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EA Sports release the latest of their soccer series. Every year since 1995, EA have come up with Fifa, after Fifa. Seemingly with little change. But now, 2002 it’s time for a change! As the latest addition in the series brings us a pleasant surprise… some realistic, and addictive gameplay!
Fifa has always been lagging behind Konami’s ISS on gameplay terms, but now they’re finally starting to catch up. Gone are the double figure scores and arcade-like gameplay, replaced with hard battled victories, better passing, stricter Referees and a more simulation based game with more intelligent AI.
The new passing system is the main feature in the new gameplay structure, it not only deals with direction, but the strength of every pass. You now have to think, and plan every move you make. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll soon be playing defence-splitting through-balls for your attackers to run onto, and once you’ve achieved this it can be very rewarding.
Fifa 2002 makes the very most of the multi-tap, allowing 8 mates to play all at once, allowing endless fun and laughter! Playing against the AI is slighty more predictable, as they are prone to making the same pass or shot. There are 3 spaced out levels of skill in the game, amateur mode, only for first time players, experienced Fifa players will easily find a 5-6 goal margin by half time. Professional mode gives a good challenge, even the “better” gamers will have to take a bit of time to master this, especially with the new passing system, but once that’s beat, World Class will keep you going for a long, long time! The AI is also, now even more intelligent in predicting your passes and good at timing tackles too.
Now, winning a game isn’t just about how you play on the pitch, but your tactics too. A cleverly constructed formation to counter your opponent’s style will have you laughing all the way to the goal. The in-game management is deep enough to totally change your tactic from match to match. Having to change formation, starting line-up, kick takers and more in depth strategies such as passing style and defence pressure.
EA Sports are well known for their stunning graphics, and this game certainly doesn’t fail on that account. The cut scenes before, after and during the game maximize the power of the PSone, with immense detail on the players faces and kits. The surrounding 3D stadiums are breath-takingly beautiful and feature different surfaces depending on the weather. Even the crowd (although mainly made up of pairs of arms) all interact when a goal is scored; creating quite a nice atmosphere.
The in-game visuals are just as impressive. the players move naturally (thanks to some modeling from some of Soccer’s top World stars) and Perform some nifty tricks and skill. All the simple things like passing and shooting are done smoothly and neatly.
The audio in Fifa 2002 is top-notch. The commentary from John Motson and Andy Gray correspond to the action on the pitch, and provide some light entertainment throughout the game; with some rather corny puns and catchphrases which are rarely repetitive. The crowd will also make themselves heard, with some clapping and cheering throughout the game. Gorillaz provide some backing music, along with 12 other energetic dance beats which will get your fingers tapping on your controller.
· Player detail is better than ever before, including more authentic faces, hairstyles etc.
· “In Game” audio featuring localized commentators and dynamic differentiation between home and away SF/X
· FIFpro License that includes all the names and likenesses of FIFPro’s member associations.
· Friendly, League, Tournaments, Custom, Training and Fifa World Cup Qualification game modes.
· Over 75 licensed nation teams and 16 licensed leagues, including the English Premiership, German Bundesliga, Spanish ‘La Liga’, Italian Serie A, the French LNF and more!
· Innovation new passing system incorporates an open-ended and flexible passing model. Pass the ball into space, utilize through-balls and one-two’s. Direct your teammates on strategic runs thru the defense.
· All new tackling and referee model: Now, the timing and angle of your tackles determine success or incur the wrath of the referee.
3 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 2002' 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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