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Review of ISS 2
Once again I must warn our readers that this IS the series developed by KCEO, Konami CE Osaka, the creators of the highly successful International Superstar Soccer games. However, this is NOT the same team who gave us the slick ‘Pro Evolution’ titles (Konami Tokyo). The main difference being that ISS plays like a pure arcade game, while Evolution is much more of a football simulation.
It all kicks off with a highly impressive computer generated intro movie that systematically switches between on-field action and a game of table football (similar to the TV commercial). Thankfully the options menu is much easier to navigate this time around so little time is wasted on preliminaries.
The in-game presentation certainly wets the appetite with life-like CG scenes neatly entwined among lush motion-captured graphics. The pitch actually looks like blades of grass knitted together rather than the drab blocks of light green Astroturf that adorn many other soccer titles. In fact the only grumble I would have is the number of cut-scenes that follow a goal or come before a set piece (such as a corner) are so few that it quickly becomes irritating to see the same footage played over again and again (players tugging at each others shirts).
International Superstar Soccer games are renowned for their poor commentary and the ISS2 does little to correct this. The commentary team 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. 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.
Before taking part in a full match I would recommend that the practice option be used to get to grips with the new set-piece system. Instead of the usual ‘power-bar’ technique a completely new procedure is tried out… and it works brilliantly. If you have ever played a video golf game then the ‘three button-press’ method should prove child’s play. Before taking a free kick or corner the camera must first be pointed towards the direction you want the ball to begin it’s flight. By using the up/down direction buttons a small green icon will determine the power (which effects the lob of the ball). Now the first press of the shoot button sends a marker rising up the scale. The second press should be as near to the top of the scale as possible, which seems to establish accuracy. The third button must be pressed at either side of a return scale marker, but within the shaded zone. This determines the amount of bend. Used with a bit of after-touch you will soon be performing in-swinging corners and scoring wonder free-kicks just like David Beckham.
Sadly this excellent addition to the control system doesn’t necessarily make ISS2 a better game to play. If you played the last edition, or indeed any of the Winning Eleven series, then it will be plainly obvious that the handling was pure arcade and remains so this time around. Although the general sluggishness to the game has been looked into and partially corrected, it still doesn’t feel as slick and responsive as the Pro Evolution games. Maybe KCEO need to peek over the partition next time KCET are in town.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'ISS 2' 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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