When International Superstar Soccer 64's Japanese counterpart, J League Perfect Striker, was released earlier this year, everyone thought it would be good - but nothing compared to EA's (at the time) upcoming FIFA Soccer 64. In fact, with the amount of expectation placed on EA Sports to deliver, anything short of the Holy Grail of soccer games would have been considered a disappointment. As we all know, FIFA Soccer 64 is an OK game, but hardly what we all expected it to be. Now that J League Perfect Striker has been tweaked and is finally coming out in the US, guess what? It's actually better than FIFA Soccer 64.
Like every soccer game in the last year, International Superstar Soccer follows the model that FIFA set - fast 3D graphics, a choice of camera angles (two sets of three), and real stadium sounds. There are also thousands of motion-captured animations, an array of real soccer moves, and real-time play-by-play coverage. The graphics in this version look as good as anything else on the N64, and the sound, which was quite odd in the import version, finally makes sense (let's just say that, in both Japanese and English, the announcer is quite enthusiastic). The end result shows the polish that FIFA 64 seemed to lack.
International Superstar Soccer 64, like FIFA, benefits heavily from the use of Nintendo's analog stick; the play control is almost perfectly tuned and the fast pace of soccer is realistically captured. In addition, the game has multiple modes of gameplay (practice mode, season mode, exhibition game, etc.), 36 international teams, the ability to trade and create players, and a multiplayer mode that supports up to four players.
Overall, International Superstar Soccer 64 offers just about everything FIFA 64 did. It just does it slightly better.