International Superstar Soccer 98

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International Superstar Soccer 98
ISS 98 N64.jpg
North American cover art featuring Carlos Valderrama
Developer(s)Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka
Director(s)Yasuo Okuda
Producer(s)Katsuya Nagae
SeriesInternational Superstar Soccer
FIFA World Cup
Platform(s)Nintendo 64
  • JP: June 4, 1998
  • EU: September 1, 1998
  • NA: September 15, 1998
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

International Superstar Soccer 98 (officially abbreviated as ISS 98 and known as Jikkyō World Soccer: World Cup France '98 (実況ワールドサッカー 〜WORLD CUP FRANCE'98 (ワールドカップ フランス'98), Jikkyō Wārudo Sakkā 〜Wārudo Kappu Furansu '98〜) in Japan) is a soccer video game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka which was released exclusively for the Nintendo 64. It was released at the same time as International Superstar Soccer Pro 98, developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET) for the PlayStation.

Although it lacked a FIFPro licence, it featured Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli along with German goalkeeper Andreas Koepke (on German release) and Paul Ince (on British release) on the cover. The cover of the North American version featured Colombian player Carlos Valderrama, and the game featured licence from Reebok to use their logos in adboards and the Chile national football team kits.


Due to the date of release, the game focuses on 1998 FIFA World Cup and includes each qualified team plus more. Every team which participated in tournament has home, away and goalkeeper World Cup official kits featuring manufacturer logos and national emblems and the rest has those used in qualifications. In the European version, the squads are in accordance with official 1998 FIFA World Cup squads as well. Teams that did not qualify have line-ups from the qualifiers (in the North American version, all teams have lineups from the qualifiers). However the players' names are misspelled due to the lack of a FIFPro license, though they have their actual numbers, appearance, age, height, weight and abilities. In the European version, the game has more sponsors other than Reebok, such as Apple and Continental AG, which appear in adboards.

The Japanese version was an officially licensed World Cup product and included accurate player names, though stylised with Japanese text.

Game modes[edit]

International Superstar Soccer 98 featured 6 different game modes:

  • Open Game: a friendly match against the computer or another player with choices of stadium, weather and time of day, as well as match handicaps (player condition, goalkeeper strength and number of players on the field, from 7 to 11). It was also possible to spectate CPU vs. CPU matches.
  • International Cup: This mode is where the player selects a team from one region and attempts to get them to the International Cup 98, starting from the respective region's qualifiers.
  • World League: 48 international teams participate in a round-robin tournament with home and away matches.
  • Scenario: 16 situations wherein the player is placed in a match in progress. Depending on the difficulty, the player must either administer a victory (in easier matches), or win a match by breaking a tie or turning the result around (in higher difficulties).
  • Penalty Kick Mode: Two teams take a series of five penalty kicks to select the winner. In case of a draw, they undergo successive sudden death rounds.
  • Training: Practice of shooting free kicks, corner kicks and defensive play with a selected team. The player may also practice freely on the entire field without an opposite team.


52 national teams are featured in the game, in addition to six All-Star teams, only accessible through a cheat code or by winning the 'World League' on level 5.


The game received "universal acclaim" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[1] Cubed3 praised the game's "ridiculously addictive" gameplay, create-a-player, six various modes (which have an option of 64 teams, nine stadiums, four weather conditions and a choice of night or day) and the ability to play multiplayer with up to three players.[16] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 33 out of 40.[6]

Next Generation said in its August 1998 issue, "After a few hours of play, you'll forgive the apparent lack of improvement and realize that subtlety is everything in the most popular sport on Earth. The only thing that could really improve this series would be the inclusion of real players' names and correct uniforms. Until that happens, Superstar Soccer is just a shade short of perfect."[14] Six issues later, the magazine ranked it at #50 in its list of the Fifty Best Games of All Time, saying that the game "simply represents one of the finest examples of the genre. Although soccer in the U.S. enjoys nowhere near the popularity of other sports, the quality of this simulation should ensure its place on every serious gamer's shelf."[17]


  1. ^ a b "International Superstar Soccer '98 for Nintendo 64 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  2. ^ McCall, Scott. "International Superstar Soccer '98 - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  3. ^ Panda; Toxic (September 1998). "International Superstar Soccer Coupe de Monde 98". Consoles + (in French). No. 80. pp. 108–10.
  4. ^ Edge staff (August 1998). "Jikkyou World Soccer: World Cup France '98". Edge. No. 61. Future Publishing. p. 98. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Davison, John; Kujawa, Kraig; Hager, Dean; Ricciardi, John (September 1998). "IS Soccer '98 [sic]". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 110. Ziff Davis. p. 146. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "実況ワールドサッカー 〜WORLD CUP FRANCE'98〜 [NINTENDO64]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "International Superstar Soccer '98". Game Informer. No. 64. FuncoLand. August 1998.
  8. ^ Higgins, Geoff "El Nino"; Mowatt, Todd "Video Cowboy" (August 1998). "International Superstar Soccer '98". GameFan. Vol. 6, no. 8. Metropolis Media. p. 50. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  9. ^ Air Hendrix (October 1998). "International Superstar Soccer '98". GamePro. No. 121. IDG Entertainment. p. 192. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Toose, Dan (October 1998). "International Superstar Soccer '98". Hyper. No. 60. Next Media Pty Ltd. pp. 56–57.
  11. ^ Schneider, Peer (November 4, 1998). "International Superstar Soccer '98 Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Kitts, Martin (October 1998). "International Superstar Soccer '98". N64 Magazine. No. 20. Future Publishing. pp. 54–59.
  13. ^ Weaver, Tim (August 1998). "Jikkyou World Soccer: World Cup France '98". N64 Magazine. No. 18. Future Publishing. pp. 72–75.
  14. ^ a b "International Superstar Soccer 98". Next Generation. No. 44. Imagine Media. August 1998. p. 87. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  15. ^ "International Superstar Soccer '98". Nintendo Power. Vol. 111. Nintendo of America. August 1998. p. 97. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Riley, Adam (March 21, 2006). "International Superstar Soccer 98 (Nintendo 64) Review". Cubed3. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Next Generation staff (February 1999). "The Fifty Best Games of All Time (#50)". Next Generation. No. 50. Imagine Media. p. 73. Retrieved October 30, 2020.

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