2002 FIFA World Cup - PS2

Also known as: FIFA World Cup 2002

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2002 FIFA World Cup (PS2)
Also for: PC, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Sport: Football - Soccer
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Electronic Arts Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB/GB)
Released: 26 Apr 2002 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Multitap adaptable


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So this is what the two years of the blood, sweat and tears of qualification has brought you to – 2002’s FIFA World Cup, jointly hosted by Korea and Japan. Electronic Arts is the publisher bringing the only officially sanctioned version to Sony consoles, and as you would expect from EA’s coverage of such a huge event in the football calendar, the stops have not only been pulled out, but thrown across the development studio and replaced with brightly coloured bells and deafening whistles. In short, we’re tempted to say that 2002 FIFA World Cup rocks, but in a classical way. How? Get a load of the longest opening FMV yet, and you will see.

Unlike EA’s 1998 offering for the PlayStation, FIFA: Road to the World Cup 98, this new version does not feature an option to play through the World Cup Qualifiers. Nor does it feature any club teams or custom leagues to add variety. 2002 FIFA World Cup does not mess around. There are just two gameplay options: Friendly Match for a quick fix of footy, and the big competition itself. Friendlies are all well and good for a bit of practice, but the reason for getting hold of this game is to play your own version of the greatest football competition around. 2002 FIFA World Cup puts you straight into the finals themselves: for example, choose to play as England, and you’ll play your first phase matches against Sweden, Argentina and Nigeria, just as in the tournament proper.

In-game, there are some subtler changes to take note of. This is not just a rehash of FIFA 2002 with mere cosmetic changes. Certain teams among the 32 on offer can unlock bonus content if you manage to get to the final and win. Star Players feature too, with increased emphasis on the best players from each team and the skills they exhibit. It’s easy to spot them – they’re the ones with the yellow star shapes hovering above their heads in-game! The more of these players you have on your team, the bigger your chances of success. The control system will be familiar to those who have played EA’s previous FIFA releases. Old favourites such as the sliding challenge, the step over and the ridiculously over-the-top hard tackle are all here, along with some more tweaks and additions, such as an on-screen power meter, ball spin, and the opportunity for some Joe Cole-style showboating with the ball-juggling feature. You have to persevere with the controls to pull off any really fancy moves, but it’s well worth the time and effort.

2002 FIFA World Cup is akin to those no nonsense advertisement types who tell you that their product does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to play your own way through the World Cup of 2002, the EA way is the only way to do it.