UEFA Euro 2004 Xbox Review

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Every couple of years you receive a new football game covering either the World Cup football event or in this case the UEFA European Football Tournament.

What this is though is not a new game but rather an improvement over the last incarnation of the latest FIFA Football game with the changes needed to make it have the feel of the tournament it is covering.

UEFA Euro 2004 is exactly this, an enhanced version of the latest FIFA, but you have to look past this the best you can as a quick way for the publisher to get a quick buck and instead concentrate on the gameplay and anything else that may have been improved upon.

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FIFA 2004 which basically this game is built upon was a good game but lacked much more interest over the previous title to really push the score up. Hoping for something special I insert the game to find very little presentation at all. No usual intro video which results in a surprise for me as you normally expect on with these titles but no you find yourself at the menu in a flash. The menu system and overall presentation involved around it is quite dismal to be honest not exactly inspiring you and convincing that you are in a major football event that only happens once every four years.

So presentation not up to scratch so let’s take on board the graphics. Here there have been some notable improvements and this is shown very clearly in the facial detail of the players representing their country. All your football favourites will look spot on to their real life counterpart and this deserves some congratulation. The stadiums look good although the crowd has those now becoming annoying flags that wave so unnaturally around the stadium which just points out how little has changed with the actual surroundings other then token gestures around to show the fact that this is indeed a very popular event.

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A statement on the box brags about variable weather conditions, now in my opinion this is something that has been missing for far too long and I would love to see some Xbox-enhanced water on the pitch, mud spots, particle effects and so on to really improve the weather and the game itself. To say I was disappointed with what I received here would be the understatement of the year. There are very few weather options and these include daytime clear, night-time clear and night time rain. Wow what a selection, but without being too cynical I ran the night-time rain mode and I could not help laughing. It was so poor, no attempt to achieve any of the already mentioned enhancements I would have liked to have seen and instead you get the even more annoying than the flags around the stadium are stick lines pounding the pitch with no effect. Variable weather.. Do not make me laugh.. Seriously do not make me laugh…

I have just realised how disappointed I am with this game as I write this review and have also noted that since I completed the main competition mode how little playability value I have received from this title. On completion of the main mode the ending is as boring as they get although there are some other modes such as Home and Away which uses the aggregate system to work out the final result. Also fantasy mode where you select players from any squad to create your dream team. Other then that there is very little left to do.

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There are some new moves in the game and at least set pieces such as corners, free kicks have been made a tad easier for the gamer, but still require some improvement to totally convince me anymore. Adding moves like the bicycle kick is not going to get me all excited although when pulling one off and scoring was nice to see, but not something you buy a game for.

Commentators have their usual repetitive style and this game only has a few more recordings to remark on the tournament. Still they have these long discussions when you are playing that when you actually might find one interesting they are cut off as another bit of commentary is played which is just plain daft and loses all sense of realism. Music is just as dull as FIFA 2004 and instead of using already released music why not write some of your own music now.. Please.. Instrumental music I would prefer over this mix now.

Listen to your National Anthems, or should I say find yourself leaning towards your speakers as you try and make it out above the rest of the noise. Something else that could have been executed very well and another opportunity missed which seems to sum up this game to a tee.

Conclusion

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This is quite a lazy attempt at a football game and a big disappointment. The usual improvements have been made to show they have the license of the event, but only token gestures have been made making this game soulless.

Rating: 2.5 / 5