International Superstar Soccer 3 - PC

Also known as: ISS3

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International Superstar Soccer 3 (PC)
Also for: PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Sport: Football - Soccer
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB)
Released: 11 Apr 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Control Pad


We like Konami a lot. The reason? Their football games for starters. We've spent many hours, burning the midnight oil (and burning the TV tube) with a selection of ISS titles across different consoles. Well, it's time to give the telly a rest and turn your attentions to ISS 3 for PC. This should keep 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. Don't fancy your team taking on a bunch of teachers and plumbers from the Faroe Islands in the Intertoto? You don't have to with ISS3.

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. Swedish goal machine Henrik Larsson as he is in real life, and David Beckham's hair is just a few millimetres short of needing to use one of Larsson's old Alice bands. Our message to Becks is "Get yer hair cut!"

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.