International Superstar Soccer 3 - PS2

Also known as: ISS3

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International Superstar Soccer 3 (PS2)
Also for: PC, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Sport: Football - Soccer
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB)
Released: 28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Multitap adaptable


Just when you thought that Konami had hit you with everything they've got as far as football is concerned, they score yet another stunner. ISS 3 for PS2 should keep international footy fans busy through what's going to be a real-life soccer-less summer - no World Cup, no European Championships, no matter - with ISS 3, you can create your own tournaments. Who needs the ignominy of the Intertoto?

Not so much a sequel to last year's game, more of an evolution, ISS 3 is a groundbreaking title for Konami, as it's the first to include a Mission Mode, wherein successful players are awarded points after matches or by betting on the outcome of a two-player game. These rewards can be used to build stadiums and unlock a host of new options and special features. The innovation spreads to the pitch too, with the inclusion of 'close-up' mode. When one of your players goes on a run (most likely out on the flanks and approaching the penalty area) an L1 icon will appear. Press the appropriate button, and the camera zooms in to the highlighted player. Hold down the R2 button at this point and the player will display all kinds of fancy footwork in an attempt to beat his opponent. Add these elements to the basic structure of the already splendid ISS game engine and visuals, and you have another example of why Konami's football games are so well regarded. The action is pretty much seamless - the one touch passing and shooting system is in place - and some of the bigger names in the international teams are instantly recognisable. Paraguayan goalie Chilavert is almost as scary and ogre-like as he is in real life, and Beckham's hair has grown and been coloured since ISS2.

More of an arcade-y experience than Konami's other work of genius, Pro Evolution Soccer, ISS 3 is a more than worthy addition to the series, with some nifty replay moments, intelligible stadium announcements and crowd noise, the occasional glance at a frustrated coach pacing the technical area, and the reassuring tones of commentator Jon Champion and friend of Gary Lineker, Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson. Newcomers to the series should like this a lot; ISS vets will love it. Eat my goal!