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Game Over Online ~ FIFA 2000

GameOver Game Reviews - FIFA 2000 (c) EA Sports, Reviewed by - Darklord

Game & Publisher FIFA 2000 (c) EA Sports
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 82%
Date Published Wednesday, November 24th, 1999 at 09:24 PM


Divider Left By: Darklord Divider Right

I don’t think anybody will argue if I say that football (or soccer, as it’s called in the US) is the sport of the century. I am not the type of fan that goes every Saturday to the stadium, chanting and yelling, but the other day I saw a game between Valencia and FC Barcelona on television. I couldn’t stop admiring the show I saw on the field. Maybe that’s why it will be a little difficult for me to write this review now. It’s known that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be able to reflect, in a computer game, the atmosphere and the feeling of a full stadium. Player’s imagination, reactions and moves are very difficult to re-create with the software and hardware available now. Regardless of all these difficulties, people have tried and EA Sports seems to be very close to achieving this goal. FIFA 99 was a huge revolution in football simulation, but was still the victim of the inherent bugs. The poor AI of the goalkeepers, the player’s inexpressive faces or the stereotyped moves that allowed you to score again and again once you learned them. Voices of thousands of fans raised and EA Sports seemed to be listening, as they launched a new and improved football simulation. All of us that were expecting FIFA 2000 to be a new approach to soccer games will be somewhat disappointed, as the game seems more like a patch for FIFA 99. I know this comparison seems a little harsh but that’s my opinion. Unfortunately, the game only fixes some of FIFA 99’s bugs. Keeper’s AI, even if it was improved, still fails to meet my expectations.

All of us that prayed for new-improved graphics and animations will be extremely pleased by the look of FIFA 2000. You can see that the guys from EA Sports worked hard on the game’s graphics. We can see lots of interesting details beginning with player’s shadow and ending with the tribune animation. All of these little details were made in an attempt to recreate that feeling I was talking about in the introduction of this review. The people that came to see the match are actually living the game. They chant and wave, in a word, they do all the stuff people usually do at a soccer match. Players also received a new look, different heights, different hair color and of course different faces. Finally, you can see on player’s faces exactly how they feel, you can see their happiness or disappointment.

Sound is another aspect of the game that was radically improved. People in the stadium yell, chant encouraging their favorite team along. Still, I have to point out that they continue to enjoy goals even if those were scored against the home team. The entire stadium should be in silence with the visiting team scores against the home team, that’s a feeling I miss in every game I played. Unfortunately, the commentary lacks the charm of previous games, it’s very rigid and boring. Also, just for the record, I want to mention that you’ll have the chance to hear Robbie Williams’ “It’s Only Us”, which is a nice addition to the game.

FIFA 2000 brings a few new leagues, including Turkish (without their best team, Galatasaray?!?) and MSL. For the older soccer fans, some great news, you can now play some classic teams like Brazil ’70 (no Pele though), Argentina ’78 or Real Madrid ’50.

Now I’ve reached the most delicate part of this review, where we decide if the game’s expectations are met or not. FIFA veterans will be literally shocked when they see the changes made to the game’s controls. You still can’t configure the keyboard, which is a pain. EA Sports tried to simplify it but did so in a terrible way. In FIFA 99, we used some keyboard combinations in order to dribble, now all you have to do is press ALT, CTRL or SHIFT. Unfortunately, while solo games won’t be affected, the multiplayer games suffer since the number of dribblings was reduced and the keys are hard to reach. All the charm of the multiplayer is now gone, you can no longer humiliate your opponent, your techniques and dexterity no longer count. The only thing left to do is pass or run. Why did I say that single player won’t be affected? Well, on the lowest difficulty setting, you don’t need dribblings, as you can run your way to the goal. On other difficulty settings (especially World Class), I don’t advise you use them as the computer always seems to guess your next move. Actually, higher difficulty doesn’t mean better AI it seems, it only means that the computer gets better players who run faster than yours, always tackle successfully, and always jump higher. As I already said, they seem to know your next move all the time.

If you have the courage to ignore all this, you’ll be greatly rewarded as FIFA 2000 offers an unforgettable experience. Player moves are much more realistic, they fight for the ball, they elbow players, and for the first time, I saw them moving during a corner or free kick, trying to get into the open. Finally, you can score from outside the penalty area and players also perform headers on crosses. Actually, I noticed that if you press the shot key once, the player will perform a header, and if you press it twice, the player will attempt a scissor kick or a nice volley. You, as the player, have much more control and more moves to perform, which is great. I was expecting much more from this game, but it’s still an excellent game. If I ever want to run over my friends though in multiplayer, I’ll most surely use FIFA 99 to do so.

 

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Rating
82%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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