2006 FIFA World Cup is the official video game for the 2006 FIFA World Cup , published by EA Sports. 2006 FIFA World Cup was released simultaneously on the GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360 on April 24, 2006. In Europe it was simultaneously released on April 28, 2006. It was also released on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS handheld systems at the same time as the console versions. As with some other PlayStation Portable games it was released later on May 22, 2006. In Europe, this version was released May 19, 2006. There are nine region-specific covers that feature a major player from each region.
Microsoft bundled the game with the Xbox 360 in Japan and Europe. It was also bundled with the pre-release order version introduced in India during the days when World Cup fever gripped the nation. In this featured bundle, there was a limited edition faceplate included from Adidas packaged inside.
The game allows players to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams. Since the release of the game 2002 FIFA World Cup, the menus have been redesigned and have more options. It even includes a satellite map when choosing countries to play in a Friendly. Online support is provided for ranked and unranked matches on PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The online service provides lobbies, leaderboards and a global challenge mode where the player can play through over forty historical World Cup scenarios, and even change the history.
By playing online and in single-player mode, spending points for the virtual store are earned, where players can purchase uniforms, historical players, various footballs, boots, and gameplay options. As with the previous World Cup video game, matches in World Cup mode are played in the same order as at the World Cup in Germany.
Electronic Arts has been producing officially licensed FIFA soccer games since way back in the Genesis days, so it definitely has the knowledge and experience for footy titles on videogame systems. The Nintendo DS has been out for a year and a half and in that time the FIFA series has appeared thrice – but officially 2006 FIFA World Cup marks only the second professional version on the handheld. Only seven full months have passed since the premiere dual-screen version and in that time the development team were pressed to get a second game to hit the scene with all the energy and excitement of the World Cup going on as I write this. The final product stands as a good soccer match for players on the go, but sacrifices were made and it’s not quite as impressive the second time around.
Development studio Exient wowed us last year so much with FIFA 2006 that I didn’t hesitate to call the game the best sports game on the system…at least at the time of the game’s release. The competition in that genre wasn’t exactly what you’d call “heated,” but the team really pushed a fantastic soccer engine within the confines and restrictions of the Nintendo DS platform – even with all the limitations in the portable hardware, the game was surprisingly full featured and fun to play. The secondary, lower screen enabled easy on-the-fly strategies through touch screen buttons as well as offering the ability to track players via the overhead view.
Clearly the team used FIFA 2006 as its starting point for 2006 FIFA World Cup. Since the team only had a few months to get a game out to capitalize on this summer’s huge sporting event, it just makes sense to share assets from the prior game to the new one. For the World Cup edition of the game, Exient juiced up the production level with a much more elaborate and exciting presentation – the stadiums are energized with crowds waving banners, the commentary is a lot more verbal with more specific calls keeping pace with the action, Of course, the downside is that this is the World Cup, so not all of the teams are represented, and all of the soccer franchise elements are restricted to stay within the World Cup event. But for those who don’t know their Ronaldo from their Pele and just want to kick the ball around in 90 minute matchups, the World Cup “restrictions” aren’t really all that bad.
|2006 FIFA World Cup|
|Release date(s)||Game Boy Advance
NA April 24, 2006
PAL April 28, 2006
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer|
ESRB: E (Everyone)
|Media||Cartridge, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Nintendo optical disc|
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