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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

989 Sports

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

February 11, 2003

 

 

- Well balanced game play

- Excellent graphics

- Tons of game modes

- Large amount of customization

- Awesome multiplayer

 

 

- Horrible loading times

- No online play

- Some refereeís callís are questionable

- Sometimes dry commentating

 

 

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World Tour Soccer 2003

Score: 8.4 / 10

 

The last few years for 989 Sports have been dismal with disappointing performances coming from all of their sports game with the exception of World Tour Soccer 2002, which was actually a good game. With 989ís main rival EA Sports in the soccer department, 989 was hard pressed to make a worthy sequel to last years game. Do they deliver the goods?

 

world tour soccer 2003 review          world tour soccer 2003 review

 

Like any 989 Sports game, World Tour Soccer features a robust amount of game modes that would make any soccer fan freak out. Different modes include exhibition, season, competitions, career mode, challenge mode and much more. Not only that, but there are over 700 teams and over 13,000 players available. The gameplay maintains a good balance between playing offense and defense. This is a balance that previous 989 Sports titles have not been able to achieve on the PS2. The multiplayer is a blast to play especially with seven friends over.

 

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But perhaps the most interesting game mode is the career mode, which is the most in depth of any soccer game out on the market. In the career mode you basically start out in control of a small school team who plays other school teams. As you get better your opponents get better and your leagues get tougher. Not only that, but you can also customize your teamís jersey and other accessories. Throughout the career mode and season mode you will face the problems of player suspension, 

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injuries and other consequences that are associated with a grueling season of soccer. The game also includes a typical World Cup mode and seasons in different leagues such as the American or European league.

 

There are a few gripes I do have with World Tour Soccer. First off, some of the refereeís calls are questionable. Sometimes the ref will not even call an obvious foul and other times the ref will call a play that wasnít a foul. Sometimes it can be frustrating to replace suspended players after each match since even a yellow card can get cause your player to miss one game. The loading times are some of the worst I have seen on any PS2 game.  The frame rate also suffers a bit of choppiness and outright slowdown in places.  But the attention to detail is quite good from lighting effects to the player models.

 

world tour soccer 2003 review          world tour soccer 2003 review

 

The sound is equally uneven with average commentating. It lacks the balances that rival EA Sports has always managed. Sometimes the commentating is not as intense and interesting as it should be. For example: When the ball goes off the post or the goalie makes a big save. Sometimes there will be longer than anticipated pauses from the commentator when the ball is being kicked or passed up the field.

 

With tons of game modes and a large number of customizable options World Tour Soccer 2003 will bring back soccer fans for more, even with it's short-comings.  (And sadly this yearís version doesnít include online play.)

 

- Siddharth Masand

 

(March 16, 2003)

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