1993 – FIFA International Soccer

FIFA International Soccer

 Fifa
Developer(s) EA Sports
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Cover Star David Platt
Series Fifa
Platform(s) PC, Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, Mega-CD (As “FIFA International Soccer Championship Edition”), Game Gear, SNES, DOS, Amiga, 3DO, Game Boy, PlayStation 2 (on FIFA 06)
Release date(s) 15 July 1993
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Media/distribution ROM, cartridge, Compact Cassette, floppy disk

Liam: I fought tooth and nail to get this onto the list as Fifa is one of the biggest video game franchises in the world. The original Fifa has on its cover David Platt, McDonalds advertiser and occasional England football player. Readers of a certain age will remember the line ‘You mean to tell me that you signed David Platt for a Big Mac and a Filet o’ fish?’. Ironically a Big Mac and a Filet o’ fish would have been more expensive than the price I paid picking up this beauty of a game.

I freaking love Fifa (there was a brief period of time when PES was far better but the circle has most definitely swung back to Fifa). It’s the atypical ‘lads get together over a few beers’ game and I have clocked up a countless amount of hours over the years playing the various iterations of Fifa on every nearly console I have ever owned. The main reason I love fifa is that I am a rugby player, a front row forward at that, and I play football with the level of grace and skill you would imagine for a front row forward. However, when I play Fifa I am a beautiful proponent of Total Football – skilful, fluid and creative. I am a freaking joy to watch. Not sure how that is going to work with the older version of the game… I haven’t played it since it was the incumbent version and quite a bit has changed since then. I currently own Fifa13 on the PC (PC gamer supremacy) which I can output to the TV when I have guests or play on the laptop screen if the missus is watching the telly.

Joel isn’t really a football fan, evident by his support of Nottingham Forest. Playing the first Fifa should level the playing field considerably compared to playing a newer version – which Joel’s 9 year old son would put up a much better fight (actually he is pretty good!). Thankfully for Joel this will be past his bedtime so he won’t have to witness his dad being utterly humiliated (again)!

Joel:  Roight… Here goes…

This, for me, is a very difficult review to write. It’s causing me a fair degree of internal conflict, as the following wordage will no doubt demonstrate.

One simply cannot deny that this was the beginnings of what has turned out to be one of the most significant gaming franchises of current times – and with good reason too. This game launched when I (and, it would appear, a fair number of our audience) were at an age when there was little more in life than “footie” and video games. My current day feelings about the sport aside, this was massive to me at the time. Before too long, I had figured out all the moves, the weird physics bugs and the spot to shoot from to be almost guaranteed to score. I remember playing against Qatar over and over and over again trying to get higher and higher scores – the best I ever did was somewhere in the high thirties to nil I think. If memory serves, this might also be the game where you can actually run away from the ref when he issues you a card, preventing said issuance until he caught up with you. When Liam sends it over to me for testing, it’ll be interesting to see how I get on. (Don’t worry Liam, I’ll only play a couple of games, just to make sure it’s working!!) But what this game did in real terms was begin to change the very concepts of video gaming from being the reserve of sandal wearing, myopic, social outcasts to something that everyone did – Over the years I’ve known a few “gamers” whose entire library has been built of 5 consecutive releases of FIFA and one edition of International Superstar Soccer they tried but didn’t like because they didn’t have the rights to use real player likenesses and names. That was probably the case for the person who sold me a SNES with 13 games, 8 of which were football! Presumably it’s their copies of last year’s FIFA you see at your local game store for 49p – one of the worst value retentions I’ve ever seen.

On the other hand, I gave up on football a long time ago. I’m not getting into the whys and wherefores here, but it’s fair to say I have zero interest in it. As such, I haven’t played a football game in anger since FIFA 98 RTWC for the PC, of all platforms. I’m going to struggle with this one – I predict a humiliating drubbing from Liam. We’ll be ten hours in by this point too, tempers will be frayed and thumbs beginning to ache.. There’s a good chance this is the first time when Rachael will have to break out her umpire shirt.

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