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Thursday June 13th, 2002

Fifa Soccer 2002
Console: GameCube
Genre: Sports
Rated: Everyone
Players: 1-4

As a part of our Help Pojo Get Cought Up time, we had some of our skilled writters at our Message Board write some reviews for us. All of these reviews are written by different Members. This one happens to be written by, badhabit, but he/she is letting us publish this. All credit goes to him/her. -Pojo's Video Games

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Introduction

FIFA Soccer 2002 is the latest installment in EA Sportsí multi-platform soccer series. The game, also released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, features 16 licensed leagues and over 75 licensed national teams, several modes of play (including the 2002 World Cup), the ability to create players, teams, and leagues, and bonus competitions for successful tournament victories.

Control

For FIFA 2002, EA Sports completely redesigned the gameplay to make passing, lobbing and shooting much easier: the longer you hold the designated button, the more power behind the pass/lob/shot. Also, the difference between the three is helpful. Passing on the ground (A button) is the simplest form, but itís rarely used compared to lobbing (B button). Lobbing is incredibly versatile: a lob shot can go box-to-box, or it can go just over a defenderís head. Shooting (X button) is essentially a hard pass: a shot at full-power can go sailing over the crossbar even when inside the 18-yard marker, yet a full-power pass sticks to the ground.

One of the best aspects of FIFA 2002 is defense: thatís right, defense. There are two different types of tackles: conservative (X button) and aggressive (B button). A conservative tackle is simply a shoulder barge or a steal attempt with the foot. An aggressive tackle is also known as a slide tackle; it is more effective, but it draws fouls and bookings easily and often knocks the opponent down. Mastering these techniques is difficult, but a well-timed tackle in either danger zone is a great thrill. The other buttons are used for turbo (Y button), ball spin/curl (L and R buttons), and offensive dribble tricks (2x L and R buttons). The dribble tricks are a neat feature; they look nice and are effective in shaking off opponents when timed correctly, but badly timed tricks often result in a steal.

Audio

The color commentary in FIFA 2002 is excellent, provided by long-time commentator John Motson and former soccer star Andy Gray. The comments, while not innumerable, are extremely accurate. At times, a stray pass or lob may fall into the keeperís hands and be misinterpreted as a poor shot, but it comes at the expense of detailed commentary; the vague dialogue found in games such as NBA 2K2 isnít nearly as entertaining, for example. Many of Andyís comments are witty and it adds a sort of flavor to the game that separates it from others.

As a sports game, sound effects arenít prominent; however, the crowd still roars (and has its own chants at times), the players still grunt when tackled or shoved, and other various sounds chime in at relevant times, but itís nothing to rave about. Finally, thereís a bit of music featured in the game. The soundtrack is mostly an assortment of instrumental, computer-generated beats, but there are a few songs that the player may recognize (for example, some remixed form of Gorillazí 19-2000). The music is mostly for the menu parts of the game, but it is interjected in the actual game after a goal is scored; it helps to give some sense of the feeling after a goal during a real soccer game.


Eye Candy

A nice feature of FIFA 2002 is the many camera angles available. There are zoomed-out views that provide clear field vision and make gameplay easier and allows the player to manage the team with less difficulty, and there are zoomed-in views that give the player a greater sense of on-field action. Unfortunately, the graphics are sacrificed at more comfortable zoom levels. The angles that allow the player to get a closer look at the details put into Ruud Van Nistelrooyís jet-black gelled hair are pretty cool, but in order to have a fighting chance, the camera setting must be zoomed out to the point at which the graphics are merely mediocre.

Fun Factor

As a soccer game, FIFA 2002 is a thrill because there is constant action. The game may appeal more or less to the individual player because of his or her preference in sports, but it should provide soccer (or football, whatever) fans with entertainment. The player has control over the score, which makes it so much more interesting. When the difficulty is high and the opponent is tough, each goal and each tackle in the box gives a surge of adrenaline. One of the most fun features of the game is instant replay. While nearly every sports game today has such a feature, it shows the details that are usually unseen from the default and most practical zoom level; a double stepover looks so amazing at full zoom that it makes the player want to show it off.

Replay Value

Replay value is typical of a sports game. There are three modes of difficulty to match the playerís skill level: Rookie, Professional, and World Class. Professional is a big step up from Rookie, and it takes a while to adapt, but it can be mastered eventually. World Class isnít such a big step up at first; thatís because the opponent doesnít make substantial changes in playing styles. World Class is a Professional game without the mistakes and laxity, and it forces the player to rely entirely on his or her skill to prevent and score goals. If World Class isnít enough to stop a player from dominating, playing as an American team always makes it a hell of a lot harder.

Summary

FIFA 2002 is based great gameplay and excellent commentary, the core essentials of a sports game; what it lacks in graphical quality it makes up in sheer entertainment. The multiple modes of difficulty and the different skill levels of the hundreds of teams available give FIFA 2002 a very high replay value. If youíre a soccer (football) fan, itís a worthwhile investment of $20 at Wal-Mart, but if youíre not, itís still worth renting for a weekend of pick-up-and-play fun with your friends.



--badhabit

Ratings (1-10)

Fun Factor

8

Sound

9.5

Replay Value

9.5

Control

9

Eye Candy (graphics)

7

Total (not an average)
FIFA 2002 is based great gameplay and excellent commentary, the core essentials of a sports game; what it lacks in graphical quality it makes up in sheer entertainment. The multiple modes of difficulty and the different skill levels of the hundreds of teams available give FIFA 2002 a very high replay value. If youíre a soccer (football) fan, itís a worthwhile investment of $20 at Wal-Mart, but if youíre not, itís still worth renting for a weekend of pick-up-and-play fun with your friends.

8

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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