2006 FIFA World Cup Review

The gameplay supports the slow, methodical play typical of World Cup matches in which the ball is constantly passed around while waiting for an opening to the goal to present itself. In this the computer has an advantage as it is controlling all of its players at once while you can only control one. As a result your teammates seem a little slow to react to the passes and have a little more difficulty getting open. I also encountered an occasional frustrating bug while playing. In one case I was tackled from behind and then to add insult to injury the game awarded the kick to the other team. In spite of all this youíll still have your share of opportunities on goal and most matches will play out with scores that are in line with those of real world World Cup matches.

The game supports other modes as well. One is a penalty shoot-out mode that lets you recreate the tension of the shooter-on-goalie duel. Far more interesting is the Challenge Mode which recreates memorable historic World Cup games and then challenges you to match or beat the real life result. For example, you may be placed into the second half of a match down by one goal and tasked with pulling out the win. Completing the challenge will award you with a bronze medal for the challenge, with silver and gold level medals awarded for meeting additional challenges like winning by two goals instead of one. This mode is indeed challenging as there is only the default difficulty setting for these matches and itís not set to an easy level.

The game also supports play over Xbox Live, but this aspect of the game is disappointing. The game lobbies and player matching are only rudimentary and the games are so lag-filled that they are more frustrating than fun. Donít expect to represent your country online in a virtual World Cup.

2006 FIFA World Cup is not the best playing soccer game to date, but if youíre looking to play along with the real World Cup it will fit the bill. Once the confetti settles in Germany, though, itís doubtful that the game will be able to hold your interest for a long time to come. Itís not a bad game per se; itís just not world class.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 70%. 2006 FIFA World Cup is like watching a tie game Ė fun at times but ultimately unsatisfying.


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