This is a very blatant Street Fighter 2 clone published in 1993. It is, in fact, so blatant that Capcom actually sued the creators for copyright infringement. Despite the fact that, in hindsight, the rip-off was incredibly clear, Capcom lost because the court ruled that quarter-circle-forwards, fireballs, and American martial artists with long blond hair were scènes à faire for the fighting game genre.
Justice struck ten years later, however, when the company that made the game, Data East, filed for bankruptcy.
Surprisingly, the game is decent, for an early 2d fighter. Perhaps it’s not so surprising, because it plays as though the code itself were ripped from Street Fighter 2. As eye-rollingly boring or goofy as the characters from Street Fighter generally are, the characters in this game are worse, so I don’t imagine it did very well. I’m talking character design on the level of “blond guy with long hair in jeans,” here. It’s really no wonder they didn’t topple Capcom’s empire.
F.I.F.A stands for something French about football. Yet, to my dismay, this game is about soccer. And when I say “about soccer” I mean that it makes wild gestures toward something that might be soccer, but isn’t quite, because it’s an SNES game.
What makes this game impossible is the same thing that makes teen pregnancy impossible: you can’t really see what the crap is going on, and you have no clue what any of the buttons do, so actually putting the ball in the net is an achievement in itself. It’s really a game more about existence than anything else. It’s very Descartian in it’s presentation: you can’t prove that any of the other players actually exist (mostly due to the fact that you can’t see them on your screen) but you’re pretty sure that you’re the little blue dude with the ball.
Of course, as with every soccer game, the ball is merely a construct of the establishment. “Take the ball,” so those lofty seats with high faces perched idly watching. “Take the ball and score a goal.” But this is meaningless!! The outcome of a single match does not change anything. We are all tempted, in darkness, by things we have no understanding of! Falling down stairs as we drink too much wine! Climbing up stairs in the workplace! We tumble and climb, we pass the ball!