding tackles, and to my personal favorite – the

intentional foul. You even get to control the distance and loft of free

kicks and corner kicks. This is a far cry from the limitations of Goal

Storm
and as good if not better than FIFA ’98.

During the game, you can use the in-game management option to select a tactic or specific play. Using

the right plays at an opportune time will result in you sticking one in the

net. If you are worried that you can’t handle all the controls, fear not –

you can basically go through the amateur mode using only pass and shoot on

the offense and slide tackle on the defense. Once you have mastered the

basics, you can move on to a harder setting. For those of you who really

lack confidence, you can use the very helpful Training mode to scrimmage as

the offense or defense or practice different scenarios such as corner and

free kicks from anywhere on the pitch. You can even play a Penalty

Shootout (boring after a while once you realize you have about a one in nine

chance of stopping a goal). When you are done practicing to your heart’s

content, play the World Cup mode and pit yourself against the best teams in

the world. Gameplay gets a big plus in my book because of the ease of the

controls, the fast reactions from the computer, and the constant challenge.

There are one or two glitches in the game that you should be aware about.

When passing, make sure the receiver receives the ball before trying to

control him with the D-pad, otherwise you will boot the ball into an empty

open field or out of bounds( this kept happening in the Championship match

for some reason). Also, the ref will also call you offsides for no

particular reason even if you are not offsides. Finally, you are robbed of

viewing a close-up of a replay of a spectacular play. The replay mode only

has the views from the existing cameras and you can’t pan in or out and move

the angle around. I hate not being able to watch my beautiful goal scoring

headers off corner kicks. Oh well, C’est la vie.

If you want a great futbol game, play World Cup ’98. With all the reins in

your hands, you can coach and play simultaneously. The game plays like it

a real live match. This effect is further heightened by the great

graphics and those hilarious commentators. World Cup ’98 is definitely a

goal.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating9
Excellent Graphics
Satirical Announcers
You're In Total Control
Tons of Moves
What, No Riots or Fighting?