A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that aside from the blatant commercialism, this is a great game. Because there are multiple levels, younger players may have trouble navigating the game at first -- you may need to demonstrate how to do this.
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What's it about?
Showcasing hundreds of international teams and thousands of real-life players including superstars David Beckham, Ronaldo, and Thierry Henry, FIFA SOCCER 2004 is the most accurate representation of the complicated world of global soccer ever to hit a gaming console. If you're looking for a quick game, select a team from international leagues or suit up with the national teams to simulate their own World Cup competition. Players also can play in career mode, managing the team both on and off the field.
FIFA 2004 features an impressive range of player controls that mirror the moves of professional soccer players. A quick tap on the controller will trap a ball in motion, while kicking options allow players to execute quick passes on the ground or scoop the ball into the air. Off-the-ball control allows you to control players away from the action and position them for strategic attacks, and a freestyle feature allows you to use fancy footwork to beat challenging defenders.
Is it any good?
The sport simulation experts at Electronic Arts have outdone themselves with the most realistic and flexible sport video game in recent memory. The depth of FIFA 2004 does create some problems. Multiple levels of menus can make navigating the game frustrating. And control of the tactical elements of the game -- such as defining player movement during penalty kicks and the use of defined plays -- is a bit overwhelming to use. Players with only a passing interest in soccer may be discouraged by the complexity of FIFA SOCCER 2004, but those who stick with it find reason to return again and again.
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