FIFA 97. EA Sports. (1996). Sega Genesis/PlayStation

fifa 97 megadrive


FIFA4, it ran with the strap line “Emotion Captured”, well, the emotion I caught was “meh”.


You are David Ginola. You are coming back from a L’Oriel advert photo-shoot, and you run into a group of cute aliens hell bent on world domination. Now it is up to you! and you’re going to stop them the only way you can. You’re going to “CAPTURE THE EMOTION”, and train a bunch of Mickey Mouse type characters (Newcastle United) and save Toon Land.

Hilarity ensues, and on your journey you’ll team up with superstars, Bill Murray and Wayne Knight…

…OK, maybe that is the plot to Space Jam, but at least you now have a motivating for playing this game.


Since there are currently over 30 titles in the FIFA series, I won’t review them all. To summise though:

  • FIFA95 (FIFA2) was the same as FIFA1, except it added some European Leagues.
  • FIFA3 (96) was the first to use real licensed players and leagues, and was the first of the 32bit generation.

However, due to the virtue of owning FIFA4 on the Megadrive, this can be my next stop on the FIFA juggernaught.

Whats New?

Errrrm, stuff. Some good, some bad. I’ll let you decide what is what.

  • Players now polygonal, rather than sprites
  • John Motson and Andy Gray commentating, with Des Lynam introducing matches
  • More Licensed players/leagues
  • Indoor 6 aside mode
  • No “EA sports its in the game”
  • Motion captured movements by David Ginola!

The new 6-a-side indoor football is the only thing worthy of note here. They are fun to play, and play slightly differently to the standard 11-a-side matches and made a good addition to the FIFA series.


The animation is now much slicker, and with the  motion captured actions, the movement is a little more realistic… I say a “little more”, because it is still bizarre, and frankly a little off at times. FIFA1 was slow and clunky to respond, well FIFA4 is oddly fast and clunky… It is like everyone is on crack, and accelerate from 0-60 in 1 second. Serious, press forward and it is like hitting warp speed. It actually plays too fast now.

Is the new stuff better?

Yeah… I guess.

The graphics are better, you can now play the game for longer without wanting to rip your eyes out like in FIFA1. They still aren’t great, but at least you no longer feel like you’re about to have an epileptic fit after 4 minutes of playing.

fifa 97


And the bad?

The music is particularly terrible, but special praise is owed to SONG 10. It is basically John Motson having an orgasm, it is bloodcurdlingly terrible. I would offer this the “Skrillex generic beeps and bleeps wub-step award”, but that wouldn’t do it justice, and would frankly be an insult to a man who makes blender noises.

The instant replays are… not very INSTANT. There is a 4-5 second delay between scoring, and the replay to load up. This grates to an extent you don’t want to score, there is something very wrong when you want to win every match 1-0. They also removed the titan-tron scoreboard, which I kinda liked.

The commentary is bizarre at times too, you get Des Lynam introducing the match, but sometimes John Motson says a player name instead. I guess this was because at the time, EA didn’t think anyone would have Azerbaijan versus some terrible Scottish league team. So they clearly skimped on the commentary…

Still press C to win.


This game is probably worse than FIFA1, it still isn’t as good as Sensible Soccer, and as it is a 4th version of the game, you’d expect to see vast improvements here. And, no, before you say it, licensed leagues/players doesn’t make a game good.

Pros: You can imagine you’re watching Space Jam, indoor mode

Cons: The fucking music… The bizarre player movement, broken commentary, NONinstant-replays



I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Sega Genesis
One comment on “FIFA 97. EA Sports. (1996). Sega Genesis/PlayStation
  1. Tony Wilkins says:

    Casting my mind back i remember the almost annual launch of a new Fifa game as the titles suggest. I also remember how hardcore footie fans flocked to get the newest release so they could play with the most up to date teams while casual fans such as myself viewed these games as mere money makers. That being said they did push the Mega Drive at times which explains things like the replay delay you described because the processor was working over time. That shows they were trying.

    Loved the Space Jam gag. Good one mate.

    – Tony


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