[Review] FIFA ’98: Road to World Cup


FIFA 98 - RTWC

REVIEW # 00000000 00010111

I got my head checked
By a jumbo jet
It wasn’t easy
But nothing is

The European Championship is allmost over, Italy is out and I don’t have anything more to do since I hate both of the teams that will play the final. At this point this post suits to a T even if the road to 2018 World Cup will start in a few months and scratching on my pile of old CDs and DVD’s I found a game that in my opinion is one of the best, related to its time, concerning the most beautiful game in the world, FIFA ’98 Road to World Cup. Even in 1998 the competition was in France, like this year and we all knows how it ended up……

Despite my furious hate about 1998 World Cup edition, one of the hundred times Italy got beaten on penalty kicks, moreover against our long-time enemies, the frenchs, this game was published before the WC, so all my hopes on a possible italian victory were still quite solid (we had one of the best defense and maybe the most prolific attack of last 30 years). There’s one thing I always loved about RTWC: the presence of ALL the national teams existing in the world that competed to qualify to the tournament.

For one like me, lover since forever of geography, microstates, strange cities, languages and places and one of the most passionate supporters of the pre-pre-pre-qualifying rounds of all the competitions, where you see teams that you wonder if they actually had 11 players to send to the field, this game was like an endless bag of toys for a child the Christmas morning.

I played FIFA 98: RTWC only on PS1 and I have to admit this was the best platform to play the game onto.

My heart says…

90%

Solve this equation: x = >130 National teams + World Cup atmosphere + 1997 game, published just in time to boost the expectations for a great tournamenty for Italy + funny comment. These are the reason why FIFA 98: RTWC deserves a solid 9.

Splash screen

80%

A huge boost in the splash screen comes surely by the soudtrack but the movie-like intro showing the gameplay and the graphics it golden! Very nice intro, the best starter waitin for the main course!

FIFA '98 - RTWC 1

Graphics

80%

Maybe there’s something better if you check on 1997 video games, but for sure RTWC was the best football title of the year, especially in the PS1 version.

FIFA '98 - RTWC 2

Narrative

80%

Nothing to say here. Read Scoring System

Gameplay

80%

As it is in some old FIFA titles, the gameplay it’s a bit “arcade”. In any case is not bad as FIFA 99 which was for me the most stupid among all FIFA games: with just one trick you could defeat everybody and all the matches could end 25-0.

FIFA '98 - RTWC splash

RTWC instead it’s simple but not stupid and if you play in hard difficulty it’s quite a challenge. You have to try it, definitely.

Sound

100%

You don’t expect in a football to have a soundtrack so important, but in the same moment you see the menu you can here Blur’s “Song 2” so you stay for a minute or two watching the menu like a dork and you start playing your air guitar and spin your head (“like a record baby, right round round round” as somebody said…). The in-game sound (so basically the supporter noise and the comment) are very good. I don’t know how it should sound the comment in the other languages but in italian was quite funny!

Longevity

100%

This is a simple vote. When you have a football game the lonhgevity is always high and this time even higher since you have dozens of national teams, even the weakest in the world (I tried a lot of times to win the Championship with Cook Islands, difficulty hard, but wasn’t so easy…)

Final score 90/100

90%

Probably one of the best soccer games ever made. We had to wait years before another game could beat it for gameplay and longevity. But this is the subject for a future article about PES saga…


Year: 1997

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Genre: Sport, Soccer

Game Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer

Original Platform: Windows

From the same developers/publishers:

  • Boulder Dash (1984)
  • The Seven Cities of Gold (1984)
  • Kings of the Beach (1988)
  • Skate or Die! (1988)
  • Indianapolis 500: The Simulation (1989)
  • James Pond (1990) and sequels
  • Car & Driver (1992)
  • Syndicate (1993)
  • Magic Carpet (1994)
  • The Need For Speed (1994) and sequels
  • Simcity 2000 (1994)
  • Crusader: No Remorse (1995)
  • FIFA International Soccer (1993) and sequels

Inspired to:

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. I had this on PC when I was 14 as it happens. Had to play using a joystick or keyboard as I didn’t have a controller for it! It was still great fun though. Good memories of this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I played it both PC and PS1 version but I have to say the PS1 is way better!!!

      Like

  2. Che bei tempi! ^_^ Ho sfondato il PC a forza di fare partitoni con questo che per me rimane l’unico Fifa esistente: gli altri sono impossibili da avvicinare per i principianti e quindi per me sono off limits.
    Godibile e piacevole, e poi si poteva giocare direttamente da CD e questo rendeva tutto velocissimo: si trovava sempre una decina di minuti per un partitone! E anche un estraneo al calcio come me poteva fomentarsi per il goal all’ultimo secondo 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Io mi ci sono spaccato per mesi sulla PS di mio zio. Era divertente e fortunatamente non abbastanza str***o da farti venire voglia di urlare come un macaco (per questo ci sarà PES…)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ho provato con giochi calcistici più “moderni”, ma in pratica hanno solo reso impossibile prendere palla o conservarla per più di un secondo, a meno che tu non sia espertissimo: il dilettante che vuole solo farsi una partitina non è più contemplato. Mi hanno messo addosso una rabbia che li ho buttati subito via: io gioco per rilassarmi, non per infuriarmi!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        Però urlare e strepitare su PES libera dalle tossine…;)

        Like

  3. Wow non pensavo fossi italiano,un’ottima scoperta! Io sono un po’ più giovane quindi ho iniziato con Fifa 99 su pc anche se quello con cui ho iniziato a giocare seriamente e bene è stato fifa 2005,ricordo i bei tempi quando segnavi dal centrocampo di prepotenza ahahahhahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Eh si, anch’io italiano ma piegato all’inglese…FIFA 99 ad un certo punto ho iniziato ad odiarlo perchè facendo sempre lo stesso numero (tirandosela su col tacco “a bicicletta”) si arrivava dritto in porta. Subito era divertente ma dopo un po’ ho iniziato ad odiarlo…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. GamingPicks says:

    The opening with Blur’s “Song 2”, the menus with The Crystal Method, great gameplay… My most played PC game, no question. Great post, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, definitely one of the greatest non-original soundtracks ever. I had to wait until PES 2011 to listen to a better one!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mazbott says:

    Great review of a classic video game. I did not have this version but i had FIFA 97′ on a Ninetendo 64. Im not a big fan of FiFA but atleast i alos had great memories

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Thanks! I played almost all the FIFA games from the firt until 2000 more or less but RTWC is definitely the best one…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this, I would have players banned for 15 matches due to always death lunging the keeper. I would frequently finish games with only 8 players.

    Liked by 1 person

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