Review of FIFA 2001
FIFA 2001 finds itself in the first wave next generation of soccer games for the Playstation 2. This game emphasises the true beauty of the Beautiful Game. From the moment the players step out on to the field this game shows its class in all departments. If this game were player it would be a Brazilian.
The controls are classic EA Sports and easy to pick up on. The buttons are as usual multifunctional depending on the situation you find yourself in.
There is little learning necessary to progress on the amateur setting, but shielding and some tricks are necessary as the difficultly level increases.
The game features list the analogue buttons as one of the high points – the ability to control the power with which you hit the ball. However this also makes the game more difficult. There are few opportunities for 30-yard goals as the ball just blazes into row Z in the stands.
As you increase the difficulty the opposition players become much more aggressive - possibly too much. An attacking player with a 7 rating of speed on your team should have no difficultly out running a defender with a rating of 4 but this is rarely the case. The number of basketball score lines drops dramatically.
Additionally in this incarnation of FIFA team tactics actually mean something. Defensively minded teams are much harder to beat than attack minded teams so you can find yourself grinding out a nil-nil draw.
Yes – nil-nil. Honest. The strange way in which the opposition always scored in the last minute or that you could never defend against one of their free kicks has been eliminated.
My big gripe about the playability of this game is the lack of intelligent moving from the players of your team – wingers will wait until the full back is beside them with the ball before running, strikers don’t get to the box early (however if they do then they are guaranteed to be given offside even its obviously not the case). If this flaw was fixed the EA Sports are on their way to perfection.
The graphics put the beauty in to the beautiful game. The players are recognisable and have a human likeness to them – more than just in the face, they actually look like real footballers (including the huge thighs). In addition, the ball bouncing on a wet pitch splashes, stadia look excellent and the crowd wave banners and flags. There is even some pitch side activity thanks to the linesmen keeping up with play, cameramen following the ball and security staff chatting to each other. The only aspect that could have been further improved was the appearance of the spectators themselves; but this is a very minor criticism.
John Motson and Mark Lawernson as usual provide the commentary. I have played through 4 seasons now and it still hasn’t got on my nerves (ok it is a bit clichéd), which must be a good sign.
The choice of tunes for the sound track is right up there with that of the other FIFA games and features some great tunes – including a remix of Moby’s Bodyrock and the awesome Utah Saints.
One of the most noticeable improvements is in the sound effects department. Hook this up to a surround sound system and you will keep looking behind you as players talk to each other off the ball; shouting to warn you of an incoming tackle or suggesting who to pass to. Even the noise the ball makes varies massively depending on the surface and weather conditions. The crowd plays their part too, although the variety of their cheers and jeers still needs to be expanded in future versions. Atmosphere can play a huge part in the enjoyment of sports titles and FIFA2001 must be applauded for pushing the boundaries of realism that little bit further than anyone else has achieved so far.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'FIFA 2001' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 15 FIFA 2001 in-game screenshot slideshow
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