FIFA 06 - Road to FIFA World Cup - takes soccer to a new level with XBox 360 quality graphics. It's not as complete as other soccer games out there, though.
Soccer is a game that's hugely popular in much of the world - but less so in the US. I personally think soccer is a great sport and am happy to see sports games covering this for gamers to learn and enjoy.
The graphics in FIFA 06 for the XBox 360 are rather impressive. In the team selection screen, it looks like real embroidery on the patches and uniforms. You get to choose through a ton of teams - everything from Brazil to Ukraine and everyone in between. There are 5 difficulty levels to tune your challenge level. You can even choose your ball color. Take a look at your roster, and you can even practice while the loading screen is going on! Now THAT is a feature I'd like to see on every game I own.
On to gameplay. The crowd, as usual, looks really bizarre. Someday game makers will figure out this crowd thing. The character models are nice, although a bit "plasticky". Certainly better than old-gen games on the XBox and PS2, but not as good as some other 360 games on the market. Character movement is generally nice although a little jerky. You don't get a lot of the fine detail that you get on some other sports games since here you're usually watching a far-off view of the characters.
Commentary and sounds were OK. What can you really expect from commentary in a game? Are you really listening to what the commentators are saying? It's usually better to play some of your favorite iTunes sets while playing a sports game vs hearing "crowd noise".
I have to say that I found the real life ads running down the entire side of the screen REALLY annoying. I'm already paying a pretty high price just to get this game - I don't see a need to be bombarded with commercials too!
On one hand, if you have an XBox 360 and enjoy soccer, you might as well get this for the nice graphics and the wide screen gameplay. There's plenty here to keep you entertained. On the other hand, the game could be MUCH much better if someone put the time into it. I realize that the XBox 360 is relatively new so maybe they did the "best they could" to get this out for the 2006 season. I really hope that they now have a full year to work on the 2007 version, and now that they know how to code for the XBox 360, they can finally get the new version really tricked out with a number of improvements.
Buy FIFA 06 from Amazon.com