- PAL release: 20th December 1997
- NA release: 22nd December 1997
- JP release: 12th April 1998
- Developer: EA Canada
- Publisher: EA Sports (PAL/NA), EA Victor (JP)
- N64 Magazine Score: 83%
This game brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. I had this game on PC and played it a lot – even doing some 90 minute matches. I was into football at the time (I stopped caring not long after). After seeing how dreadful FIFA 64 was, I was worried that this was going to tarnish my memories. Luckily, it seems that this time, the N64 got a solid port.
Every single thing has been improved upon from the previous year. The players actually look human now (in N64 style, anyway), the gameplay is fast and fluid and there is actually team management and a HUD that lets you know player names and a massive amount of both international and league teams. The N64 version does have some setbacks – Song 2 by Blur is cut back, and the commentary is heavily reduced, but the core gameplay is spot on, and it’s just a ton of fun.
This version of FIFA also included a 5-a-side indoor pitch, for an even more frantic and fast-paced game and a lot fewer interruptions due to the ball bouncing off the wall. This mode solidifies the core feature of this particular FIFA: fun. The gameplay is relatively simple, but it’s just enjoyable.
This extends into some of the “unrealistic” things you can do in the game. One of the tackle buttons is just an outright foul that you’ll never get away with, and you can even use it on the goalkeeper for an instant red card – however, you can set the referee strictness to zero. You can also pass back to the keeper and run as much as you like.
Even though I’m not a fan of football now, I still had a ton of fun playing this. It may not be as technical as ISS, but it’s just enjoyable.
But the overall improvement in FIFA is astounding. In fact, such a leap would have been unimaginable almost a year ago when we were plodding through the sewage-like mess that was FIFA 64.Tim Weaver, N64 Magazine #10
Remake or remaster?
While the genre has evolved a lot – I think a “throwback” game based on this one would be interesting to see, focusing on the same simple gameplay and sense of fun.
Official ways to get the game.
There is no official way to get FIFA Road to World Cup 98
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