2006 FIFA World Cup Germany (GameCube) Review

By James Temperton 04.05.2006

We kick off our biannual pilgrimage to review a FIFA title with a look at the GameCube version of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, a title EA are hoping will be an essential item on the shopping lists of all football fans, everywhere, ever. It's already at No.1 here in the UK and is sure to sell by the bucket-load for the next couple of months, but is it really worthy of such fantastic sales, or is it just another average cash-in? The answer; a bit from Column A and a bit from Column B...

EA's intentions are clear, to make an entertaining, fast-paced and fun companion game for the FIFA World Cup, and they have done a great job. If arcade football packed full of fun and flair is what you are after, than this title delivers it and then some, but in order to make this title 'pick up and play' EA have removed a lot of the depth that is required to give a title like this any lasting appeal. In other words; great fun with some mates, a few beers and some snacks but not much fun the next morning when everyone goes home.

The main part of the game is obviously the World Cup mode, you can select from just about any international team (even Iraq, Liechtenstein and San Marino) and either go straight to the World Cup proper or go all the way through qualification. All the real-life groups are left in tact should you wish to tackle them, or you can do a seeded or un-seeded random selection to pit yourself against different teams each time, rather than England having to always play against Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Paraguay.

Screenshot for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on GameCube

Gameplay itself is once again an impressive progression from previous FIFA titles. All the basics remain the same, so all the buttons still do the same things, but this time the players on the pitch control and move about the ball far more realistically. No longer does the ball stick to the players like a magnet when they run with it, it hops about, deviates, bounces and bobbles. This means that playing the game requires quite a lot more skill and you can do more realistic moves. Another aspect of the game that has been improved significantly is the long ball, players are now making the right runs so that when you power a pass fifty, sixty or even seventy yards you know there will be someone challenging for it, or on the end of it in space ready to sprint forward and continue the attack (unless your passing to David Beckham, in which case the receiver will be standing about admiring himself in a spoon).

Screenshot for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on GameCube

The good times don't stop there though! There is a far greater emphasis on flair than ever before, you can attempt spectacular volleys, flying diving headers, powerful long-range shots and of course tricks. Spinning on the ball, instant control using the first touch system to dart around your marker, spin another defender, jink around another and fire the ball into the top corner. It is all a case of putting together a combination of clever passes or pieces of individual skill that will get you the goal. And when you do score, the crowd will go wild!

Having the official licence allows EA to make a truly authentic experience. All the stadiums, all the names, all the kits, all the chants and all the anthems, everything is present and correct; this really is a game of great spectacle. When you go into a World Cup game you see the teams lined up on the pitch, the crowd is full of flags and colourful banners, the music strikes up, the commentators start whining on about nothing particularly interesting and before you know what's hit you the World Cup is being beamed into your eyes. Everything looks fantastic, the stadiums cast shadows over the pitch and the draw distance and detail of the arena is superb and with a decent TV and a good sound system, the game really comes to life. It really got us excited about the World Cup, and leading England to glory (against Argentina, what could be better?!) was fantastic fun. When the final whistle goes and you become world champions the game goes wild, fireworks shoot off, players start running around the pitch in jubilation, the opposition start crying and then your team of heroes get to mount the podium and lift the World Cup. Many people say football is great theatre and this title has certainly captured that brilliant sense of drama we all know and love.

Screenshot for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on GameCube

Aside from that, the gameplay is obviously going to be the most important part of a football title, and EA have come on leaps and bounds. Players finally show their individual attributes on the pitch, quick players have a real feeling of speed when dashing down the wing and Peter Crouch finally appears to have gained height in a videogame! What is more, shooing is significantly better, FIFA titles seem to deviate from one extreme to another; shooing from range is impossible and you always miss, or shoot from anywhere and you'll nearly always score. Finally, a balance has been struck, when controlling players like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard you can hit shots from 20 or 25 yards that, if hit with the right direction and power, will go flying into the top corner. Try it with Emile Heskey and you might find the top corner of something else.

Screenshot for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


2006 FIFA World Cup Germany is a nice game for its purpose, and whilst we don't like its blatant cash-cowing ways, it is good fun. The controls are tight, the gameplay has a nice quick arcade feel and the sense of spectacle is second to none. It got us even more excited about the World Cup than we already were. Finally, best of luck to England (with or without Shrek) and of course to all the other nations taking part.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Apr 2006   North America release date Apr 2006   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Apr 2006   


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