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FIFA International Soccer – 3DO

FIFA International Soccer – 3DO

FIFA International Soccer (2)Platform: 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

Developer: EA Sports

Publisher: EA Sports

Release Date (NA): 1993Project Obscure

Genre: Sports, Soccer

Nerd Rating: 1994: 8 out of 10 / 2014: 4 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

World Cup 2014 is upon us, folks. Every four years we get to enjoy the greatest sport in the world with a month long soccer tournament unlike any other. 32 teams represent their country to hoist that elusive World Cup trophy high above their heads. Unlike most teams who only hold their championship status for one year until the next victor replaces them, the World Cup allows countries to claim superstardom for four whole years! In honor of this year’s World Cup, let’s take a look at a forgotten retro soccer game for the forgotten (never heard of?) 3DO Interactive Multiplayer gaming system. FIFA International Soccer.

The year was 1994, and video gaming technology was at a crossroads. Continue with the tried-and-true 2D cartoony cartridge games? Or risk it all with limited 3D capabilities on a disc-based medium? Nintendo obviously wasn’t entirely ready for the CD world, as they trucked on with a cartridge-based gaming system while their competitors stepped up to the next level with disc-based technology. But before the Sony PlayStation was a massive hit, and before the Sega Saturn was a complete disgrace, there was the 3DO. Claiming to have superior graphical capabilities, the 3DO was a monster of a gaming machine with a whopper of a price tag. But that didn’t stop everyone from getting involved, including EA Sports. We all know the juggernaut corporation that churns out annual sports titles faster than you can say “Why doesn’t my Sega 32X work?!” But before all of the sports games were titled “This and that ‘98” or “That and This ‘02”, they were simply titled “Joe Montana Football,” “NBA Jam,” or “Pebble Beach Golf Links.” FIFA International Soccer gives us a glance at the direction EA Sports was headed, and boy, have they come a long way.

FIFA-3DO

In FIFA International Soccer (often known as FIFA ’94), we don’t play with any club teams, or league teams, but instead we play with international country teams such as Italy, Mexico, United States, Ivory Coast, and so forth. Not every country is listed, such as Ghana or Croatia (2 teams that are in World Cup 2014), but all of the historic heavy hitters are here such as Germany, Brasil, Espana, England, and so forth. The inclusion of 49 teams in a video game in 1994 is remarkable! FIFA International Soccer is much more than just a game where you pick a team and the jersey colors are changed. Each country’s team is broken down into statistical categories (such as shooting, running, defense, etc), and this actually affects your on-field abilities. So for example, you probably don’t want to be the 1994 United States team going up against the 1994 Brazil team. That’s just stupid.

FIFA 3do

There are four game modes to choose, exhibition, league play, tournament play, and championship. These are the four standard modes of play for nearly any sports title, but that’s likely because it’s everything you want and nothing that you don’t. If it’s a single short match you desire, exhibition is your best bet. If it’s something lengthier you want, then you’ll want to play one of the other three. Tournament play is by far the lengthiest of the modes, and Championship is an abbreviated version of Tournament play. Personally, I find League play to be the best version for any extended gameplay. League play follows a round robin format with each team playing every other team twice to determine a league champion. Points are accumulated with three points awarded for each victory, and one point for each drawn match. This allows for some more in depth gaming strategy!

The graphics in FIFA International Soccer leave much to be desired in 2014, but 20 years ago, it truly didn’t get ANY better! These graphics were astonishing and completely blew me away. I got my first 3DO in the year 2000 or 2001 and this game and a golf game were the only games I had for it up until 2010. I remember being in awe of the graphics in 2001! Right now, however, it’s a tough sell. The colors are pretty decent and the sheer size of the stadium is amazing, but the pixilation is quite atrocious. Character movements are really choppy and not very well animated, but again, for its time, it was top quality.

fifa 3do 3

Why am I even talking about this game?

I’m talking about this game because historically it represents a strong starting point for the EA Sports franchise. The Madden NFL series and the FIFA Soccer series are EA Sports’ two best selling franchises alongside Tiger Woods Golf and NBA Live. FIFA International Soccer for the 3DO shows us EA Sports’ humble beginnings. It also shows us the starting point of their blueprint for success.

And what really makes FIFA International Soccer stand out?

While the graphics are extremely dated and tough on the eyes, the sound effects, music, game detail, camera work, and speed of the game are all phenomenal! The specific game detail I am referring to is the sheer volume of real information stored on the game’s disc. All 49 teams have a complete roster, which can be controlled via the pause menu during any game! You can substitute real players that played on those teams in 1994. The other details are the ability to change your team formation, team strategy, and team coverage at any time during a game!

FIFA 3do 4

The speed of the game is exceptional, even if the controls are a tad bit shoddy. Many soccer games of this era failed to capture the frantic and fast-paced gameplay of a real soccer match, but FIFA International Soccer is the closest to it. The speed of the passes, the hard one-time shots on goal, the quickness of the goalie; all examples of the brilliant speed of the game. To further enhance the total gaming experience, you can daisy-chain up to SIX 3DO controllers for some serious FIFA mayhem! Good thing you have six 3DO controllers laying around! (If you do, please email me, and let’s chat. B/c you rock.)

For ultra-realism, no one can ever top the most recent soccer game in circulation. In 2008, there was no soccer game more real than FIFA ‘08. Just like in 2014 there is no soccer game more real than FIFA ’14 for the PS4 or Xbox One. But in 1994, FIFA International Soccer was as real as there was, and there was no comparison. Other games released between 1993 and 1995 like Super Visual Soccer, Dino Dini’s Soccer, International Superstar Soccer, and Super Sidekicks 2 don’t even compare to the depth and capabilities of FIFA International Soccer for the 3DO. If it weren’t for a promising gaming machine such as the 3DO, it’s quite possible this game would have been greatly reduced to be compatible with other systems (and it certainly was on systems such as the Sega CD and Super Nintendo).

super visual soccer

SuperSidekicks2-TheWorldChampionship

dino dinis soccer Mega Drive

Being THE first video game to be officially licensed by FIFA, and being EA Sports’ first game in their annual soccer line-up, FIFA International Soccer can only be viewed as a historical achievement for the sport of Futbol and its crossover to mainstream video game entertainment. This game suffers its biggest setback with its horrid 3D graphics. No matter how enjoyable the gameplay is, or the great camera angles, the choppy animation and tough (when paired with the unpleasant graphics) make this game a tough sell in today’s superior video gaming world. I enjoy this game simply as the first real 3D soccer game I ever played, and due to it being my first 3DO video game ever. But I simply cannot endorse this game for purposes other than collecting or reminiscing. I also can’t be too harsh on the Nerd Rating considering the technological limitations of the time, but I will have to drop some points.

Nerd Rating:

1994: 8 out of 10

2014: 4 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

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Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry

What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.

 
 

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  1. Pingback: Project Obscure - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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