2006 FIFA World Cup Germany (Game Boy Advance) Review

By Mike Mason 25.05.2006

Review for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on Game Boy Advance

It’s that time again, the time where everybody dons their football shirts, cram themselves into pubs across the nation and share the trials and tribulations of their countries, the only time when the casual fans take an interest in the game - yep, it’s time for the World Cup once again, and EA have predictably popped in with another version of FIFA. Should your eyes be watching the play on the pitch, or in the palm of your hand on GBA this year? Let’s find out...

Hands up who thought they’d see the day when a decent FIFA on the Gameboy Advance that turned out any good? Those who optimistically waved their palms towards the sky are wrong, we’re sad to say - that day is not today. There’s no point holding back and trying to get your hopes up, because there are, simply put, better ways to spend your money on the Gameboy.

Let’s start off with the presentation side, the side that EA are famed for. Well, happily it looks quite nice; obviously not as good as its older cousins on the home consoles, but it’s perfectly acceptable for GBA. It’s easy to find everything, and there’s a pleasing amount of settings available. The sound quality is great for the GBA, even if the music doesn’t exactly fit into our taste boundaries (quite how the Black Eyed Peas fit into anybody’s tastes is another rant for another day altogether). EA haven’t let us down on the presentation, at least of the menus, but nobody really expected them to.

Select a game mode, though, and everything starts to rapidly collapse before your eyes. An inoffensive stadium appears, and then some blocks start to fall out of the tunnel and – oh, they’re the players. They’re running, not falling, it seems, and out they come to start the game. In case you hadn’t guessed, this means that the people look rather abysmal, and the animation looks like they might’ve done some motion capture with Lego as well. Of course, graphics aren’t everything, and we can look past that. The sound, again, is nice, the volume adjusted well and it all sounds football-match-y. Time for kick off…

...You’ll wish you hadn’t. From the moment the ball leaves the centre circle you come to realise something: this is not football. While the movement of your players is fine and dandy, and passing is adequate after a short period of time where you can’t pass where you want for toffee, overall it doesn’t feel like a game of football; it’s sometimes more akin to an elaborate game of ping pong. The structure is quite simple: the ball gets hit right. The ball gets hit left. Over and over again. It’s easy for you to make a break through and go for goal, but often you won’t get all the way there because the AI of your team is so pathetic. Players crowd with the opposition and refuse to get into space, all your team-mates dive for the ball at once – guys, this isn’t rugby. Attempts to pass are intercepted by the opposing team because of this, they rush forward...and are promptly caught in exactly the same situation, where the ball is swept from them and it all begins again.

In fact, the only way you’re likely to score is by going it alone, which is a lot easier than it sounds. Basically, you get the ball, hold down the R shoulder button to activate your sprint metre, and go for it. Nobody will challenge you properly. From here, you’re free to run head on with the goal keeper, swiftly turn (or as swiftly as you can with a D-pad) and shoot. Goal! You win again! You might think, by some logic, that players on the opposite team might be able to do this as well. No chance, unless for some reason you’ve forgotten how the tackle button works. Actually, scratch that - unless you’ve not located the slide tackle button. Unfortunately, standard tackling doesn’t particularly...well, work. Your only choice is to slide tackle. Now, while this is all much fun, it doesn’t really help that the referees aren’t too favourable at you breaking peoples’ legs, so cardings are quite often. Nevertheless, two players down? Who cares? You can still win, with ease.

It’s very rare that the opposing team actually gets to your defence, much less anywhere near your goal. We decided to perform an experiment - some might say cruel, but we disagree; characters with this little artificial intelligence don’t feel pain, or shame (so that’s the vicious tackling justified as well). Anyhow, this experiment involved us having a kick about amongst our defenders and goal keeper around the box. For some reason, none of this was met with any attempts on goal. Fair enough, we’ll send our goal keeper up the pitch, let’s see if he can score one (sadly not, yet) – did they score, even after getting the ball off him and launching it back across the field? Well, we’ll let you have a little guess. No, they couldn’t. Crossbars, posts, wide balls, they did it all. To put it nicely, and to steal a phrase often heard from the ‘football chair’ in this household: they couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo.

We don’t aim to dishearten developers when writing reviews, but when this is the kind of thing being put out on shelves and succeeding in the charts... well, we get a bit sad. Once upon a time, there were some 16-bit consoles, the SNES and the Mega Drive. Upon these consoles were some somewhat brilliant versions of the football series that we call FIFA – we got it out and checked, to make sure nostalgia wasn’t deceiving us. Sure, they had their flaws, and you could always score from one point, but what’s happened? The GBA could easily handle these games, so why is this so bad in comparison to said 10 year old titles? FIFA World Cup 2006 on Gameboy Advance rudely slide tackles anybody who plays it, is given a red card and manages to score an own goal in the process – oh, and it broke Rooney’s foot, in case any of you care. Buy at your own risk.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 1 out of 10


Though apparently better than the DS version based on our review of that, it doesn’t make the game any good. It’s shocking that a game like this has made it past product testing, with an inability to do anything to do with football properly without it all going horribly wrong. What you have here is the chance to have a kick-about around the centre circle, but barely anywhere else. The running is broken to the point of making you nigh on invincible, you’re lucky if your player gets into a sensible position, and you’re even luckier if the opponents provide you with any sort of challenge. Get a port of one of the 16-bit games on GBA please, EA.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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