Review by: Sean Costello
Caught up in World Cup frenzy, and in need of another good sports game, I decided to purchase a copy Sega Sports; Worldwide Soccer ’98. Having already owned Worldwide Soccer ’97 at a time (I traded it in for Virtual On, but nevermind) I pretty much knew what I was getting. However, the one thing that really got me was the improved, faster and smoother gameplay. That is what really made it a must buy. Worldwide Soccer ’97 was notorious for being the best soccer game ever created. And with an improvement on that, how could you go wrong with buying, WWS ’98?

GRAPHICS: 7/10

For the most part, the graphics are the same as they were in WWS ’97. (Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) All international teams are represented with there countries actual colors, however the premier league teams do not had advertisements on there jerseys’. A shame, but no big deal. The players correct numbers are also on their jersey’s during the game. WWS 98′ adds 2 new stadiums to the existing 3. However, 100 stadiums could have been added with no effect whatsoever on the look or play of the game.

By todays standards, the graphics are not jaw dropping. But in the same respect, WWS 98′ easily outshines the Saturn version of FIFA: Road to the World Cup. Having the net move in the appropriate position when you score a goal is just the icing on the cake.

SOUND/MUSIC: 9/10

Considering everything, the announcing in WWS 98′ is very good. Compared to Jim Hughson’s play by play in NHL 98′ (who is also the Vancouver Canucks play by play man. Go Canucks Go) which is said to be the industry best, WWS 98’s Gary Bloom sounds very good. He is almost never late and has reactions to almost every situation. The commentary by the color man of WWS could be improved though as the same things are said at just about every game. That can be overlooked however as he only speaks at the beginning, halftime, and end of every game. The crowd chants, sound like your average sports game. (Or maybe that just because of my 19″ mono Sharp TV ?!?)

CONTROL: 10/10

Now if only all of Saturns sports games were created equal. The gameplay in WWS 98′ is second to none. Passes, kicks, headers, are all done to precision. As are the fakes, slide tackles and goalie movements. Almost every button on the controller is utilized. It will only take a few matches for you to memorize what does what. In no time at all, you will be running circles around Ronaldo. (I wonder how Nike feels about their 250 million dollar sponsorship of team Brazil feels now? Ouch)

FUN FACTOR: 8/10

If your even the slightest soccer fan you will want to pick this title up. It has ALMOST all of the features you could want. International Friendly’s, Club Exhibition, World Wide Cup, Club League, International Cup Tourney, Penalty Shootout, and a Player Edit. The only thing it really lacks is a FIFA license. So unless your content with Cobi Jones (Only real player in the game) Your going to have a lot of editing to do.

As a multiplayer game, WWS 98′ hosts 1-4 players. However I feel that the game only really shines in one player mode. WWS 98’s primary competition, FIFA: Road to the World Cup, features a very exciting 5 on 5 indoor stadium where the ball can bounce off the walls and come right back in to play.

When it comes to options, WWS 98′ has it all. In fact, it’s the same options menu from WWS 97′. Weather, offsides, injuries, shootouts, loss time, and commentry/BGM are the main ones.

OVERALL: 8.5/10

I purchased this game at my local Electronics Boutique for $29.99 Canadian. (Which seems to be only about a dollar American these days, @#*&) Considering I paid $60.00 for NHL 98, I consider it a steal. Soccer doesn’t seem that popular here because I saw WWS 98′ on EB’s shelves for months and months, while copies of Courier Crisis and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, gone in days. Hmmm, I guess that explains why our A-League soccer team the 86’ers almost went bankrupt last year. Well Anyway, If you have the choice between WWS 98′ and FIFA: Road to the World Cup, Defiantly go with WWS. If you like soccer er.. more politically correct Football, then I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.