As long as the combination of console and lazy football fan is with us, there will always be room for more quality soccer titles. For those still sprightly enough to tear themselves away from their home console, but not quite ready for the physicality of a kickabout, International Superstar Soccer for the Game Boy Advance is here, Konami’s premier entry into the football genre for the ultra-successful handheld.
Initially, the most striking thing about the GBA version of ISS is, despite the limitations of the console screen, how the little details shine through. That pale green/dark green grass effect, the flashes of colour on players’ shirts. Delightful. Konami don’t mess around when it comes to gameplay either. Fans of the previous incarnations of the extended ISS family will find little, if anything, to disappoint them here. Imagine the Game Boy Color’s ISS 2000, but with the gameplay tweaked to perfection and, given the correct amount of surrounding light, better visuals. All this and the presence of the FIFPro license, meaning that players are credited with their real names instead of suffering the random vowel-change, well, it’s exactly what consumers have come to expect from Konami.