Road To Victory – World Cup 2010 Predictions

June 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Gaming Article, Video Clips | 2 Comments
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There are 64 games about to be played in the World Cup so what better way to predict those matches than with an N64 and a copy of International Superstar Soccer 64! Find out how the tournament could pan out here!

The World Cup is almost upon us. The greatest sporting event the world has ever seen will be kicking off in a matter of days in South Africa. 64 matches played between 32 different teams from every corner of the globe, will decide who is the greatest footballing nation on Earth. The big question is, who will be that winner and what glorious tales will be written in stone during the tournament?

Can Brazil come up trumps? Will Germany somehow make it to another final? Will the host nation make it past the group stages? And will England once again fall to pieces during a penalty shoot-out?

We don’t have a crystal ball, or John Motson on hand to answer those questions. But we do have the next best thing. To predict the outcome of the World Cup 2010 we took an N64, a piece of hardware with more raw processing power than the computer that took man to the moon, and a copy of International Superstar Soccer 64, possibly the greatest football title ever made.  For three solid days, this ultimate prediction machine worked tirelessly churning through thousands of complex algorithms and other really complicated computations that we don’t fully understand, to bring us some answers.

Read on for a glimpse at the future…

Group Stages

The project nearly fell apart at the first hurdle when we realised that Konami had mistakenly not included some of the teams that qualified in this year’s World Cup. Great sporting giants such as Honduras, New Zealand and North Korea were inexplicably absent from the line-up (a major oversight on Konami’s part). Still, we carried on anyway and, using our combined thinking powers, came up with a way around this problem. If a team wasn’t available we’d simply use a replacement that came from the same area, had roughly the same ability or wore similar kits. Very scientific we’re sure you’ll agree.

The opening match between South Africa and Mexico produced a pretty boring 1-0 win for the home side. Like most openers throughout the World Cup’s illustrious history this was pretty quickly forgotten. The next game however was one of the best games of the tournament. A free scoring France annihilated U-r-gay 5-1, with four goals late in the second half. Group A turned out to be one of the most exciting groups as the South Americans took their revenge on South Africa, hammering them 7-1, while France lost 2-1 to Mexico. In the last game, Uruguay beat Mexico 5-2 leaving France needing to win by three goals to win the group in their last match against South Africa. The French were leading 2-0 in the final few minutes when a late penalty gave them the goal they needed. South Africa finished rock bottom while France and a resurgent Uruguay went into the next round.

The majority of the rest of the group stage games followed expectations, however there were a few upsets along the way. Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw in their first game against Nigeria, while Italy needed a late equaliser to avoid an embarrassing defeat against Paraguay. Brazil limped to a 1-0 win against lowly North Korea and Spain were humbled by Switzerland, who won by a single goal. Spain’s chances were hampered after a rogue AI routine caused two of their players to jump on the spot for most of the game.

Brazil eventually went on to win their next two games against the Ivory Coast and Portugal, 3-1 and 5-2 respectively, topping the so called ‘group of death’ and making them only the second team to come away from the group stage with three wins out of three. The other team that managed to get nine points were England who qualified for the next round without conceding a single goal. 3-0 wins against Algeria and Slovenia, plus a nervous 2-0 victory against bitter rivals USA put them top of Group C and hot favourites to go on to win the tournament.

Second Round

All the bookies’ favourites topped their respective groups except for Germany, who finished second in Group D, with Serbia ahead of them thanks to winning 2-0 when the two teams played each other. This meant a tantalising fixture between England and bitter rivals Germany, with the winner set to take on the victor between France and South Korea. Spain versus Portugal and Argentina versus Uruguay were the other anticipated second round games.

France scraped through 1-0 after a dubious penalty decision went their way, but were largely forgettable against the feisty South Koreans. The rest of the second round proved far more interesting, with most of the favourites dumped out by lesser opponents. Argentina were the first to fall, losing 2-1 to Uruguay, Brazil lost out to fellow South Americans Chile 1-0, and Italy were guilty of two horrendous defensive errors in their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Japan. Spain lost on penalties to a gutsy Portugal side who were down to ten men early in the second half.

Holland nearly followed suit but managed to score late goals to win 2-1 against Paraguay, while Slovenia also won 2-1 against Serbia. Holland’s winner was controversially awarded despite replays showing the goal scorer had run right through the Paraguayan goalkeeper. Officials looked into claims that Holland used a ‘no-clipping’ cheat code, but deemed the goal to be legitimate.

The England – Germany game was as fiercely contested as the media expected. Germany had two penalty appeals turned down in the first half, with the referee correctly deciding both players were dirty cheats and giving them a good telling off. England struggled to get past Germany’s dogged defending and the two teams remained goalless in the first half. Germany broke the deadlock late in the second half, but England pulled one back just before the, final whistle was blown. The Germans then threw every man behind the ball in the dying minutes but the English defenders stood firm. Extra time couldn’t have gone better for England, who got an early goal from a free kick. Germany looked tired in the second half of extra time and England capitalised, grabbing a third goal just before the end of the match.


Things were hotting up by the time the first quarter-final kicked off. Holland, still reeling from accusations they cheated, grabbed an early goal against Chile, eventually winning comfortably 3-1. Uruguay saw off Slovenia 2-0, and Japan lost by a single goal to Portugal.

England lined up against bitter rivals France in their quarter-final match. England grabbed an early goal thanks to a shot from Gary Neville, who had been edited back in the squad to replace the frankly rubbish Stephen Warnock. Despite some continued pressure from the French attackers England reached half time still in the lead. England’s defenders stood strong in the second half with France throwing every player into attack to try and get an equaliser. It wasn’t to be and England held on to book a place in the semi-finals for the first time in twenty years.


The first semi-final saw England facing off against bitter rivals Holland. The Dutch started well, and some early pressure saw them grab the first goal. England’s misery deepened when a goalkeeper error handed Holland an easy second goal. Facing a painful exit, England started the second half brightly, forcing Holland back and grabbing a life-line goal. The comeback was completed late in the second half with a wonderful free-kick from Frank Lampard that cannoned off four Dutch players before hitting the back of the net. Extra-time beckoned and after 27 tiring minutes England got the break they needed when the controller mysteriously fell out of the player two socket. Goalkeeper David James received a pass back and proceeded to the Dutch goal, dribbling past every member of the opposition before slotting the ball in the back of the net. England were in the final for the first time since they won the World Cup in 1966.

The second semi-final didn’t involve England and was therefore very rubbish indeed. Portugal eventually won 2-1, despite Uruguay leading for most of the match.

Third-Place Play-Off

The match to decide who was the least-bad loser out of the losing semi-finalists featured Holland and Uruguay. The South Americans played well but were left reeling after a fearsome tackle reduced their main striker to a mass of quivering polygons. They soldiered on but lost to a solitary Dutch goal on the stroke of half-time.


Well, after 63 long games with plenty of goals, upsets and without a single attempt at hitting the reset button, we arrived at the final of the World Cup 2010 as predicted by ISS 64. Featuring none other than England and their bitter rivals Portugal. All around the world people were literally unaware of this potentially epic conflict about to be engaged on a cartridge the exact size and weight of a ham sandwich.

Play was pretty even early on, with both sides conjuring up scoring opportunities. A nervous Glen Johnson almost handed Portugal an easy goal thanks to an ill-judged back pass, but Terry cut off the Portuguese attack. Some great defending on both sides from Ledley King and Ricardo Carvalho kept the scores even. But then a rash challenge from Alves caused both sides to make substitutions which ultimately changed the game. Portugal brought off the ineffective Ronaldo and replaced him with his annagramatical team-mate Rolando.

England meanwhile took off Johnson and Lennon for Neville and Carrick. Their new shape gave England renewed vigour and they pounded the Portuguese defenders with wave after wave of attacks. The breakthrough came in stoppage time after an awkward cross from Gerrard caused Portugal’s defence to panic. The hasty clearance fell kindly for Lampard who fed the ball to Barry, who in turn played in Rooney. The young shrek look-alike made no mistake from eight yards out and nearly ripped open the goal with his fearsome shot.

The second half was much the same as the first, with both teams having equal possession. But it was England who carved out the best chances as Heskey took it upon himself to grab the second goal. He was eventually substituted for Crouch who had little time left to work his lanky magic or unleash his robot-dance celebration. Portugal eventually tired but England failed to capitalise, relying instead on keeping possession until the final whistle to win the World Cup by a goal to nil.

So there we have it – International Superstar Soccer 64 on the Nintendo 64 says that England will win the World Cup. You heard it here first folks. And for anyone wondering – all results were 100% genuinely generated using ISS 64, (well, except for the England v Germany match but we couldn’t have them beating England now could we?) and were verified by our mate Barry wot is good at maffs and fings.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this feature and have watched the video of the final match on youtube (if we ever work out how to post videos…). Comments are always welcome!


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  1. […] Direct link and article here (thanks Daft Ada!) Permalink […]

  2. Memories of playing Euro 96 by Gremlin (which was based on the Actua Soccer engine!). Excellent work there chief! Let’s hope England do the business from Saturday…

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