Virtua Striker 2002 Review (NGC)
The hottest soccer series in arcade history comes home to the Nintendo GameCube in Virtua Striker 2002 by Amusement Vision. Virtua Striker 2002 has been designed exclusively for the GameCube, and features 10 unique modes packed with all-new simulation elements. Choose one of 64 national teams, set up your rosters and formations, and hit the field running. Want even more control? Flex your coaching skills and train your players in a four-year quest for the ultimate glory -- the International Cup. And of course, the trademark fast-and-furious Virtua Striker gameplay is back and better than ever. Score a copy of Virtua Striker 2002 and you'll agree -- the world's most popular game has never been better.
- Developed exclusively for Nintendo GameCube.
- Play with 64 unique national teams in 10 different game modes.
- Fast arcade gameplay combined with new simulation elements.
- Road to International Cup mode lets you train a team from upstart rookies to world-tested champions.
- Hone your skills in the Training mode, which presents different challenges over multiple levels of difficulty.
- League, Tournament, and Ranking modes test your abilities against the world's best teams.
- Design your superstar from the ground up in Edit mode.
- Save your highlight-worthy goals for posterity on a Memory Card.
You have 8 stadiums that look great from a distance but look the exact same during gameplay due to the nature of the camera angle and there are no extras like weather and field degradation. Player animation is fluid but what good is it when you have no idea where your player is going to move. Overall the graphics are nicely done and you can even capture those Kodak moments by saving your goals to the memory card.
Here is where my problem lies. While playing you spend half the game hoping the CPU gets you the right player and then once you get control of the ball you cuss at yourself since you have to do everything in advance to be successful. I found that once I got control of the ball I would back away from the defender and throw lob passes down the field since passing the ball short distances was so frustrating. I did this purely hoping the CPU would notice and give me the control of that player. It's one thing to ask a player to think in advance on what they plan to do, but when you have no idea who it will be that you are controlling it becomes a button mashing fest. Add the fact there is no turbo button and you lose a bit of sanity after a few matches simply on the medium difficulty.
Features are galore in this game and it would be nice to see a few of these implemented in a game I could enjoy playing.
Road to the International Cup
You are the head coach of a national team and you are given points by winning matches and sports federations. You start in the Headquarters where you can schedule matches, put your team through training levels and make saves of your progress. This lasts 4 years and at the end you have the International cup finals. You can schedule from 4-11 weeks in advance from individual matches to overseas tours. You will also be asked by other teams to participate in exhibition games. Also you can make changes to your team from play style to increasing abilities of players via training.
If you don’t want to go through the long process of the RTTIC then you can just enter the International Cup and select the other 32 teams you want entered. Divided into 8 groups you first go through a qualifying stage and the top two advance to the finals. There is also a 3rd place game for those who get to the semifinals and lose out like I did so often.
There are also leagues, tournaments and ranking modes to cover every possible style of game you want to play. You also have a player editor which is pretty detailed and required if you want to have the names of you favorite players, unless you are a fan of the Japanese soccer team which is represented.
Well there is audio in this one and it fails to impress in every way. From the odd sound when you attempt a tackle to limited commentary of "GOAL" & "YOU WIN". Even the chanting was faded out and the background music will torture you into find the slider in the menu navigation to turn it off. I don’t even remember any team based chants from the amount of time I put into the game.
I did not enjoy the Dreamcast version and it was more of the same with this title. It's arcade soccer that in my opinion should be limited to just that "the arcades". I could barely stand playing a match with more than 3 minute halves and in going through the International Tournament I found myself playing keep away from the other team once I got a goal, just to get to the half or the match over with quicker.
Poor control with one camera angle does not make a great game. You can have all the features in the world but if you don’t enjoy the gameplay then it was all for not. A rental at best and my bet is you will end up back at blockbuster a couple of days early to find something else to play in your Gamecube (Like Soccer Slam). Hey at least Sega got one arcade soccer game right this year.