STAFF REVIEW of Red Card Soccer 20-03 (Xbox)

Saturday, August 24, 2002.
by VAN

Red Card Soccer 20-03 Box art I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I HATE SPORTS GAMES. It is for this reason alone that it becomes quite difficult to impartially review a game belonging to a genre that I admittedly despise.

Now after reading that, you may expect series of low scores for RedCard Soccer 20-03. Quite the contrary. I actually ENJOYED this game! Amazing, huh? Yes, folks, miracles can happen.

RedCard soccer is a blast to play, and I will probably be playing this one for quite some time.

Everything from the User Interfaces, to the Voice Samples, to the Weather Effects have all been included to near perfection.

If you enjoy soccer, this is *the* game for you. Bar none.

There is a definate learning curve with this game. It took me quite a bit of playing to get down the subtleties of passing, shooting, sliding, tripping, etc. The auto-aim feature makes passing a breeze, and it's not too often that an attempted pass will not reach it's target--perhaps it is *too* easy to make a succesful pass.

The game features a TON of play modes, options, stadiums, and teams, so you will not quickly tire of gameplay. Multiple weather and time of day settings have also been included to add to the fun. (try playing at night in the rain--now thats some fun soccer!)

Visuals. This is where most games are either a hit or miss. RC 20-03 has definately put together some fantastic graphics. Player models (despite their rather &t; looking appendages) have been beautifully rendered, and the faces are some of the best I've seen in any sports game. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if they are dead-on likenesses or not, since I have never watched a professional soccer game.

The stadiums look fantastic, and the turf varies from place to place. One of the coolest things I noticed was that the playing surface actually deteriorates in real time. If you slide through the grass, you leave a noticeable skid mark.

If you score a goal in a particularly remarkable manner, the game slows to Matrix-style bullet-time animation and you are treated to a really cool goal-scoring animation.

Beatiful game, all things considered. It's just those darned "Popeye Arms" on the players. Hmmmm....

The sounds in this game are top notch. Everything you would expeact to hear is present and accounted for, and represented to near perfection. The ambient sound of a cheering crowd is very well done, but the best part for me was the running commentary.

The commentators play calls were dead on. If you head the ball, the commentator takes notice and announces what you've done. There were a few times I noticed an incorrect call, but that is to be expected due to latency, and in no way detracts from the gameplay.

Subtle sounds such as kicking the ball, sliding on the turf, and blocking a shot on goal have all been impeccably recorded, and these minor details really add to the experience.

I honestly don't know what to suggest. Perhaps being able to mix and match players to form one "ultimate team".

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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