Well another year, and that means there’s another World Tour Soccer to check out once again. This year’s version is quite the gift too, with a nice and deep improvement to the game from 989 which is fun as heck to play. While I can talk about it being all great, there are a few things that are annoying including load time and not the biggest graphical leap either. Still its time to talk about this years version of the game, and I must say there’s a lot of good stuff to talk about.
Graphically, 989 has gone in and fixed up the game a little bit more. There are improved character models, with new animations to boot. The hair on the heads and the wrinkles in the uniforms look a bit better in textures. The animations are smooth, and a few new ones for celebrations and kicks.
The stadiums look great too, modeled out very well. The crowd is 2D, but it does the job as well as any other game on the market. There’s even more to look at with the weather. The rain doesn’t seem as great looking in comparison to the other sports titles though. When it comes down to it though, this game isn’t half bad looking at all.
I love the announcer in this latest incarnation of the game, and the whistles and crowds aren’t half bad sounding either. When it comes to the announcer, this one is much better, with much more emotion to it. Although it could leave you jumping like the crowd when you just miss a shot on goal. It is still a nice improvement over last year’s version if you ask me. On top of that, there are the chants returning for the stadiums’ environmental sounds, and the cheering even specific for many of the teams within too. Plus you have the whistles, sound of contact with the ball, and all the other sound effects associated with soccer. This is a very good job by 989, and a nice improvement in this category.
As for gameplay, the game expands upon the modes in the last version, along with improves upon the selection you have to play with. When you are looking for one of the biggest selections in a soccer title, this game does not fail and delivers more than even the last World Tour Soccer title. The game has over double the amount of teams found in the last (300), with 700 teams now from 15 leagues and quite a few countries. This includes a U.S. league this time around too. The player count also is more than double that of the last also (5,000) with now 13,500 players from the leagues around the world. Also, the amount of customization is excellent in this title, ranging from setting up your team’s normal means of defense, midfield, and attack. Also, when creating a team, it lets you choose from an assortment of colors, to customize the jerseys, road and away, fielders and goaltender.
The various modes start of with the traditional, no sports title should be without, exhibition mode. On top of that various types of Competitions under that actual category by the same name. Within this, you have your season mode, tournaments, and career modes. You can play through the various league competitions they have, or just through a set season. Also, within the tournaments, you can create your own custom tournaments to fit your needs and desires. And within the career modes, you can make your way up from even the most humble of beginnings as a high school team and work your way up to the professional leagues. With all this, it’s a bit more fun than last years and quite the improvement too. I must say, the series once again delivers to me a game I really do enjoy a lot to play.
The control scheme of this game is pretty much the same thing as the last, making it even easier for fans of the past to pick up, and noobies without much challenge either. This game supports the joystick or d-pad for controls, pending your preference. On offense, square is a big kick, while on Defense, it is your slide tackle. Square will also allow you to head butt a ball when it is in the air. Circle on defense plays a regular tackle, while on offense, it is shooting. X plays the role of change player which you are controlling. You will automatically take control of any player that has the ball though. Triangle allows for long and fast passes on offense, and is a slide tack on Defense too. Not hard, and much similar to the other offerings on the market.
When it comes to how long this game will last you, it’s down to the competition mode, and them multiplayer to keep you. Sadly, there is no online mode, but the game still does support that 2 player action between you and your buddies when you feel that urge to play some soccer. On top of that, you can spend ages playing through the entire season, or career modes. So as long as you enjoy the game, you’ll be glued to this year’s version even more than last.
The Final Word
Overall, a just as addicting game as last years game, and improves pretty well upon it too. Don’t expect this to sink much lower than last year’s score as it is definitely a worthy pick up for any soccer fan with a PS2 and 989 has done a great job delivering this game to us. If only some of their other franchises were as grand as their soccer titles. In the end, it is definitely worth the price at the counter when purchasing your copy of World Tour Soccer 2003.