It’s been two years since I’ve done one of these, but to be honest, since WWE All Stars, the PS2 hasn’t gotten anything aside from yearly sports games, so I decided to wait until the last of them come out, and then review them, since they’ll be the same anyway.
I think I can safely say the 2014 editions will be the PS2s last, considering the PS2 has stopped production in Japan, and FIFA 14 on the PS2 was only released in PAL regions.
These reviews are coming from a guy who doesn’t follow football religiously, I watch the big national matches, that’s about it. I enjoy playing the FIFA and PES games every year though, especially with friends, on the newer machines. Don’t b*tch at me if I don’t cover everything.
My brother has FIFA 14 on PS3, so I had a few games to see what that’s like, My friend has the game on PS4 as well, I’ve played a game or two when I was over at his house. It’s amazing when you think about it, here is the brand new PS4, just came out a few months ago, getting FIFA 14, with a new engine, and cutting edge graphics (well, not really), but on the other hand, here is the PS2, a 13 year old console, getting it’s version of FIFA 14.
So what’s FIFA 14 on the PS2 like, well, have you played FIFA 13? No? How about FIFA 12? FIFA 11? FIFA 10? 09? You played FIFA 09? Yeah? Good, Well, it’s the same as that! They’ve changed nothing for the past 5 years! The only thing they’ve changed was of course the teams and kits, and from what I hear, they didn’t even do a good job of that either! At least this year, they’re giving it to us straight, but dubbing the PS2, and other versions, the “Legacy Edition”.
Let’s start with the presentation, because that’s the first thing thrown at you in any game, and all I have to say about the presentation is… What presentation? You get the EA sports logo, you choose a language, and then the title screen comes up.
For an actual match, it’s the same as any football game, the commentators introduce themselves, and tells us who’s playing, shows us players in the back walking out, and shows us what I assume are flashbacks, they flash into a black and white sequence where the players are celebrating, I’m not sure what that’s about.
How about the graphics? In the main game, they’re nothing special, the models and textures look kind of nice, but not mind blowing, it seems EA attempted to give the players a more cartoony look, like they did with the Wii FIFA games, I didn’t like the style there, and I don’t like it here. The framerate is smooth for the most part, although it has is share of slowdowns. I say in the main game, the quality differs in another mode, I’ll get to that later.
The game of course supports Widescreen (in this day and age, it’s a necessity).
It also supports 60hz, but the feature is hidden, you can get to it by holding X and Triangle at the language screen, it looks horrible, though, the text is unreadable, don’t bother with 60hz! It’s okay to bother with the widescreen though, it does the job.
From what I hear, it doesn’t support 480p, FIFA on the PS2 never did in PAL regions, and since FIFA 14 is PAL only, no 480p for anyone!
How’s the gameplay? Well, as you’d imagine, it feels outdated compared to the current/next-gen consoles, the game feels stiffer, animations seem robotic, you can’t do conditioning, and sprinting sucks, as you only turn at 45 degree angles. The game also seems slightly slower on the PS2.
Of course there are no physics engines, or sliders, none of that! The PS2 probably couldn’t handle the former, but I think it can do better than what we got, but on the other hand, being in the state the PS2 is in, I can’t exactly imagine there being a nagging demand for a more faithful port of the game.
It isn’t even as fun as the early PS2 FIFAs, I have FIFA 2003, which I played for comparison’s sake, and 2003 was a lot smoother faster, and more fun than FIFA 14, my friend, who also played both games, agreed with me.
So what game modes does it have? Well, it has none of what you have in the FIFA you’re familiar with, of course, it has not Ultimate Team, or any sort of online modes, it does have career mode, which has been largely untouched since whenever EA have stopped caring the PS2 so much, because the career mode, or at least the core gameplay of it, seems mostly the same as the newer versions.
For those who haven’t tried it, you create a player, and you play as that player in the team of your choice. The camera is different in the mode than others (on default) in the sense that it’s pointing to the goals and is with your player at all times. A cool thing about the camera, though, is that when you approach the goal with the ball, it zooms in the player, and shakes, which makes scoring the goal more intense, I love it!
How far you’ll go in career, depends on how well you play, obviously, but it’s not just about how many goals you score, there is a bar that you have to fill up, I’m going to call this the “trust meter”, it fills up as you do good things, such as staying in your position, successful passes, intercepts, assists, and of course, scoring goals. It goes down, however, if your passes get intercepted, call for a pass at the wrong time, and for not staying in your position, The game is very strict about your position, luckily, you can just hold L2 to automatically run to your position when you don’t have the ball, which is convenient.
You also get objectives to do every match, such as doing skills, scoring a certain amount of goals, etc., which further increase your chances of ranking up and then playing for national teams. The problem with this is that the objectives remain the same regardless of your position, I’ve had times where I’ve played in defence, and the game asked me to score a hat trick…
The graphics in this mode look like p*ss, the models look like they came out of an Atari Jaguar game, most of them don’t even have textures, some kit have stripes, but nothing beyond that, they don’t even have any faces! The framerate as well is very unstable, despite the bad visuals, it’s 60 frames at peak, but slows down more often than not, it even sometimes goes down to 10 fps! Even when the game is running the full 60, the animations look very choppy, so it doesn’t feel smooth.
As you play through the career, you earn points, which can be spent on buying kits, stadiums, footballs, and more celebrations, you can also buy the Classic XI and World XI teams, and a cool little feature that I’ll get to later.
The career mode is actually quite good fun, even my brother enjoyed it when he had a shot of it, but because they haven’t done anything to it in years, I stopped caring about it after FIFA 12…
There’s also “Lounge Mode” which seems like a league which is played by two or more players, I can actually imagine this being fun, but sadly, after playing one match, nobody wanted to play the game with me again…
As for other modes, there’s also a season mode, which is the same as career, only you control the whole team, a tournament mode and a practice mode.
That’s really it for game modes, EA have outright lied to us about the modes in this game, the back of the game’s box said the game had “Historical Challenges” and a “Be a Pro” mode, but I haven’t seen either in the game, “Be a Pro” turned out to be another name for “Career Mode” that wasn’t used in the game. It seems they just copied and pasted the text from another version onto the PS2 box…
How about the sound? As always, I didn’t like EAs choice of music for the soundtrack, and the sound effects and commentary are what you’d expect, they’re all quite good quality, actually, easily the best thing about this game. One cool thing about the game, is the ability to unlock “Funny SFX” in the career mode store (That was the “little thing” I was talking about). When you do, it’s actually quite funny, and when I played the previous games with friends, we had a laugh with it, for a couple of matches…
Those are my thoughts on FIFA 14, here are my scores.
Presentation – 4.5/10
Graphics – 7/10
Gameplay – 5.8/10
Sound – 8/10
Overall – 63%
Overall, I didn’t expect the game to break any boundaries, but apart from the career mode, the game isn’t even fun for a PS2 FIFA game, you’re just as well getting a used copy of an older FIFA game, which go for about 50p-£2 in most game stores.
Moving on to PES 2014, I also have the PC of the game, so we can compare. Why didn’t I get FIFA 14 on the PC? Origin. That’s why.
That fact doesn’t help much, because PES 2014 is, like FIFA 14, a rehash of the older PES game, but with updates rosters, but Konami seem to have put a little more effort with this game, the menus have actually changed slightly, and by that, I mean the intro movie has changed, and the actual menu has changed location slightly, but still more than what EA did with FIFA 14.
The graphics look nicer, more detailed, and also runs just fast, but goes down to 30 when it goes to the celebrations. It’s not mind-blowing, it doesn’t exactly push the PS2 to it’s limits, but it’s better than FIFA 14.
One problem, it doesn’t support widescreen, really Konami? In 2014, Where just about everyone owns a a widescreen TV, most even have HD, you have no excuse Konami, no excuse! It does support 60hz, and it’s much better than FIFA 14, for one thing, you can read the text in 60hz!
The game plays, in my opinion, much better than FIFA 14, if you’ve played any PES game on PS2 (they’re all on PS2, you must’ve come across one of them in your life, surely), you know what to expect. It’s more fluent than FIFA, the running is also much better, because you can turn sharper than 45 degrees!
The modes available are not far off from FIFA, in fact, it’s just about the same.
Their equivalent to Career/Be a Pro mode is “become a legend”, the create a player seems to have more customisation options, you can even give your player sunglasses! The leagues you can choose to be in are more limited, the game didn’t have the SPL, so I had to choose La Liga instead…
Become a legend is similar to Be a Pro, the camera is facing the goal, following the player at all times. Commanding other players isn’t as easy as FIFA 14, in FIFA 14, you press the pass, through ball, shoot or cross button is press, the player with the ball instantly does that action, where as in PES, the player waits until they’re in a good spot to do the action before doing it, so it’s more realistic, but sometimes, you never get the ball when you ask for a pass, that can get annoying.
The graphics are pretty close to the original game this time around, only that the mode runs at 30 fps the whole time, which blows!
Other than that, it’s the same as career mode.
There’s also World Team, which seems like FIFA’s season mode, only you get the choice to create your own team, (me and my brother used to love doing that back with the older PES games!).
There’s also Champions League mode, which I imagine is a recreation is the Champions League, I’ve never actually seen nor followed one, so I can;t be certain.
The other modes are more-a-less the same,there’s World Player mode, which is basically Become a legend, but you play as a real player, and community mode, which seems like FIFA’s Lounge Mode, but endless, and you can enter your star sign. It’s a minimum of 2 players, and again, nobody wanted to play this with me, so I couldn’t be sure.
The music isn’t licensed like FIFA’s was, in fact, the soundtrack was different from the PC version, the PC version has… opera music… the PS2 version has more generic football tunes. I think I prefer the PS2 version’s music out of the 3. Again, sound effects are nice and clear, and the commentary is the usual PES commentary, I’ve always enjoyed PES’ commentary, they’re much funnier than FIFA’s and just better to listen to, and PES 2014 changed none of that.
Finally, the presentation is a lot better in PES, it’s not too in your face, but by no means a lazy job, well, apart from the fact it hasn’t changed much in the past few years. it gives a much better atmosphere than FIFA in my opinion.
That concludes my review, scores please!
Presentation – 6/10
Graphics – 7.5/10
Gameplay – 6.3/10
Sound – 8/10
Overall – 70%
Overall, I think PES 2014 is pretty good. Unlike FIFA, I think there’s a reason to get PES 2014, people have been telling me how they loved the classic PES PS2 gameplay, as did I, and almost feel nostalgic for it. PES 2014 may have a purpose, if you’re feeling nostalgic for that classic PES gameplay, but feel awkward about the idea of getting an outdated football game, and also want up to date rosters, then PES 2014 might just be the game for you!
So that concludes my review of both games, and indeed the Playstation 2 itself, as we say our final goodbyes, the Playstation 2 was, in my opinion, an amazing console, it was these for almost my entire childhood, and took up most my time then as well.
I’ll admit, I don’t agree with how they got their initial success (by adding a DVD player, and advertised that fact), but I’m impressed by how long it lasted. Even if you were a Dreamcast, a Gamecube or an Xbox fan, there’s not denying the PS2s success, a console with a lifespan outlived only by the Atari 2600 and Neo Geo.
It’s amazing to think that the same console that had gotten FIFA and PES 14 had also given us games we now feel nostalgic to, remember Tony Hawk’s underground? Enter the Matrix? Sonic Heroes? Airblade? Klonoa 2? Dark Cloud? These games seem so far back, so long ago since many of us had played them, yet they were on the same machine. I have so many good memories of the PS2, and I will certainly never forget it.
Goodbye PS2, you will be missed…