Nintendo World Cup
$7.90 used, $295.50 new on eBay
Description official descriptions
This soccer game was made at the time when Nintendo introduced their four player adapter, and was probably made for the four playing purpose. This is shown clearly when you choose to play 2 or more players. Then you can choose between many different ground layers, like ice, grass and stone, which adds to the replayability.
When you play a one player game you play the world cup as one of the top soccer countries of that time, and you meet countries in a fixed order. Cameroon in the first match and the final is against West Germany. In an old-school fashion you lose when you play a draw, there's no extra time whatsoever.
In the game you always steer only one character, which you choose before the match starts. You can then give simple orders to you team-mates, like pass, tackle and shoot. Your moves are also limited to these moves. The game is totally lawless, so feel free to make elbow tackles without a wink from the referee. Probably it was made this way to be funnier to play against friends.
- くにおくん ザ・ワールド ～熱血高校ドッジボール部 サッカー編～ - Microsoft / PlayStation Store Japanese spelling
- 熱血高校サッカー部 ワールドカップ編 - Japanese Game Boy spelling
- 熱血高校ドッジボール部サッカー編 - Japanese Famicom spelling
Credits (NES version)
Average score: 59% (based on 15 ratings)
Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 46 ratings with 3 reviews)
Like most Nintendo games there is lack of realism and that is exactly why I like this game, I have played normal football games like Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer and I didn't like any of them because there was no sense of humor. If you tackle somebody in NWC they make an hilarious face and fall face first into the dirt. You also don't have to bother with wind or where to hit the ball in order to make it past a wall of players. I also think it's funny that every sportsman looks like a bodybuilder in this game.
The game is pretty simple to play which is awesome because I never play sports games and I don't know a damned thing about soccer. A passes the ball and B shoots, that is something I can wrap my head around. Those two moves are all you need to play the game and even though it's simple, you can still perform advanced tactics when needed and you never feel like you don't have enough control over the game. I also think there are special moves you can pull off, but they seem to come at random when I play, so I am not sure.
You only control one player as opposed to most other games in this genre that have you switching between all the players in the team. The rest of the players are controlled by the AI and you can adjust their behaviour prior to starting a match and before starting the second half. During the match you can also tell them to pass or shoot the ball by pressing the buttons you'd use for those moves if you had the ball yourself.
You have a lot of teams you can choose from and somebody really made a brilliant move when they added the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the list of teams. The amount of teams is also rather staggering when you keep in mind that this is a NES game, not all teams are available and you can only play as the National ones, but the favorites are still playable (USA, England, Brazil and etc.).
The game is graphically very lacking and especially the sprites tend to flicker; parts of their bodies keep disappearing, the ball disappears entirely from time to time and often sprites just glitch out. It's very annoying and often makes it hard to perform tactics that require precision and timing. I think this is because there are too many sprites on the screen at the same time or maybe because I am using the cartridge with Super Mario Bros. and Tetris on it, but one way or another, it's very annoying.
Some of the later teams are very hard to play against and I am currently at the 10th match, but it's bordering impossible. The other teams pass the ball around flawlessly and never give you any time to tackle them or steal the ball. All of their shots are also special moves, they never shoot normally, so it's nearly impossible to stop them from scoring. It's also pretty unfair that they are always faster then you, I know difficulty was something very common in the 80's, but at least give the players a chance for crying out loud.
The music is very underwhelming and I barely even notice it, it's just exactly the same loop over and over again for roughly eight minutes. It's also so soft that it's hard to notice even if you're trying to, from time to time I even wondered if it hadn't glitched out like most of the sprites do.
Scoring is made nearly impossible, it doesn't matter how you shoot, nine out of ten times the keeper will dive to the other side of the goal and stop it anyway. You're only chance at scoring is to make him dive and then kick the ball into the goal while he is down, which looks stupid and starts to feel like a routine. Making him dive is very easy and once you know how to time your second move you will end almost every match with twenty against two.
The matches only last eight minutes each, but it doesn't feel like that at all. I am encountering the same problem with Resident Evil 4 which I am currently playing, I am only six hours into that game, but it feels like eighteen. It's the kind of game where you do so much in so little time and it just makes me feel tired. It's probably more of a personal problem because I have never heard anybody else talk about it, but it still bothers me.
The Bottom Line
Nintendo World Cup is a very buggy game that has more problems then pixels, but the odd thing is that I find it rather enjoyable. I don't like sports, I never watch football and normally I can't stand games with glitches like these. For all it's flaws I can still enjoy this game a lot when I play it with friends or when I play it for a few minutes every once in a while, it will get on your nerves when you play it for an hour straight or something.
It's a pretty fun game for all ages, especially the kids and the football fans. I do advice buying the version with Mario and Tetris on it though, just to make sure you will at least have one game you like on the cartridge.
NES · by Asinine (957) · 2011
This is a soccer game where you're allowed to hockey hit other players. That fact in itself makes this game good. It may not be realistic, but the animation of injured players flying through the air is enjoyable. Also, if you hit players enough, they don't get up, so you end up with dead bodies on the field. The bodies left are decent looking though. The cartoonish drawings used in this game and dodgeball are excellent. Also, the gameplay is excellent. This soccer is way more fun than the divers and whiners of real soccer, plus you have super kicks to spice up the action.
The super kicks are cheap though. They aren't difficult to execute and are impossible for the goalie to stop. The dying players also change strategy so you don't have to be the best goal scorer to win. Really though, I have no complaints about this game.
The Bottom Line
Overall Nintendo World Cup is the best 8-bit soccer game I've ever played. It's fun, it's funny and it's compatible with the four-score. There aren't many games that are compatible, so this is a real gem.
NES · by Sean Booth (25) · 2005
First, I would like to precise that I've played this game when I was younger... till I've had my Game Boy Advance in the beginning of the 2000'. My old Game Boy was a long-time friend of vacations in Italy with my games like Jurassic Park, Tiny Toons, Tetris, Super Mario Land 1 and 2, Megaman 2, etc.. And the games belonging to my cousins I've kept because I was interested: Ultima, F1 Race, WarioLand, TMNT (Donatello was my favorite), Battle Ping Pong, Skate or Die, Side Pocket or World Cup.
World Cup... my first soccer game... and what a game!
You have to choose a team (knowing me and my Italian origins, you do guess which I've chosen), then choose the players who play (or do you choose who you'll be?) and then, you have to win against teams like France, USA (well, it's only taking the place of the chosen team in the race), Cameroon, Russia, Japan, etc. etc. I do not remember all the teams.
On the field, you can only control a player but this one can give order like tackle, slide, pass, shoot. And you can shoot to the goal with a special attack, very useful against powerful teams.
One of the features of the game is that there is no referee at all, so, be prepared to be tackled and knocked out for a second... More you're being knocked, less you're fast to be up again and you can finish a match K.-O. By chance, you can also do the same to your adversaries and it's always useful to have defenders "sleeping".
Another thing is the state of the field: you can have some rocks that have the same effect as a tackle or if you prefer, knock you out, you can slide on a frozen grass (Russians loooove that), etc. etc.
Every player is a cliché of the country represented: French players will have on their heat the typical hat for exemple. Also, players have different facial features, making them easy to recognize.
When you're winning, you'll get rewarded with a password, the traditional way in that time for continuing a play later.
Graphics are nice, not really varied but the Game Boy wasn't allowing what we know today. You have the feeling that you're in a anime. Anyway, you can see where you're going (hum not all the time, because I remember when running being a lot out of the field).
Soundtrack was probably good, as I've few memories about it but it was probably adapted to each team.
Gameplay was easy as I've explained: the player you've chosen can give his orders and can shoot to the goal with a special attack after getting a precise number of steps (thing I've just discovered a few day ago).
Well, fun was present and that's why I've become addicted to it.
Unfortunately, I never finished the game: I never kept passwords and well, my mind wasn't set on a special strategy, I was perhaps too young or too into my world of FPS for being a good soccer player.
The problem I've had with this game was the difficulty for me to give orders at the right time or to see them executed nicely, I saw a lot of my teammates being knocked out before giving the ball to me for example and well, that was something I didn't like: seeing my folks on the grass because they've been knocked out too many times.
I do not remember another default to the game, memories are memories but something is sure: if I must blame something about my tendency to tackle everyone in a soccer game, World Cup is the perfect culprit.
The Bottom Line
It was a time where the Game Boy was the number one in terms of handhelds. It was a time where the GBC wasn't even born.
It was a good time. World Cup is a good game. Funny, easy to play and with nice graphics.
If I do recommend it? Yes, of course, you can play it on a GBA, so, don't be afraid to buy it if you see it somewhere.
Because if you knock them out, you'll be the World Champions!
Game Boy · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008
The original Japanese release of the game had a storyline and different half-time cinemas that were stripped for the US release.
Opposing team order
The order you face the 24 teams is based on a prediction of their relative qualities, and sees you facing Cameroon first. This proved highly inaccurate, as they defeated reigning champions Argentina en route to the quarter finals, which they only lost to England in extra-time. 38 year old Roger Milla became the World Cup's oldest ever scorer during their run (a record he improved on by four years, by scoring for them in a 1994 World Cup match against Russia - until 2014 he was also the World Cup's oldest ever player), and his corner-flag dance is one of the more memorable goal celebrations.
The game was released in both a standalone one-game format, and together with Super Spike V'Ball on a single game cart that was packaged with the NES Sports set, which contained the NES, four controllers, and a four-player adapter.
Information also contributed by Martin Smith.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Andreas Vilén.
Nintendo 3DS added by GTramp. Wii U, Arcade added by Michael Cassidy. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Sharp X68000 added by Infernos. Game Boy, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16 added by Zovni. Wii added by gamewarrior. TurboGrafx CD added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.
Game added January 22, 2004. Last modified February 13, 2024.