Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/17/02 | Genre: Sports
Sony has got to be the best game developer in the world. I expected them to make great, innovative games like ICO and Gran Turismo 3, but I never once thought that Sony or any other developer would make a soccer game this good. I'm not a big fan of soccer games, or at least I wasn't a fan until I played World Tour Soccer 2002. The gameplay is so far beyond what the competition has to offer that it doesn't even feel like a soccer game. It's so much better than the rest. Sports freaks are going to go nuts when they play this game.
Controlling your team is as easy as picking up the controller. There are no drawn-out learning processes, even for novices. The button configuration is easy enough for anyone to learn in a matter of minutes. And once you start playing, everything just falls into place. You will immediately became addicted to the stellar gameplay; your television's cathode rays will slowly hypnotize you; and the Dual-Shock 2's soft rumble will help relax your sore, over-worked hands. Before you have the chance pat yourself on the back after scoring, you're quitting your job, cutting school and spending less time with your girlfriend in order to get your soccer gaming fix. Making sacrifices is hard to do, but as long as you make the right decision (i.e., play World Tour Soccer 2002 all day and forget about everything else), you won't have any regrets.
The music has a weirdly appealing sound. I say "weirdly" because the music is weird. The mix of drum beats, bass and odd screeching noises is not something you usually hear in a sports game. But this is the new millennium and anything is possible, as evidenced by World Tour Soccer 2002. I think most gamers will walk away from the game with the music stuck in the back of their heads. It is quite catchy, and while I wouldn't buy the soundtrack (if one existed), it is entertaining enough to keep you occupied -- not annoyed -- while playing. The sound effects are equally impressive. The commentator's voice is somewhat annoying, but the cheering crowd effects are very realistic.
Graphically, World Tour Soccer 2002 is another game that allows the Emotion Engine to flex its polygonal-pusing muscles. One look at the backgrounds and you'll understand what I'm talking about. They really are amazing. The crowd not only sounds incredible, but it looks incredible, too. There are so many subtle touches, like flags that wave in the background (go USA!) and hundreds of cheering fans that are too excited to stay in their seats. The texture of the grass is decent, though not as varied as Madden, and the players' faces are not as realistic as they could be. But there is so much happening at once that I doubt anyone will question this game's beauty. It has a few shortcomings, but for the most part the visuals are really impressive.
World Tour Soccer 2002 is a game that no soccer fan should live without. It doesn't matter if you're a hardcore or casual gamer because this game satisfies every gamer's needs. The controls are so smooth and easy to use that even a 6-year-old can play. That's not to say that the game is easy though. Your opponents put up quite a fight. The AI is excellent. An opponent is always watching and waiting for the right moment to strike (and take the ball away from you). Of course, that's one of the things that makes World Tour Soccer 2002 a great game. No one wants a game that can be conquered in a day (which would explain why Luigi's Mansion sold so poorly). If you've got the cash, don't hesitate to buy World Tour Soccer 2002. And for all the skeptics out there, I dare you to go rent it! Just don't come crying to me when your late fees are huge, 'cause this is one game that you are not going to want to take back.