UEFA Champions League 2004-2005
Fifa 2005, Uefa Champions League 2004-2005 and Fifa Street are all soccer games from EA which have found their way to the market within 5 months. EA keeps pouring out new soccer games and who will stop them ? Personally I find it all a bit over the top and they’re seriously milking their cow even at such a level that you start to doubt the quality and the use. Others on the other hand are pleased with the variation but EA doesn’t care at all as long as their games keep bringing in money.
At Fragland they’re not really keen on reviewing this type of games so I got the “honor” to get a closer look at Uefa Champions League 2004-2005!
You don’t need to be an Einstein to know what EA’s next title will offer. Indeed, you need to win the presitgious soccer gala and conquer the cup with the 2 big ears. Of course that isn’t all as this title offer more, luckily! In the intro you’ll find what are probably the best graphics of the entire game as it’s just like you’re following a match on your television screen. Not that I’m implying that the graphics are bad, but they certainly could be better like in FIFA 2005.
As I said, winning the Champion’s League is only a small part. You can start as a trainer, do a season and fullfil missions. This brings us to our first downpoints: you can only play with an English, French, German, Italian or Spanish team. If you thought about playing with Ajax, PSV or Anderlecht, think again and look for another game.
Difference with FIFA 2005 are the missions you get as trainer. The first one you’ll always get is “Everything or Nothing” where you need to play the last game of last season to be able to enter the Champion’s League. If you loose, the game is over and you restart. If you win you get a couple of other missions to finally be able to win the league.
To keep variation present, every mission is different and you get money for every one you’ve succesfully terminated. As such there’s one where you HAVE to sell a defender, midfielder and attacker and HAVE to buy three new ones in their place. Don’t throw your XBox out of the window if you don’t succeed as you don’t have to do them again if you’ve finished the first. By doing these missions you can also unlock 25 attributes including a soccer from the 1930’s.
Major disappointment for me was the gameplay. No radar to be found and when you play there are black strokes on top and bottom of your screen. It looks like you’re watching a game on tv and EA must have thought that would be fun. Unlike me however as I found it irritating as hell not to have an entire screen at my disposal. Even worse was the AI, your opponent ticking the ball in a triangle all the time and not even having the possibility like in PES to block 2 people makes it very hard to take over the ball. Even on “Amateur” level it’s a hellish job to get past the opponent’s defense so be prepared to practise a lot if you want to make a decent impression.
EA did succeed to improve the referee, he can now also make mistakes just like in real life. Whistling a corner or a penalty while he shouldn’t have, he more human than ever…
The devs also managed to create a suiting atmosphere, the EA Sports Talk Radio. This can only be heard in season mode when you’re done playing a game. Listeners and fans that call to the station to voice their opinion, commentaries that give their idea’s before and after the match, all properties that make a nice and original radio.
The graphics are decent but could use an upgrade. FIFA 2005 looked a lot more beautiful to me. The players and stadium are recognisable but the audience looks like one big happy family as they all look the same and all move in the same direction. Maybe EA should wait a little longer before sending a new game onto the market.
Uefa Champions League 2004-2005 is a decent soccer game, but people who own PES4 or FIFA 2005 surely don’t need to get out to buy this one. The missions and the EA Sports Talk Radio are nice and bring some variation while the referee has become a bit more human which makes things more realistic. The irritating gameplay and graphics that could be improved downgrade the overall experience.