Are you ready for some football? And no I am not talking about the NFL but actually about the most popular sport in the world - soccer. 989 Sports came with a vengeance last year with World Tour Soccer 2002, which really was the first soccer game to give EA’s FIFA series a run for its money. With some graphical improvements along with some Gameplay tweaks this is definitely a game with a lot of potential.
World Tour Soccer 2002 was really solid in the gameplay department, with only a few minor things holding it back from being a solid game. In 2002 there just wasn’t enough of variety in what you are able to do during the game. Now they have added a few other enhancements to an already solid gameplay engine.
If you did get to play World Tour Soccer 2002 you know that the series comes with a "ton" of different teams to choose from. Well 2003 is no exception to that and you can expect even more rosters to choose from to even further enhance your gaming experience.
One thing that was definitely missing from WTS 2002 was a career mode. Well 989 Sports has seen the problem and fixed it, and added a solid career mode. This is neither a short nor easy mode to play. You start off as a small school and play other schools, and the basic reason for the mode is to move up the ranks. The only downfall to the mode is there really isn’t much to keep you into the mode because there are so many other competitions that you can play other then the career mode.
There is also a mode called the Competition mode, which is actually one of my favorites. Really the real goal of this mode is to play to perfection. You will be evaluated on how well your team performs. This is really a tough mode, because the competition is intense and you need to not only win, but also look good while winning.
There are also a lot of competition modes to choose from as well. The competition mode entails a variety of cups to choose from along with the "World Championship" mode in which you can play in. If you are a hardcore soccer fan then these modes will be a great investment for you, for the rest of us you can just enjoy more soccer!
The game as you can see is filled with modes, and at some points you can think there are to many, but what really stands out is the multiplayer modes which are by far my favorite. Although playing alone is fine, there is nothing like coming down to an extra time golden goal, or the dreaded penalty shootout.
The controls of WTS 2003 are solid. The controls are extremely responsive and very easy to use. If you played 2002 then there will be no learning curve for these because they are almost identical. For those of you who haven’t played 2002 then it may take you a few minutes to get them down.
Goal!!! The commentary of WTS is nothing to rave about. It is quite repetitive but is definitely an improvement from 2002. Like almost all sports games, the commentary does get stale after a few games. There is only so many "Goal" shouting I can hear in one day. For the most part the commentary is just average.
Luckily we can just get the more disappointing portion of this review out of the way. EA’s FIFA series has lately been a much better looking game then WTS and this once again holds true in 2003. Using the same sort of graphics engine with a little bit more detail this edition of WTS just isn’t in the same class as FIFA.
This is not to say the WTS 2003 graphics are horrendous but there is just not enough detail in the game that you would hope for in the later years of the PS2. Luckily though there is not slow down in the game and the animations are a lot smoother then last year.
With so many teams and so many players there is no blaming the developers for not matching the players appearance more accurately to the real player, but it appears they did their best. You will see a lot more different hair-styles in this one, compared to the normal flat-top seen in 2002, which is a sense of relief.
Do you like soccer? Well if you like soccer then this is definitely going to be a fun game for you as it is for me. The game has enough different modes, teams, and replay value to last you till 2004. The multiplayer modes just seal the deal for a great fun soccer title.
If you want a soccer title in 2003 I would recommend World Tour Soccer 2003. Although not the best looking game in the world, the gameplay is solid and the replay value is amazing. This is by far the best 989 Sports game out on the market, as well a top soccer title.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.