Club Football 2005 Xbox Review
Codemasters Club Football series is clearly inspired by Pro Evolution Soccer and at a glance it could even be Konami’s seminal football title at play. But actually playing the thing tells a different story. Players appear as if they are sliding on ice rather than trampling over grass. Lets just say for now that the ball physics are in need of some significant work. Even with all these problems, is it still worth joining the club?
The Club Football series certainly has an emphasis on fan devotion, with 21 different games (opposed to 17 last time around) aimed at fans of that particular club, which unsurprisingly play identical to each other. Each one however does feature fan-pleasing memorabilia as well as slightly less exciting club branded menus and loading screens.
The on pitch action looks a bit comical with the aforementioned animation which amusingly gives the impression that the players are gliding around on ice, resulting in proceedings being hard to take seriously. Whilst the ball is seemingly nothing more then a balloon, if the apparent weightlessness is anything to go by. A new addition is the precision control, allowing for tighter control of the ball, which is quite a good idea but hardly a necessity during a match. What Club Football 2005 does beat its rivals with however are its logical set pieces, namely corners and free kicks, which allow you to apply curls and such, sensibly made easier by a diagram, allowing you to choose the exact point of the ball you wish to kick from, satisfyingly authentic.
All the usual modes are included such as leagues and cup matches as well as some slightly less conventional game types. Scenario mode is a nice idea, which puts your team in true situations of the past and challenges you to alter the course of history by perhaps scoring a golden goal or banging in a late equaliser. The career mode allows you to create a virtual version of yourself (or indeed one of your own freaky inventions) and play alongside your heroes. In a nice touch your player will gain experience over time, thus improving his ball skills until eventually, with enough work he’ll transform in to a footballing maestro worthy to be a part of the greatest of teams. You only ever control your creation in this mode, which is unfortunate as much of the time you’ll be running around like a headless chicken, praying for some on ball action. It’s been proved in the past with Libero Grande and company, that this concept simply will never work.
With its near identical control scheme and similar visual style, the engine of the game is obviously a failed attempt at imitating Pro Evolution Soccer’s gloriously responsive engine and whilst the game is not unresponsive, it’s still less so than Konami’s football wonder. The overall graphics look decent enough, but the animation and ball physics are disastrous next to the aforementioned classic series. On the good side there is some impressive player likenesses, which look spookily identical to their real life counterparts. Barry Davis’s Commentary, though better than Pro Evolutions Soccer’s is a bit bland and humourless compared to Fifa’s excellent and often amusing commentary.
Some people may not be bothered by these problems, but those who are looking for a serious football simulation should look elsewhere for their kicks (sorry about that) as the game simply doesn’t resemble the sport in the slightest, not to mention that there are far better footy titles out there such as Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and Fifa 2005. Club Football 2005 is nowhere near the worst football game, but it’s still a long way from being the “beautiful game”. We don’t recommend joining this club.