This is Football 2005
I stick with my quote. Sports games are more fun when you play them on a big tv screen with controllers than when you have to start hammering on keyboard with two. That’s why I bought, about three years ago, This is Football 2002. Fun I had with that, you can’t imagine ! Then came the exams and all form of entertainment was pushed aside. With result as I passed and also my fellow gamer could free up time again to game. Unfortunately, after an hour we noticed the challenge had gone and also the repetitive comment had lost much of its humoristic effect.
On the receipt of this reviewing disc the memories started to come up again and full of enthousiasm my good friend – who wishes to remain anonymous – and I decided to take on the latest of the TIF-family. We expected it to have grown out of its childshoes but that was a bummer. We did evolve and it didn’t make the gameplay a lot more fun. This reacts still as slow as it did before, which means you need to practice a lot to be able to pass or tackle fluently, while it should feel like a second nature.
No, the minor adjustments that have been made cannot be found by me and are therefore no nameworthy improvements or renovations compared to the earlier version(s).
Everything looks pretty good, the stadiums are beautiful and the audience looks definitely a lot better than a year ago. That doesn’t mean however, just like in previous editions, everything starts to shake when you attack quickly and unexpectedly, something that makes dribbling and passing near the goal rather difficult. After all, you’re bashing the controller with full conviction and all input needs to be computed in real-time and not after a while because then you’ll get the exact opposite – bad – effect. Sliding when the attacker is long gone, kicking towards the goal after having shot the ball away, aren’t one-time happenings. This leads to huge frustration when the coincidence falls and you do a fault because of that and get punished with a red card or penalty.
The commentary from those early days is still in my head. “Far side” or “You shouldn’t give him such a chance” created endless laughing parties. The surprise when I heard the voice of Tom Van Landuyt during the first game was megalomanic. I’m quite fond of his acting, Team Spirit and its sequel managed to convince me enough to go to the movies to see them. All in all that may have been more because of my interest in Flemish cinema than the accompanying man Jan Verheyen. I don’t want to talk about Team Spirit – The series but I think Tom Van Landuyt got his role as commentary for TIF2005 only because of his work for the commercial television. If he would have done his job properly, that would have been a nice extra, but now it’s all but that.
His intonation is wrong, missing or laughable and to make things worse, he even contradicts himself. As an example, he says: “And we leave this exciting and intensive first half” and seconds later you’ll hear him say “We didn’t really see much action yet”.
The rest of the sound effects aren’t bad but not exemplary either. What does bring a huge renewing is the online mode. Here you can of course play against other gamers and they’re present with a lot on the different servers. Really interesting it becomes when you’re playing at home with two in a team along with two others and go up against four other players that are also convinced of the use of netplay. The playing itself is very fluid and you don’t experience and network slowdowns. A true added value.
Less added value but the more revolutionary is the possibility to have a player put on your face with the help of the EyeToy camera. By making a couple of profile shots some ingenious gamefunction can make a 3D model of your head, to afterwards put it on a player. This looks simple but my guess is that this uses a very flexible code and optimalisation. Also this is a nice extra.
Next to that you’ll find in the menu all standard options and game modes. You will have to search very good though as the text is so unreadable that you’ll either have to guess what could be there or decypher it bit by bit. This is extra irritating in the chat room where you can challenge an opponent of discuss the game with him.
The online mode makes TIF2005 more interesting than its predecessors but the game still has the same problems as its older brothers. The gameplay misses something, certainly when compared to what other developers have done. Graphically things are ok, except for the occasional framedrops. The audio commentary does bring the game down though. TIF2005 didn’t manage to convince me of its good intentions so other and better. The PS2-version of Ajax Club Football maybe or otherwise the established values FIFA 2005 and Pro Evolution Soccer 4