Fifa 2003Your mind, body, and soul are one. You strive on perfection, thirst for gratification. You are a machine, a well oiled, prepared machine. You find yourself defending your country in a peaceful, diligent manor. The world strives on the sport of soccer. All countries worldwide come to the best of their abilities to put together a group of men that could possible make a statement. My friends, soccer is finally here. Fifa style. Has it already been a year? Actually it has, but this long winding road has finally met up with the edge of the mountain. Now is the time where you can actually drink fresh water right from the stream. If you havenâ€™t gotten the full idea yet, donâ€™t worry about it. The important thing is that Fifa 2003 has been released, and itâ€™s also available on the Xbox. You see, last year EA Sports neglected the Xbox and decided that Fifa 2002 was the right choice for only Nintendo Gamecube and Playstation 2. If that same situation would have happened again this year, soccer fans on the Xbox would have the pleasure and enjoyment to play Midwayâ€™s Redcard Soccer Series (If they make another installment). Fortunately for us, we have received Fifa in fine form. What EA Sports did give us last year was 2002 Fifa World Cup. A moderate well designed game which boasted in every area except gameplay. The game was to commemorate the official World Cup going on in Korea/Japan. In you enjoyed what you played then, Fifa 2003 will be a great experience. This yearâ€™s title hits the final nail right into the coffin in all ways possible. The final blow which could cause the hammer to miss is the missing mode of World Cup, which isnâ€™t featured in the game. Features: â€¢ Complete soccer. Play as all national and league clubs â€¢ All new game AI that changes tactics when new situations come forth â€¢ Total ball control with new physics and dribbles â€¢ All new Club Championship mode â€¢ Gameplay so real you can smell the sweat Gameplay: This is the part where youâ€™re pulled into the immense, intense, gameplay. Fifa 2003 can provide to you what no other soccer developer can do which is bringing the love of the game, the physics of the game, and the fun of the game into one complete package. No one makes a soccer title like EA Sports does. Itâ€™s the quality and effort that is put into their title that makes them the leader of the pack. Every year (excluding Xbox gamers until now), Fifa comes back with something completely new and innovative to bring us back. EA Sports made sure that when you pick up their newest title in soccer you wonâ€™t feel like youâ€™re getting something that looks, feels, and plays like the previous installment. This yearâ€™s version comes fully equipped with a total new addition to the control design, polished visuals, and new features. This yearâ€™s title is a perfect example of how a veteran game can still be a strong enforcer in the gaming market. EA Sports has spent more time configuring the controls in the latest Fifa. What they now have presented is a more dynamic and precise combination of controls that will require you to use your skill, and not just button mash. The â€˜Yâ€™ button will send a direct pass to the receiving player of your liking. 2002 Fifa World Cup had the â€˜Yâ€™ button set up as the through pass button. The new control has been tweaked somewhat, but nothing new to soccer fans. Also, the â€˜Bâ€™ has been tampered with as well. It still represents the pass button, but itâ€™s not a direct pass to a player but a pass in the direction youâ€™re aiming the pass to. The set piece is yet another new system to improve the overall game. A circular meter will appear when a free kick or corner kick is taken place. The meter will be moving back and forth and the objective is to stop the meter in the green area. By doing so, youâ€™ll increase your chances of sending the ball into the designated area youâ€™re wishing to send it to.
Fifa 2003 comes complete with a wide enough selection of game modes to make anyone a happy customer. There are the standard friendly match, season and tournament modes which provide numerous hours of gameplay. Customize your team, set up your options the way you want. Itâ€™s all here at your dispose. The part where the game jumps off the bridge is absence of the World Cup mode. There is none mainly for the fact that there is now a single game devoted to the World Cup. What EA Sports gives us instead is the International Cup mode which features all the teams that qualified for the 2002 World Cup. Whatâ€™s unfortunately disappointing is that all there is in this mode is the teams from the 2002 World Cup with the same lineup and missing national teams. The other real impressive mode is the Club Championship mode which focusâ€™ on the 18 Club Championship squads. There is a massive amount of players and teams featured which makes this mode very appealing. Youâ€™ve got the ability to check out stats and information of players and teams from previous years. Itâ€™s a very complete package. Graphics: The graphics in Fifa 2003 are spectacular. It is completely outstanding to look at. EA Sports has brought us closer to the game by giving players real emotions when goals, missed opportunities, fouls, or injuries occur. Everything runs so smoothly, you can hardly notice any of the flaws. The stadiums are modeled after real club. The stadiums are done very well in the game giving it a great realistic atmosphere. Crowds are lively, energetic, and wave their countries flags around in great pride. Itâ€™s a great sight! Player models are very sharp and done right. Some player models will shock you because there so well done and almost look like the player. Players run along smooth and look great in movement. Facial features on player faces are very detailed and bring out the player. Sound: This is possibly the best sound youâ€™ll ever hear in a Fifa or any other soccer game. The commentary in Fifa 2003 is provided by John Motsen and Andy Gray. There commentary in the game could be similar to previous Fifa installments but itâ€™s still well done, crisp and solid. You can also hear the players making comments on the field to one another during the game. You can hear them talk in English or in their own native language. Itâ€™s fascinating to hear this because it feels like itâ€™s real, itâ€™s amazing. The most energetic part in Fifa 2003 is the crowd noise. Itâ€™s so real, itâ€™s scary. The crowd is so energetic and heartwarming. The closer you get to scoring a goal, the louder there going to get. Theyâ€™ll cheer, yell, boo, scream, whistle, just as long as the moments right. The crowd really brings the game to life. Replay Value: This game really gives you the full soccer experience. Thereâ€™s no other developer that can offer you as much that EA Sports has brought to the table. Itâ€™s all very simple, what you give to this game is what youâ€™re going to get out of it. Fifa 2003 is worth taking the time and going through. If you want a full and satisfied experience, youâ€™re going to have to play this title for more than a few hours. EA Sports has come up with a very appealing title that shouldnâ€™t be missed. Overall: Fifa 2003 is a title that has continued to grow throughout the years and each and every year when a new title is released, it never fails to impress. There were many issues fixed which were a concern in the only Fifa game on the Xbox (2002 Fifa World Cup), but the title still has a few issues to deal with for a future installment. With a new dynamic control system, challenging AI, improved game physics, and well developed game modes, Fifa 2003 is a title which is hard to miss. Letâ€™s hope we donâ€™t have to wait until the 2006 World Cup in Germany before we see another solid Fifa title. --Chris Banovic