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FIFA Soccer 2002
Score: 87%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 8 (Multitap)
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:
Once again, the most popular sport in the world is looking and sounding great on the PlayStation. FIFA Soccer 2002 takes you into the game, thanks to a TV style presentation for each match. The player models look realistic from afar, although it's a different story up close. For some reason, they look like they don't have shoulders from the backside. Outside of the field, the crowds and stadiums look gorgeous.

I loved the audio for FIFA 2002. The commentary follows the game and is mixed up well so you don't hear the same thing over and over again. Speaking of following the game, the crowd does just that. If someone gets tackled, the crowd boos, and if you score the game winner, they go nuts. It made want to travel to Europe to sit in the stands of an actual match.

Even if you're not a big soccer fan, you'll find yourself enthralled with FIFA 2002. I'm not one to sit through a match on TV, but I did find myself getting caught up with the video game counterpart. Much like a real match, scoring doesn't come easy. This game involves a whole lot of passing, and an aggressive defense. Be prepared to witness players getting yellow or red carded, others getting injured, and some of the most athletic goals you'll ever see. Not all is well though in the gaming department. I found it difficult at times to pass or shoot in the direction I wanted. Nonetheless, you'll still have a grand ole time with every match you play.

Which leads me to my next point: the game modes of FIFA 2002. There are several different modes, designed specifically to keep you glued to your seat for hours on end. You can play a Friendly (Exhibition), Qualify for the FIFA World Cup, go through a Season, or play in a couple different Tournaments, Custom or not. With all of those modes, you will play with officially licensed MLS teams from around the USA, and with all of the foreign teams from around the world. And before you take the field, go through the Training mode to practice things like Penalties, Corners, Free Kicks and Throw-ins.

As previously mentioned, scoring doesn't come at will. Still, if you find yourself winning all the time, you can up the difficulty level between one of the three levels. If that's not enough, change the settings for the match, such as Fatigue, Expert Passing and Expert Shooting.

Game Mechanics:
The loading time was minimal for FIFA Soccer 2002, as was saving on the memory card. The game menus were a little confusing at first, but that changed almost instantly. I will say that I liked playing with the analog stick a whole lot more because I felt I had better control of the players. All in all, this category was just fine.

PS2: Even after changing the settings on my PS2 to smooth the textures and increase the disc speed, I didn't find any difference in the quality of play for FIFA 2002.

Personally, I think playing FIFA Soccer 2002 is much better than playing the actual game. There's no constant running, and you don't have to worry about being shot if you score on your own goal.
My word of warning: Don't be surprised if you find yourself running through your house with your shirt off screaming, 'GOOOOAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!'

-Red Dawg, GameVortex Communications
AKA Alex Redmann

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