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International Superstar Soccer (ISS) PS2 PlayStation2 Playstation 2 PStwo

International Superstar Soccer (ISS)

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Review of International Superstar Soccer (ISS)

Frustration is hardly the best introduction to an all new format but setting up a simple exhibition game required a degree to work out some of the options. I havent as yet managed to unscramble how my created player can be selected in a game so well ignore the mind-boggling menu system and dive straight into a match. All you really need to know is that ISS sticks with its previously successful International formula and again features National teams from across the world using real name players. So pick your favorite and hit that X button.

First impressions are amazing as the almost recognizable players parade out of the tunnel and prepare for team photographs. Following an animated toss of the coin its game on. I suggest an immediate pause to set the camera angle to your desired perspective. Personally I prefer to see as much of the pitch as possible, allowing for more accurate passing movements, therefore the fully adjustable horizontal view was warmly welcomed. The in-game graphics have that instantly recognizable ISS style to them (players apparently semi-squatting as they wait for the ball, or having a poo as my son says) and the overall improvement in quality just about justifies the purchase of a PS2. Best of all are the replays, which really milk the consoles power.

In the past ISS games have blown all rivals off the field when it came down to gameplay. You just picked up a control pad and become totally addicted. So what happened here, then? There are so many niggling bugs and control problems that I almost called in a pest control company. Even with the game speed boosted up to maximum it seems to take an age between first touch and pass, while the players turned as if they were chained to a post. Many a hard-fought single player game was completely ruined because I always seemed to lose control of my defender nearest the ball at the worst possible moment (just as youre about to get stuck into a vital tackle the circled player switches to another… most annoying during Golden Goal Extra Time). As for the two-player mode I found it to be a mess. When playing on the same side passing, fainting, dribbling, touching… in fact any sort of team play came off by pure luck.

ISS games are renowned for their poor commentary and the PS2 version does little to correct this. Chris James and Terry Butcher at least try to provide an almost human touch to the proceedings, but fail miserably when each team mentioned takes a split second to load in (good pass by……….. England!). On the other hand the crowd noises are superb, chanting and singing throughout the match and at least providing some sort of big game atmosphere.

Overall ISS gives a lasting impression that it was rushed for the launch of PS2, which seems such a waste of what should have been a third generation classic.

OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'International Superstar Soccer (ISS)' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation

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International Superstar Soccer (ISS)


International Superstar Soccer (ISS) was created by Konami and is a Sports Soccer game.


· Modes of play include: Open Game, World league, International Cup, Under-23, Penalty Kick, Training

· Scenario mode offers a selection of 10 different scenarios with respective playing conditions

· Customize a team and create a player

· Commentary supplied by Chris James and Terry Butcher

· Adjustable game speed

· Customize the action buttons to suit your style

· Handicap system for equal play

· New motivation scale represents a teams overall condition


• CD Media
• 670 KBytes required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap2)
• Up to 4 Players (with Multi-tap2)
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Vibration facility

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