FIFA RTWC '98
I was looking forward to FIFA 98 after the disappointing Worldwide Soccer '98.1 was hungry for a great Saturn soccer game...unfortunately, FIFA 98 really didn't deliver. The biggest problem is that the game is an eyesore. The stadium and fields look flat and lifeless. The players look broken and move at a painstakingly slow frame rate. The shadows even look out of place, especially when we're used to the graphically superior Worldwide '98. Now, normally graphics are a secondary concern for me (gameplay, replay and all the other good stuff is way more important), but when the market has so many great soccer games, you need to make them look good. Gameplay-wise, FIFA is above par. The passing game is OK, but it could've been more realistic with accurate leading passes. The goalie Al, as it is with the other FIFAs, leaves a bit to be desired (though it's rather fun to watch the keeper make an exaggerated dive for that slow rolling ball). Everything else about the game is right-on; I can't find many complaints with the gameplay. But what it all comes down to is how the lackluster graphics and frame rate get in the way of what could've been a really solid game. Toobad this is the last FIFA the Saturn is going to see. It's a disappointing way to end the soccer genre on the system.
FIFA 98 is a dramatic improvement over last year's FIFA, with much-improved gameplay, many more teams and options and a nicely revamped interface. The game plays well, but not without some minor flaws (indescribably poor Al at times, very choppy frame rate, etc.). Still, overall FIFA 98 is a much more solid, convincing soccer game than Worldwide Soccer '98, and without much else to choose from, that's about all that matters.
FIFA Road to World Cup 98 is a good soccer game for the Saturn. Although the player models do seem to have weird, Billy Bartley proportions, the gameplay is solid and precise, albeit a little slow for my tastes. As a single-player game, FIFA is pretty fun. In fact, I would go as far to say that this is one of the most fun single-player soccer games for the Saturn I've played in a while. Soccer fans should give this one a try.
It's too bad that this will be the last version of FIFA soccer for the Saturn, because the series is showing promise. The strength of the game is clearly the wide range of options and the excellent game presentation, which is close to perfect. The gameplay is good but not great. FIFA 98 could have benefited from better player animations and improved graphics. This isn't as good as the best WWS games, but soccer fans should give FIFA 98 a try.
Download FIFA RTWC '98
PC compatible, P-200
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2016-08-10 FIFA RTWC '98 game added.