FIFA Football 2003 comes to the Xbox, just long enough after the release of Electronic Arts' FIFA World Cup title from earlier in 2002 to get us all excited about football again, and, we're assured by Electronic Arts, a new 'built from the ground up' playing experience is on offer. Now that there's an Xbox controller available that doesn't feel like you're holding a medium-sized fruit bowl upside down, surely we can enjoy this spanking new game, can't we? Well, yes we can, actually. FIFA Football 2003 rocks the Box, and no mistake. Think of the FIFA series, and there are two consistently outstanding features, no matter how indifferent the gameplay may have been in previous incarnations: the player animation, especially when zooming in for a close-up replay, has always been top-notch. The good news is that the 2003 version is by far the best example of this so far. Add this to the sheer number of choices of clubs and competitions available, not to mention page after page of game options, and FIFA Football 2003 screams 'comprehensive'. Do you really want to take part in a friendly match between the delightfully-monikered Chonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea and the clumsily-named 'sawker' giants New York/New Jersey Metrostars? Only FIFA Football 2003 lets you do this from the outset. There are no edit functions in the game as far as teams and players are concerned, but with some of the more obscure clubs from around the world represented (Odd Grenland, anyone?) as well as more well-known leagues such as La Primera, Die Bundeslige, Serie A, and our own English and Scottish Premierships, there really is no cause for complaint. If you can't find your favourite club in FIFA Football 2003, you probably live in Greenland. National Teams are available for selection too, but no representation for Greenland, unfortunately. A permanently frozen pitch might be the problem there.. Electronic Arts' edict has brought about some improvements in AI this time around. Players act and react more realistically than before, something that is expressly clear from the zoom shots after outstanding incidents. Real football is littered with unfortunate deflections, ricochets, plain stupid mistakes and bad behaviour: FIFA Football 2003 follows this trend as closely as possible. Get used to the button layout of the Xbox controller (get yourself an S-Controller if you haven't already) and you'll be flying down the flanks in no time, whipping in those dangerous crosses..for the super-intelligent opposition to head clear! So, another year, another EA game with the FIFA imprint, but wait, come back! Electronic Arts have really delivered the goods this time. After a couple of dodgy seasons, they're back in the big league. Huzzah!
|Boxed A||Game complete with manual and in VG-VG+ Condition|
|Boxed B||Game complete Good-VG condition|
|Boxed C||Game might have manual missing|
|D||Game Cartridge or Disc only|