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2002 FIFA World Cup (Xbox)
Member Name: D1A1
2002 FIFA World Cup (Xbox)
Date: 21/05/02, updated on 21/05/02 (181 review reads)
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Despite EA Sports? annual/biannual unleashing of Fifa clones, I?d heard some good press about this one, tested it in a games store and just had to purchase - what an excellent game I have bought!
After an intriguing prologue and introduction comprising of various fascinating football moments and a classical orchestra, one is welcomed by an authentic official Korea Japan pre-menu screen, with a spirited flashing ?press start? animation. I?m in. Not wanting to go straight into the World Cup itself, I took the friendly option, it seemed the least intimidating at the time, and was relieved to find the same insanely brilliant visuals that I?d seen in the store. Good, it plays just as well too!
The graphics are, in a word, revolutionary. The Xbox comes into it?s own with visual performance, with this version of Fifa smugly looking over the graphically inferior Game Cube and PS2 games; the stadiums and pitches look authentic ? highly detailed, alive with the crowd and the player animation is particularly fluid and realistic ? although the players heads do take a rather enlarged form when they score and celebrate, but the facial detail is excellent ? Michael Owen would be proud of his polygonal counterpart, and the vibrancy in the colour is fantastic. It?s a pleasure to watch the game as well as play.
And it doesn?t half play. This has to be the best Fifa to date in my book, it?s easy to get into but there?s plenty of depth in learning and mastering special moves and skills, as well as all those in game set pieces. A slightly confused free kick system won?t help you achieve Beckham style benders every time, but practice will perfect. There?s a range of passes, the long ball, short one-twos, back heels ? you can even add spin to the ball to guide it round the opposition. Thankfully it?s not as ridiculously easy to score as in past Fifa games - I must have hit the woodwork at least 5 times in a WC final defeat to the hand of Portugal, but again with
practice in those friendly matches, you will perfect and become a better player.
An excellent feature is the power bar, helping you to get the right weight on your pass or shot, and although upon first glance, the appearance of a red tail on powerful shots and passes might seem a little over the top, it does add to the excitement and shows you when you?ve unleashed a real thumper. Two forms of tackling ? the sliding tackle, or the more conservative, don?t be too reckless, but if you like your ankle breakers then you can always turn the referee strictness down a few notches. Every area of play is well balanced, unbiased and surprisingly engrossing ? much more playable than before.
The commentary isn?t quite on a par with the rest of the game despite the inclusion of the ?perfect voice? for commentating in John Motson, but he?s accompanied by Andy Gray, so it doesn?t always seem overly pre-scripted. Saying that, you will learn those regular phrases which pop up every single match, still, as long as you know what you?re doing you shouldn?t really need to be told! The crowd cheers have turned up a level & you?ll actually be able to hear ?one-two!? and alike from the players!
The premise of a World Cup football game is purely to win the world cup, and as such EA felt that any other tournament or league options would be out of place on such a game, and thus there?s only the world cup tournament to play, and of course the friendly, but that?s ok ? because the World Cup IS the greatest tournament on earth. 4 levels of ability from beginner to World Class mean you can always retry the competition at a higher standard, and there?s always the friendly multiplayer option.
You can fiddle about with the game speed and all sorts of options, unlocking special teams as you progress with different teams in the Cup, there?s plenty to see and do to justify the price. A superb game that I recommend to anyone, especially at this time of the year. <