As it is only about a month since I reviewed David O'Leary's Total Soccer 2000, I though this would be a prime opportunity to see how Fifa 2000 faired against another great GBC football game. The Fifa games have had a long stretch in the football gaming area, so you always expect a certain amount of quality when you buy a football game with the Fifa logo attached. I have to say though, that at first glance, I thought the game was a bit of a let down, mainly I found the view really hard to get on with. Luckily though, it does grow on you over time, and you do get used to the view. Once this hurdle is jumped, you can really start enjoying all the great extra's EA have managed to pack into this feature rich game......
The game itself uses a very much different view to Total Soccer 2000, this view was more of the standard view that you see on the various Fifa football games on the other platforms, whereas Total Soccer used more of a Sensible Soccer view. I would even go as far to say that it isn't too unlike the mid/early 90's Fifa footy games for the PC, which is pretty good going for the GBC.
Returning to the game in hand, I was quite impressed at the look of the whole start up sequence. It's nice to see a small amount of animation in those dreary initial credits. I don't usually talk about the start up bits, but these were quite nice and that's that.
Enough of the boring bits, back to the game itself. Fifa 2000 has an absolute plethora of options, in game and out of game. The biggest difference between this game and others such as Total Soccer (apart from the view that is), was the ability to play indoor matches. In this mode normal indoor rules apply, so it was a five a side where you were able to bounce the ball of the wall and such. This was easily my favourite part of Fifa 2000. In addition to the indoor and outdoor modes, other things such as the ability to play with/against over 60 international teams and being able to change your teams tactics and strategies. All of these things give the player a great choice on playing the style of game that they want to. Other, more cosmetic bits in the game were the nice use of colours and the funky little animations, which played whenever a goal was scored. There were loads of other things such as the different types of matches you were able to play (league, torny, playoff etc) and such, which are all part and parcel of most half-decent footy games these days.
Okay so that was the good stuff what about the bad, well here goes.
The angle of view and all of the stuff on the screen at once made the actual matches not play as smoothly as Total Soccer and actually was the deciding factor in this game getting very frustrating. I think this was probably down to the fact that the Gameboy colour just doesn't have the power to process everything that is needed to play using the detail involved in Fifa 2000. The graphical detail for each single player in Fifa 2000 was far greater than in Total Soccer and this was probably the reason why Fifa 2000 struggled to maintain the gameplay that Total Soccer seemed to achieve. This maybe down to the bad programming of the game or just that the guys/gals involved in the making of Fifa 2000 for the Gameboy wanted just too much "in-game", who knows? Although the indoor games didn't seem to suffer as much from the lack of smoothness in the game, and was probably why I liked this mode so much. I guess this was down to the fact that having only 10 players and a much smaller pitch meant much less stress on the machine. Other annoying things in this game were things such as; you can't see enough of the pitch at once, so it is difficult to do much more than get a single man to charge up the field. There is no action replay. No save your progress using batteries only with a password, (that definitely loses Fifa a point or two). All these problems make it quite hard for a starter to play anything resembling a decent game.
So, if your wondering which game is better, Fifa 2000 or Total Soccer 2000, well they are both pretty good games so it is basically down to which style you prefer. I like both views, (but I also have both games, so I'm sorted either way!) but I think that Total Soccer 2000 just nabbed it in my view. What won it for Total Soccer, or actually lost it for Fifa, was generally not being as playable in the actual games. Everything seemed much more hectic and much less smooth compared to Total Soccer, even after playing for a while it never really seemed to come close in playability terms. Although the inclusion of the indoor game did recover Fifa 2000 some of the lost ground, as it was a nice change from the usual 11 per side out door matches you normally get. Still you cant really fault either games too much, if they could just put all the great features of both games into one, well then you'd then have something to shout about. It's worth getting, but I would consider Total Soccer 2000 before you buy.