on 6 November 2002
When I heard about fifa 2003, and its supposed vast improvemnts on its predecessors, I was very excited. And yes, much of the game has improved quite a lot, but WHY did they have to get rid of that fun feature of creating your own players and teams. On the previous FIFAs, I used to make teams of me and my friends, but I was quite, well very, disappointed when I bought the game and discovered that this option wasn't available. Another thing which confused me was this new set piece model. It's a lot more compicated than the old one, and i now see David Beckham booting a free-kick in a scorable position, 20 metres over the bar, and thats when I press the "shoot" key when the pointer's over the green bit (you'll see what I mean if you buy the game). And what really does my head in, is that now, for some reason, there is just one button for heading the ball, so you get no choice at all on how you want your player to head the ball, and that doesn't seem to work most of the time anyway.
However, not everything has changed for the worse. The graphics are now, comparatively, fantastic, and every player who you would recognise in real life, you would recognise in the game. One example is Ruud Van Nistelrooy, he is instantly recognisable, as his face and hair are spot on. Edgar Davids now has his protective glasses, and they even took the time to get Beckham's hair absolutely right (but no doubt that'll be out-dated 10 times over by next month by his ever-changing hairstyles).
Another interesting feature, now, is that you can choose whether the two competing teams are wearing their home or away strips, so now you don't end up with strip-clashes, or the home team wearing their away strip.
And now, for those people who like to sit back and admire their fantastic work, EA Sports have added a new, interesting feature which shows the highlights of the match at the end of your match, so you can admire that 40-yard screamer time, and time again. The game is now presented in a very TV-style way, you will notice this by the match highlights and the arrows which appear during set-pieces to say how many yards out you are, and the corrosponding team badges that appear at that teams end at kick-off.
They have also added a brand new game mode called "Total club Championship" in which you can pick one of Europe's top 20 clubs, and play a tournament against the other 19, but im yet to try out that game mode.
I wouldn't say, on the whole, that the game-play has improved so much in this version compared to the others, but if you want it so as you can play a game with all the updated transfers that have taken place over the last year, and the brand new graphics and features, then I reccomend that you buy it.