I'm a huge football fan - we are talking about a round ball here for my American friends - you guys call it soccer.
My favorite thing was always playing football. My football went everywhere with me, and whenever I get half a chance, I was out kicking ball with my mates. There were times when my mates weren't there, and at times like that the trusty wall at the side of my house did the job as I kicked it and volleyed it and then tried to control the rebound, and of course I could practice my keepy-uppies. I managed over 1000 a few times.
Of course being a kid who grew up on the West coast of Ireland, we were no stranger to rain - lots and lots of rain! So on days like that, I would either watch football on TV or play football computer games.
My First Games Console
My first ever football game was called Nintendo World Cup and I absolutely loved it. Looking back on it now, it is laughable, and looks like something a couple of 5 years made after watching a 3 minute tutorial on youtube :o)
Here is the beautiful little grey box which gave me hours and hours of entertainment as a child on those wet and windy afternoons. I'm thinking about Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers. These by gone days were before memory cards, so you switched it on, you started at the very start and off you went. I remember getting to world 8 on Super Mario Brothers 8, the lava level, I must have been hooked up to it for 8 hours at that stage, and my Mum had been telling me to turn it off for quite a while, but I managed to convince here to give me 5 more minutes.... 5 more minutes..... 5 more minutes.... Eventually she had to flick the trip switch at the fuse board to knock it off. Ha ha... Anyway, I digress, back to the point at hand, football games and their evolution.
Lets look at Video Games now and 30 years ago
The easiest way to make a comparison is to look at a little bit of video footage of two football games - one recent and one 3 decades ago. With that in mind, I'll post some videos at the end of this post to remind you. The first one was made in 1990 by Technōs Japan and was the first football game I ever played.
The second one is FIFA 2021, this is one of the staples of soccer games the world over - the other one is Pro Evolution Soccer. Most soccer gamers are an avid fan of one or the other. I started off with FIFA, went to Pro Evo for a few years and came back to FIFA.
The first FIFA game ever made was called FIFA International Football and it was released for Christmas 1993. I remember playing it on my cousins Sega Mega Drive that Christmas and I was instantly hooked. It was an amazing advancement from Nintendo's World Cup Soccer. It was on another planet altogether, and it was the greatest leap over the years in my opinion. Sure, the graphics are phenomenal now, but the added play-ability which Fifa International Soccer brought was sensational, and it was a game changer.
Soon after, I got rid of my Nintendo and bought a Mega Drive instead, and of course it came with the pièce de résistance EA Sports FIFA International Soccer!
Rain was almost welcomed at times, as I hung up my boots and got stuck into some great virtual games with my mates. I had four remotes for my Mega Drive, so we could play 2 vs 2 which was such fun.
From here on FIFA brought out a new game each year, and every year they add more and more features and the graphics get better and better.
Count yourself lucky
If you are a kid growing up today and FIFA 21 is your first football game, then count yourself lucky. The contrast to what we started out with couldn't be more stark, but I guess living through the evolution helps me to appreciate the improvements all the more.
Here are the two video clips as promised. Try not to laugh too much at the first one. That's my childhood you're laughing at! 😃 😃 😃
Nintendo World Cup on the original Nintendo - 1990
FIFA 2021 on the Xbox One
Did you play any football games growing up?
Were you a Pro Evo or FIFA boy/girl?
What was the first football game you played?
Do you play other sports games?
I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.
The photos are not mine and the sources are as follows: