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The above remark doesn't mean that FIFA Soccer '96 isn't an enjoyable game, but it has a longer learning curve for game control. For example, you will need to control the player that receives a ball passed to him from another. On the 3DO version the ball was automatically received and made passing much easier but not as realistic. In this game you can make errors and fouls similar to real life!
The stadium is packed with cheering spectators under a lifelike sky. The billboard, field, goals, and players are very detailed with textured graphics of a superb quality. Characters will jump for joy, bow, and do somersaults when they score or win a game. Other times you will see them drop to the ground in despair.
There are seven different camera views for playing the game. The Tele Cam, for example, provides a view as you would see on television, while the Shoulder Cam is a camera placed at a level just above and behind the players. The other views have different perspectives such as Cable, Endzone, Stadium, Sideline and Ball Cam. These camera views transport you right into the game and portray a real soccer game as seen on TV.
FIFA Soccer '96 has teams from over fifty-nine countries, ten of which include many of the country's local teams. For example, you could choose to have Liverpool, England play against Lyon, France. You can select International games between countries or choose the EA Custom feature that allows you to edit pre-existing Custom teams making all-star teams for certain countries.
There are four play modes from the main menu: Friendly, League, Tournament, and Playoffs. Friendly is a single game between two teams. Each team has a scouting report that shows a gold bar for the team's skill rating in passing, running, shooting, and defence. The longer they are, the higher the teams skills are. There is also an overall rating for the team. League takes you through an entire League schedule with a team from the twelve available. There are two tournaments that you can choose to play. A domestic tournament includes eight teams, while a world championship begins with twenty-four teams divided into six divisions. When only two teams are left they will advance to the Playoffs. If you want to skip the Tournaments, you can go straight to the Playoffs from the main menu.
The game has many options that allow you to adjust the game to your liking. You can set the half time from two minutes to forty-five minutes, have the referee call fouls and give out bookings, allow injuries, and set the skill level between semi-pro and pro. Other options allow you to control the music, sound effects, clock display, and the play by play which is clear and mentions the names of the players. For instant replays you can use the Free camera that allows you to view the action from any angle frame by frame. There are four other camera views named Game, Ball, Tower, and Goal.
Using the control pad you will be able to perform many different types of moves with the ball. These moves are lob, pass, drop pass to your nearest teammate, shoot, spin-and-shoot, kick a shallow lob, perform an overhead chip, and sprint dribble. You will also be able to perform a passback in which you pass the ball to a teammate and have them pass it back to you, and also tackle to flatten your opponents.
When a team scores a point, the billboard is shown with a small cartoon within it. If you kick the ball into your own net, for example, you may see a cartoon of an ugly green monster hitting himself on the head with a bat and the words WRONG NET above his head.
At the end of a game within the billboard, live video sequences of real games and players when they have won or lost a game will be displayed depending on your results. You will then be able to view the game's statistics that show the number of saves, fouls, cornerkicks, shots on goal, and the time each team was attacking, defending or in midfield. The Score summary will display the names and times of the players that scored during the game and the same goes for the foul summary.
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