FIFA Football 2005 (Game Boy Advance) Review

By James Temperton 31.10.2004

Games like this just work on handhelds. Let’s face it, a lot of people like football, a lot of people own a GBA, so the chances are a lot of the people who own a GBA would enjoy a football game on it. You do the maths. So, another year, another FIFA (something of a cliché now), but can this one match its GameCube bigger brother?

What first strikes you about this title is the presentation; it is one very good-looking game. The menu system is slick and very attractive meaning that navigation is quick and easy and unlike the console versions, there are no loading times! As for the actual games, well they are just the prettiest things you ever did see. Whilst the players might be a little lumpy and odd looking, the matches are bought to life by a collaboration of great visuals and excellent sound. No hideous commentary, just crowd sounds and chants to bring on the atmosphere.

There are five main game modes, Friendly allows you to play a game with any team on the game against any team on the game and there is also a multiplayer mode so you can play against a friend if they also have the game. Challenges is a section that lets you play out some of the greatest routs and comebacks of the modern era. From England's 5-1 win over Germany in Munich, to Manchester United's stunning Champions League Final win over Bayern Munich. You can also create your own challenges, so perhaps Liverpool's recent comeback from 2-0 down against Fulham to win 4-2 could go in there?

Screenshot for FIFA Football 2005 on Game Boy Advance

Career is perhaps the most time consuming and engrossing area of the game. Here you take control of a team of your choice for five years and lead them to the top by completing a number of set objectives. Play games, manage your squad, just about everything from the GameCube version, but miniaturised. Competition allows you to play in a number of famous cups from all over the world and then there is the multiplayer we have already mentioned.

Throughout all the menus you get some rather nice music to enjoy, all of which is done to an excellent quality. Whilst it might all sound a little 'Europop' for our liking it is a nice touch and adds even further to this games superb presentation.

Screenshot for FIFA Football 2005 on Game Boy Advance

So, what about how the game actually plays? Basically, the gameplay is excellent. The controls might be a bit confusing at first, simply because the GBA doesn't really have enough buttons to make complex moves containing through balls and one-twos easy, but once you have played a few matches it starts to fall into place. The whole thing plays like a proper football game, you can apply the same ideas and thought processes and moves, it's just very small. The football is good, and speaking as Football fanatics we have no complaints about any of the gameplay fundamentals.

One thing that is a little annoying is scoring. It is very difficult to judge a shot, even when you are clean through on goal. Numerous times we have been one on one with the goalkeeper only to shoot wide...again and again, either that or push it straight to the 'keeper. You can however score very good goals, crossing is a piece of cake and a nice touch comes in players making the perfect runs to get on the end of a crossed ball to hammer it into the top corner on the volley. Replays of goals and the game in general are also top class, letting you see exactly how you did it a certain great move and of course bask in the glory of scoring that brilliant hat-trick.

Screenshot for FIFA Football 2005 on Game Boy Advance

However, even on the most difficult of modes scoring is a little too easy once you work out how to aim at the goal rather than just wide of it every ruddy time. 10-0 scorelines are not uncommon, which takes away from the realism slightly. Thankfully it is great fun to play and the perfect handheld game to sit down and enjoy for a few minutes, or even a few hours.

That old adage 'good football' really rings true here. Quick passing, through balls, crosses, lobs, volleys, headers, mazy-runs; they are all here and all easy to do. So there is no need for the football to be ugly, you can craft your moves and enjoy scoring great goals all the time, or if you like you can do a Chelsea and grind out every result by 1-0. It may be small, but FIFA 2005 on the GBA is perfectly formed.

Screenshot for FIFA Football 2005 on Game Boy Advance

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Top draw stuff. Probably the best football game on the GBA and perfect for any fans of the game that want a quick blast of action every now-and-then. It plays perfectly and whilst it might be difficult to pick out David Beckham over Patrick Viera it looks pretty damn good too. Buy it, shove it in your GBA and enjoy playing 'sexy football', just like Ruud Gullit would...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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