A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that FIFA 2005 features an impressive 15-season career simulation that allows players to build the abilities and staff of a soccer club manager.
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What's it about?
FIFA SOCCER 2005 preserves the many features that distinguish it from most soccer video games. Officially licensed from the governing body of international soccer, FIFA 2005 includes hundreds of real teams and thousands of real players from around the world. Appropriately, the game also features detailed recreations of most notable soccer stadiums, complete with chanting fans, creeping shadows, and home team banners. Expanded career mode allows you to build your team and improve your reputation around the world as you position yourself for a job with soccer's top franchises.
Gameplay includes a few important improvements, including more precise freestyle control (for executing special moves and faking out opponents) and a first touch option, allowing you to control where you play the ball as it first comes off your feet.
Is it any good?
EA has made several improvements, including simplifying the complicated menus that made navigating last year's entry so difficult. From the handful of choices available on the start-up screen, all of the game's plentiful play options are easy to identify and access. Additionally, EA includes the complete Mexican soccer league, a vital and popular organization that has been curiously omitted from the game in the past.
EA's obsession with stats is evident in FIFA 2005 as well: Each player is defined by an assortment of ability measures, match box scores break down the action after every game, and player performance are recorded in statistic tables. All told, FIFA 2005 delivers enough improvements to justify the expense of upgrading to the latest version. And if you're kicking off your video game soccer passion, there couldn't be a better place to jump in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what is most important to their virtual manager: making money, winning games, or building their reputations. Parents can work with their kids on prioritizing the resources they have available -- cash, young players, coaching staff, trades with other teams -- to help achieve their team goals.
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