|System: X360, PS3, PC, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Canada||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 19, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Before you begin a match, UEFA offers control options for classic analog trick setup, new analog trick setup, and a few other button setups. The main menu feels slightly dated with cheesy "shooshing" sound effects as you advance to the next screen. In fact, there isn't a whole lot new about this game at all for those familiar with FIFA tiles from the past several years. The commentating by Clive Tyldesley is as repetitive and dull as usual, though perhaps a tad more in-depth. The game runs on the same FIFA engine, so there isn't much new in terms of gameplay. The replay setup at the end of a half is exactly the same as always; music plays as the goals and near-goals are shown in slow motion. Animations of the players leaving the field look as though they haven't been touched either, as it shows an aerial view of the field and then closer shots of the players walking together conversing about the game. That being said, FIFA is arguably the best soccer title on the market, so you can't exactly fault EA for sticking to the same formula. However, not being able to clearly differentiate this game from FIFA titles offers little reason for a casual soccer gamer to purchase UEFA Euro 2008.
Some of the animations are nice, such as a little friendly pushing around by opponents between plays and celebrations where teammates run up and shine your shoes when you score. Comically, it's obvious this is intended for a European audience, as Euro 2008 features about all the European pop and techno anyone born on this side of the pond can handle. Scenery and stadiums look very much as you would expect. EA does a good job of capturing the live atmosphere, and while it hasn't changed a lot in several years, the large fields and crowded stadiums look nice on the small PSP screen.
There is something about the PSP handheld that just seems to work well with soccer games, which is probably why there are so many being released as of late. But if you already own some sort of EA soccer game for the PSP already, UEFA 08 isn't going to offer a whole lot of difference from those titles. The more casual soccer fan may actually feel slightly ripped off due to the immense similarities.
In all, this is a fun game. I enjoyed playing it, and it would definitely make a healthy addition to my collection. However, it just doesn't have enough of its own identity to make it a necessity. FIFA not only offers almost exactly the same gameplay, but more varieties of countries to play either with or against from around the globe. And to a casual soccer fan such as myself, I really don't see the need to have both titles in my collection.
CCC Freelance Writer