The official build up to this summer's glorious World Cup begins in April, SPOnG has just found out. And why is this you ask? This is because EA will be bringing out FIFA World Cup 2006 on Xbox 360 with full online play, we reply.
Now, before we go on, we know its ?only? FIFA. And we know what you really want to hear about is 360 Pro Evo. And we?ll be telling you all about that as soon as we can. But we are just going to have to wait patiently for the skinny on Pro Evo and learn to stop asking Konami to tell us more about it every second day. This is mainly in case they follow through with their threat of not talking to us ever again and maybe even setting their Yakuza friends on us.
Back to FIFA World Cup 2006. What this is is the first proper footy game on the 360 (FIFA 06 didn?t really count in our opinion). And it?s out two months before the real World Cup starts. And you can play up to seven other mates in the multiplayer mode. And its got full Xbox Live online play. So what we are kind of saying is that if you own a 360 and don?t really hate football, its kind of a necessary purchase, even if you are going to go out and buy Pro Evo 360 as soon as it appears later in the year. This will at least keep your twitching World Cup thumbs busy in the meantime.
So what?s it got then? A heck of a lot, as you would expect. To start with, it has hyper-realistic high-def representations of the 32 competing teams, 98 other national teams (ie the rubbish ones like Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland) and around 100 accurately-modelled superstar players. It's also got eye-poppingly good models of all the 12 official World Cup stadiums in Germany.
The game also features ?new compelling modes of play, including the groundbreaking Global Challenge that will test even the most hardcore football fan by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history.?
Woww! Now this does sound good. Something which will also appeal to the fair-weather football fans who only come out of hiding every four years and can only seem to remember anything about football if it has to do with past World Cups. You know who you are.
What it doesn?t say are featured are any mini games involving bar or street brawling, running away from local police or fans, or trying not to lose your girlfriend due to not paying her any attention for four months. SPOnG would really expect such content in any truly realistic attempt to convey the full World Cup experience.
The obligatory press release quote comes from none other than Joe Nickolls, the lead producer of the game, who says: "The FIFA World Cup will be the single most watched sporting event by a worldwide television audience, bringing together football fans from around the world?. Our game, 2006 FIFA World Cup celebrates this passion by capturing all of the national rivalries in-game, enabling fans to play their heroes and be a part of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany."
Nothing, however, has been said about the soundtrack. SPOnG wonders if it might feature some of our favourite World Cup tunes of old. ?We?re singing for England? En-ger-land! Arriverderci, its one-on-one?.
2006 FIFA World Cup is due for release in April. Ladies and those killjoys who still
refuse to get involved better make other plans for April through to July then. For everyone else check out the official site for the World Cup here
and get the beers in. SPOnG will have strong, continental fighting lager please.