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International Superstar Soccer Pro






1-2 Players

Game Type

Sports Simulation

Mem. Card

Review Date

July 1997

Setting the Scene

Soccer games have been an essential part of home video entertainment since the days of water sodden case-balls, dubbin' and pullovers being used as goal-posts. Over the years every single platform has received it's fair share of soccer titles. Some were classics, others were average while many were instantly forgettable.


Putting it very simply, this is a three-dimensional simulation of the game of Soccer.


Load up the game, select your options and hold onto your armchair as you will be stunned when you feast your eyes over the players as they take to the pitch. Each player looks completely different from the next in both appearance and stature. There's tall players, short players, balding players, thin players and most importantly recognizable players. Gazza stands out a mile with his Euro '96 bleached crop of hair, Ravanelli's grey locks are unmistakable, Baggio's movements are captured perfectly, in fact every team is made up of individuals rather than a squad of clones.

Once the game is in motion the graphics are so smooth you forget that this is just a video game and you actually feel like your participating in a real match. The motion capture is superb as the player twists and turns, lifting a foot over the ball as he produces a perfect feint to confuse the opposing player. Fire a shot directly into the players midriff and he will actually double up in pain, while the after goal celebrations will have you watching the action replay over and over again.

ISS Pro offers only four camera views but to be honest the omitted angles will not be missed as they are usually found to be unplayable. Up Close shows off all the players in their glory but will prove difficult to plan your passing. Medium and Far both work fine while the behind goal angle has never been a favorite of mine and was instantly ignored.

Sounds and Effects

Just to offer a little hope for rival soccer projects ISS Pro fails miserably on the sound department and can thankfully be switched off at the options screen. As the players run up the field the distinct sound of two coconuts being clicked together can be constantly heard. It sounds like Red Rum the racehorse cantering over a carpet.

Because ISS Pro does not have a licence to use real players names, we are subjected to comments such as 'Great shot Italy', 'Good goal England' and 'It's Argentina on the ball'. The commentator can often be over enthusiastic and very repetitive while at least the noise from the crowd varies from ground to ground. My advice - switch it off and enjoy and otherwise excellent game.


ISS Pro offers ample playing options. Select a one-off Exhibition game against a CPU controlled team or a second player, or even join forces with a mate to play against any of the 32 International teams that are available. Set up an Int. League where 16 of the worlds finest compete for the top honors. Eight groups of four teams partake in an Int. Cup Competition where the divisional winners proceed into the quarter finals for the knockout matches. Finally, test your nerve in a penalty kick competition.

Once the game type is selected you move onto the game options menu which offers three difficulty levels, a choice of weather conditions, match duration, day or night setting and a choice from four stadiums. Prior to kick off it will be beneficial to enter the formation screen where you can weigh up the oppositions weakness and strengths. Tactics and formation may be adjusted to suit your game plan which will prove essential to your progress in the competitions.

The whistle blows and the game is underway. The passing feels accurate and the players respond instantly to your instructions from the the D-pad. A short pass will usually find a team mate, as will an accurate long pass, but it is the inclusion of a through ball that sets ISS Pro above the rest. Neat passing movements will only advance you so far up the field before a 'defence splitting' pass must be played perfectly through the last line of defenders for your striker to run onto. Once you get the hang of this tactic your forwards will stand a chance of breaking through the tightest offside traps and the toughest teams defence.

Shooting requires reactionary skills as you now have a power bar that fills up extremely quick when launching a shot at goal. Too much power when you are too close to the target and your shot will fly high over the bar, this takes judgement but before long you will be blasting 35 yard free kicks into the top corner just like the Brazilians.

To keep the controls simple certain buttons have a multiple purpose such as the shoot button. This can also be used to head the ball and perform stunning overhead kicks and powerful volleys. The shoulder buttons works well with each having a specific function, sprint, player switch, one-two and a centre pass. When defending there are two tackles available which are a quick foot in and a sliding tackle which leaves a lovely skid mark on the turf.

Value for Money

Quite simply the best soccer game available on the PlayStation to date. Check it out.





I had read all of the hype about ISS Pro before I played the game, rave previews, Sony award for best soccer game etc. If anything my expectations were high when I loaded up the game for the first time. I am pleased to report that it was even better than I had imagined. Well done Konami for the first soccer game on PSX that has the correct balance between superb graphics and intuitive controls.











As the players line up at the start of the game they look very realistic. Each has an individual look and many are recognisable stars. I loved the idea of the through ball but I was disappointed that 2 players could not play in the competitions.








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