UK cover art, featuring Wayne Rooney (left) and Ronaldinho (right)
|Developer(s)||EA Canada, Exient Entertainment (DS/GBA)|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer, Online multiplayer|
|Distribution||DVD, UMD, Nintendo optical disc|
FIFA 06, also known as FIFA Soccer 06, is a video game developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts based around the game of football. It was released in the United States on 4 October 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows, PlayStation Portable, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS. It was later released for mobile phones.
This was the last FIFA edition to be released exclusively on six generation consoles. The taglines for the game were "You play. They obey." and "The total soccer experience." It also marks the first time the PlayStation has been excluded from the FIFA lineup since FIFA Soccer 95 (released only for Mega Drive).
FIFA 06 was the thirteenth game in the FIFA series and the tenth in 3D.Originally released as 'FIFA 2006'. At the time it was the highest selling game of the FIFA series, ahead of its predecessor FIFA 2005 by over 100,000 copies. In total, FIFA 06 has sold more than 3.6 million copies.
Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney graced the cover of the game in the European, Australian, Brazilian, and United Kingdom market. Freddy Adu, Ronaldinho, and Omar Bravo were on the North American cover, while Lukas Podolski was partnered with Ronaldinho on the German edition of the game and Park Chu-Young was on the South Korea cover.
Developers of the FIFA series made a complete overhaul of the game's engine for the 2006 installment of the game, asserting it has improved the control of play, having rewritten more than half the programming code for the game. In addition to a renovation of the game engine which discards the "the ball" system, developers boast a significantly more involved career mode and the introduction of “chemistry” which will determine how good teams play together. This installment will break with a short tradition of commentating from John Motson and Ally McCoist, replaced by ITV's Clive Tyldesley and Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray.
Career mode in FIFA 06 is now a 15-year journey as the manager of a club of the player's choice. The user starts by filling in basic details such as their name, date of birth, and country. From here, the player gets to choose which team they would like to manage; however, only clubs with a 4-star rating or below are selectable unless the player has bought the "Career Teams" bundle from the in-game fan shop. In a new addition to the game players now must manage a minimum budget to build the club around. The budget can be spent on players, upgrading staff and coaches at the club and transfer budgets. Players must now also use their best managerial skills to negotiate a sponsor to the club. Sponsors, a new addition to career mode, provide a weekly payment to the club as well as extra bonuses through winning cups and meeting expectations of the club. If the manager does not meet these expectations, they may risk losing their sponsor at the end of the season. Some sponsors within the game are real organisations while others are simply made up.
Players also have to manage the expectations of the board, player morale, team chemistry and keeping the club's fans happy. Ultimately, the best solution to all of these areas is to win games. Meeting the expectations of the board will almost guarantee the player a job at the club for the next season while not meeting their expectations will most likely lose the player their job and be forced to find another club. Get sacked too much and the player's career is over.
Player morale becomes a large issue to the future of the player's club and their managerial future. Players must keep their squad happy to maintain them at the club and to keep them at their best performances. An unhappy squad can result in players refusing new contracts with the club and eventually leaving, which can be vital to the success of the club. Team chemistry is a result of the squad's morale and how often the current squad plays together. If the team is happy and are regularly playing together, team chemistry will be high. If the current squad is unhappy and hasn't played a game in seasons, team chemistry will be low therefore it is important to keep a balanced squad while maintaining success.
FIFA 06 also introduces staff which help the club. By upgrading the staff, this helps the club to improve depending on the area that has been upgraded. For example, if the user upgrades the negotiator to a higher level, the negotiator will be able to bring better players to the club for less money. Staff upgrades cost money which comes out of the budget.
Career mode also features a "manager history" section which shows your statistics as a manager for each season you play. It includes your season record, where your team finished in the ladder, and any cups the team won. Statistics for the current season are available including leading goalscorers, card recipients, team stats, league standings, and cup competition fixtures. It features three European Cup Competitions: ECC, EFA, and the European Super Cup. The ECC is the game's equivalent to the UEFA Champions League. The EFA is the equivalent to the UEFA Cup. The European Super Cup is of the same name in UEFA Competition, which pits the winners of the ECC and EFA in a match right before the following season.
FIFA 06 Lounge
The FIFA 06 Lounge is a new introduction into the game. It is an upgraded form of multiplayer mode which allows up to eight human players to compete to see who is the best player over a series of matches. Each player selects a name to be identified as and team to play as. Players can also change the rules of the game to suit their playing style. Depending on who wins and loses, players are given advantages and disadvantages to play with. Featured styles of matches in the lounge are:
- Winner Stays On: The winner of the previous game plays on and faces a new challenger.
- Winner vs. Highest Ranked: The winner of the previous game plays the best ranked player in the rankings
- Winner vs. Lowest Ranked: The winner of the previous game faces the worst ranked player in the competition
- Rematch: A rematch between the two players that just played
- Rematch Switch: A rematch between the two players that just played with the home team and away team switched
- Best vs. Worst: The best player vs. the worst team according to team star rating
- Catch-Up: Players can set a handicapped score on one player and the disadvantaged player must attempt to catch up to the handicapped player before the game ends
The mode also includes a leaderboard featuring leading point ratings, points, wins, goals, bookings, clean sheets, offsides, longest winning streak, longest undefeated streak, and longest losing streak. League standings are featured as well as the ability to save the session so players can play at a later date.
Team management gives the player the ability to edit the game to suit themselves. The mode provides the ability to create a player and edit any player, kit number, squad, and kick takers in the game as well as the ability to transfer players to other clubs and the ability to select players for their international teams.
Retro and extras
One of the new features in FIFA 06 is a special "retro" which features nostalgia of the game. Inside it features an unlockable classic biographies section, a memorable moments video compilation which features ten of the most memorable moments as judged by the FIFA 06 developers, and a video compilation with a retrospective view at all the games in FIFA series with Cobrastyle song by Teddybears STHLM featuring Mad Cobra playing as the background music.
In the extras section is:
- A video interview with Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o.
- A series of tutorial videos on how to use the new features in the game.
- Video previews for NBA Live 06, FIFA Street 2, and Madden NFL 06
- Unlockable season highlights from the 2004-05 seasons of the German Bundesliga, Premier League, French Division 1, and Italian Serie A
The Nintendo GameCube version doesn't have the tutorial videos, video previews, or season highlights.
Challenges and unlockables
FIFA 06 has introduced challenges for the player to achieve in order to win points and unlock prizes. The challenges are divided up into 10 regions of ten to twelve challenges based on the countries they can be achieved in. There are more than 100 different challenges for the player to achieve on all four difficulty levels, although a fifth difficulty can be achieved, which is legendary.
With the points earned in the challenges, prizes can be unlocked. Such unlockables in the game include classic player biographies, new camera angles, alternate club kits, stadiums, and videos.
Classic XI & World League XI
The game also features a Classic XI team, assembled by EA Sports, consisting of great football legends, and a World XI team, consisting of current superstars, chosen by FIFPro. Both teams have the Cardiff Millennium Stadium as their primary ground. These clubs must be unlocked in the "Fan Shop" with "FIFA Points".
- http://uk.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/fifa2006/index.html GameSpot: FIFA 06 PS2 Review
- http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox/sports/fifa2006/index.html GameSpot: FIFA 06 Xbox Review
- http://ps2.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r26413.htm PS2 GameZones - FIFA 06 Review
- http://www.gametrailers.com/game/fifa-soccer-2006/2043?cid=YSSP GameTrailers: FIFA 06
The Classic XI home kit is the same one used by the Allies team in the 1981 football film Escape to Victory. The away kit is also the same shirt used by the Allies team goalkeeper played by Sylvester Stallone.