International Superstar Soccer 64
|International Superstar Soccer 64|
European Nintendo 64 cover art
|Developer(s)||Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka|
|Series||International Superstar Soccer|
International Superstar Soccer 64 (officially abbreviated as ISS 64, originally released in Japan as Jikkyou J.League Perfect Striker and then later adapted as Jikkyou World Soccer 3) is a video game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka in the International Superstar Soccer series by Konami. It is essentially a Nintendo 64 version of International Superstar Soccer Pro. Its team lineup follows more closely the Super NES version of International Superstar Soccer Deluxe, only with South Africa replacing Morocco. It is similar to the PlayStation version.
International Superstar Soccer 64 was met with critical acclaim, and often called one of the best of the Nintendo 64's third party releases.
The game is similar to the PlayStation version (including the same player names, with the exception of Japan, England and a handful of USA players), but with some teams having a more inaccurate home or away kit. USA, for example, uses their 1994 World Cup Adidas "stripes" kit as home kit and their then-current Nike home kit as away kit. Gameplay is similar to that of the Super NES predecessor, International Superstar Soccer Deluxe, upgraded for the Nintendo 64 with 3D animation. While it keeps largely the same team roster (with the teams now sporting near-authentic kits), South Africa debuted in this game as a selectable side, replacing Morocco. However, the Japanese version has teams that are not present in the overseas versions, such as Bolivia, Yugoslavia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
There are six game modes, including single match, league battle, and penalty kick shootout. The player can assign a team member to cover a specific member of the opposing team. International Cup has the player competing against a range of teams from around the world in a round-robin tournament; World League is a series of 70 matches against every one of other teams in the game.
The player can also contest a penalty shoot-out competition with up to 4 players, or attempt to complete certain scenario games. These games are set up with a specific goal—for example, scoring a goal within a given time limit, or stopping the opposing team from scoring.
The game met with critical acclaim in Japan. In an interview around the time of the game's release in the region, Shigeru Miyamoto said that "Konami's soccer game may be better than [Nintendo's N64] games. It looks really good."
Next Generation reviewed the Japanese Nintendo 64 version, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that the game "goes farther than most titles in presenting a fantastic look and feel. Just make sure you have a few friends around to play it, otherwise you'll tire from 10-3 wins real quick."
U.S. reviews were also largely positive, and several critics noted that the A.I. in the North American release was dramatically improved from the Japanese version. Most said International Superstar Soccer 64 was better than the Nintendo 64's previous soccer game, FIFA 64, and Kraig Kujawa of Electronic Gaming Monthly went so far as to call it "without a doubt, the best soccer game on the market". GamePro was one of the few to voice criticisms with the game, specifically the music and the use of fictional players, but called it "an arcade-ish experience that, while not as realistic as FIFA, ranks much higher on the fun scale."
The most often cited strengths of the game included these: a variety of gameplay modes; the wide range of moves that the players can execute; the graceful, lifelike player animations; and the controls, particularly the tight responsiveness and strong implementation of the Nintendo 64 controller's analog joystick. However, most critics found it difficult to cover all of the game's positive elements. For example, Next Generation commented, "Details like refs of varying skill, different weather conditions, real stadiums, and attitude give even more depth to a game that gets just about everything right." N64.com gave strong praise to International Superstar Soccer 64's multiplayer modes. They later published a longer review which covered a few criticisms, such as the lack of a FIFA license, but also commented more extensively on the game's strong attention to detail, and reemphasized that "As far as multiplayer games go, ISS64 has replaced Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64 and Wayne Gretzky as the ultimate gameplay experience." Glenn Rubenstein of GameSpot said that it "offers just about everything FIFA 64 did. It just does it slightly better."
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