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Since it\\'s early Megadrive format our annual doze of FIFA (insert year) has gradually grown into some sort of uncontrollable monster. So much so that I can categorically proclaim, even before casting my eyes over this latest version, that FIFA 2001 will top the gaming charts this Christmas across Europe and in most soccer playing countries abroad.
Surely you don\\'t need me to tell you that this is a sporting simulation of the worlds most \\'beautiful game\\', because FIFA tops the list as the most recognizable association to soccer across the globe… and EA Sports once again hold the exclusive rights to this connection.
So it\\'s soccer… So it\\'s FIFA… So the date is 2001… So what\\'s new?
My humble opinion of the FIFA series is that while the development team have continually stretched the visual boundaries (and they\\'ve done it again), they have yet to supercede Konami\\'s ISS Pro games in terms of playability. For the past few years I have considered FIFA to be a \\'quick-fix\\' game. Love it on Christmas morning… Loathe it by Boxing night. It\\'s as if each updated version has been intelligently designed to prompt a short, but immediate exhilarating reaction, thus getting past the sticky patch of reviewers and critics. As a popular board game would put it… \\'Move straight to GO and collect 200 (million, probably)\\'.
So who wouldn\\'t be impressed by slick intros backed by the latest foot-tapping chart topper? How could anyone complain about realistic motion captured players performing flickovers, hurdles, 360 spins and a sideways shimmy? Which idiot would dare cast the first stone at a product with such amazing TV style cameras, replays and commentary? What if the CPU suddenly takes over control of the game and forces a last second winner? Who cares if the score is 10-0 at half time? Err… Excuse me… I do!
For the last few years FIFA games have been plagued by unfairness when players took on a CPU controlled team. Usually towards the end of a match the human player (or all four players if using a multi-tap) suddenly lost control of the game as the \\'time for the opposition to score goal\\' program began running. Maybe this was a conspiracy with Sony to sell more joypads, because mine was thrown onto the floor in disgust many a time. Each new FIFA game… same old problem. So does the last Playstation 1 FIFA title finally crack it..?
In a nutshell… YES! Not only does FIFA 2001 look and sound the business, it also plays like a dream… only this time it\\'s not a nightmare! Amateur mode is still easy peasy with lots of goals, which will keep the kids satisfied. However, for the first time you don\\'t feel \\'cheated\\' out of a result when the difficulty level has been cranked up a notch or two. Professional mode no longer means that every attack by an opponent will result in an unstoppable goal, because now you can create a management strategy to stifle the opposition that actually works. More often than not this leads to a high-tension game that will end up in a hard fought draw, a narrow win or an unlucky defeat. Nobody likes getting beat… but if it\\'s through a genuine lapse in concentration or an unfortunate mistake then most people will accept this and try again. It looks good. It sounds good. And now it plays good. At last… FIFA 2001… a worthy opponent to take on ISS Pro… in all departments.
· New motion capture moves from soccer stars Lothar Mattheus, Edgar Davids, Paul Scholes, Thierry Henry, Gaizka Mendieta, Puval Kuka and Shimon Gershon
· More than 50 National teams from over 15 different leagues
· Europe\\'s best leagues, including the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish Premier League and the French LNF complete an impressive global line-up
· FIFA game modes include Friendly, League, Cup and Custom modes.
· The legendary John Motson, soccer legend Mark Lawrenson, plus a number of Europe\\'s best commentators provide intelligent commentary.
· Remix of the hit single Bodyrock from techno legend, Moby
· Transfer System
· Set Pieces, In-Game Tactics and Management
· Player and Team Edit
1-15 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
Up to 8 Players (with Multi-tap)
Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility
REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:
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.
SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)
00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.
70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.
A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.
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