FA Premier League Stars - Page 2


Gameplay
I cannot recall how many times I heard people gripe that the FIFA series was too arcade-like to make it enjoyable after scoring your 500th goal. So what did EA Sports do? They worked on the management aspect of the game (which was sorely missing in the FIFA series)! Career play has been greatly enhanced. The biggest improvement must be the ability to improve your team with the use of the STARS system. 


Main Menu

After a match, you are allocated stars based on a few factors, for example the number of goals you scored, whether or not the man of the match came from your team, number of fouls committed etc. These stars are then used to improve your players’ attributes like speed, shot accuracy and passing ability. They can also be used to buy players in the transfer market. 


STARS System

You can also export your team and challenge your friend at his house. Imagine taking your super-seasoned Watford and challenging his 1st season Manchester United - a real interesting match up indeed! Season play over multiple seasons is now available. Together with the STARS system, this gives the game more depth than all the other FIFA games put together!


Control
The greatest change from FIFA 99 must be the inclusion of the power bar. You can now vary the power of your lob, shot and through pass. 


Power Bar at bottom right corner

I cannot say enough of what a difference this makes, too much power and your shot goes awry, too little and the defender easily mops up. The keys have been changed and after getting used to it, I believe that it was the right move. The game feels better when played using a gamepad and it’s great that EA Sports included the Microsoft Sidewinder as one of it’s recommended gamepads together with the Gravis Gamepad/PRO.

Graphics
It’s a give and take situation here. The individual team kits and stadiums are faithfully represented thanks to the tie-in with the F.A Carling Premiership. Gamers no longer have to download self-made kits from fan pages to see their teams in their correct kits. The adboards look exactly the same as those placed on the Premiership grounds. The pitch detail has also been improved. 

It now looks great. But the player animation just isn’t as good as before. Their faces resemble those guys without faces in the X-Files. While playing the game I came across many graphical glitches, they’re small enough to go unnoticed but you’ll pick them up after a while. For example, once after the ball was kicked into the net, the netting stretched to the corner flag and back, I’ve never seen anything like that before! On another note, the menus are very well done, everything is sleek and polished. It’s just a pity the in-game graphics aren’t as good.

"It now looks great. But the player animation just isn’t as well done as before. Their faces resemble those guys without faces in the X-Files."


I want more!

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