FIFA World Cup 2002
This sequel comes only six months after the last FIFA, and I swear the only thing EA did was take a hammer to that great game. The first sign of trouble is the opening intro featuring gratuitous clips of an orchestra composing the game's theme music. I don't get it--is watching some dude blow on a horn supposed to fire me up? The clunky controls are an even bigger buzz kill. FIFA looks gorgeous, but making your players do what you want, when you want, is difficult. Want to juke? No problem, just as soon as that kick animation in the move queue is done. Sometimes I had to predict which move I needed to make sure it happened on time, which sucks since I'm no psychic; maybe Ms. Cleo would fare better. It's too bad World Cup's gameplay is so slow and deliberate, because I like other parts of it. It's packed with great modes, and I'm still impressed by how the onscreen aides make passing easy and fun without making it unrealistic. Thoughtful features like this make me wonder why the developers treated the rest of the game like an afterthought.
Download FIFA World Cup 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup offers the solid gameplay and graphics many are used to from EA Sports. The trouble is that there's a serious lack of features offered when compared to their own soccer series. This lack of features will be the deciding factor when distinguishing between these two games and especially if comparing to a different publisher altogether. Even with a lack of features, 2002 FIFA World Cup does give a great representation of the World Cup and many die-hard fans won't want to miss it.
The actual gameplay is as solid as you would expect. Similar to FIFA 2002, there are a number of factors used to help give the soccer experience a realistic feel, difficult to achieve for most games. For instance, some players on the team are exceptional in certain skills and are called out by a star over their head. Not only does this help point out players to guard more closely on defense, but also shows who you want to be taking a shot on goal. Unfortunately, even the star players will be affected by fatigue as the game progresses, so running them hard by extra sprinting may only require them substituted sooner. Other factors like the power meter give more touch to the game, as the longer a button is held, the harder and less accurate the shot or pass. This adds another dimension, as there are more things to consider besides just kicking the ball to a teammate or at the goal. Now there is control over how fast and accurate the ball gets to its desired location.
The question comes down to simply features. There's no argument that 2002 FIFA World Cup is seriously lacking features but they don't promise a mess of them either. FIFA 2002 does offer the features that would have made the game a must have, so a decision must be made. If different modes of play are important to you or if you already own FIFA 2002, this probably would leave you feeling cheated. If however you love the World Cup like most of the world, this game does deliver with great gameplay and graphics, bringing one of the most popular sporting events in the world to your game console.