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Luke
27 Apr, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008 Review

360 Review | EA's franchise reigns supreme.
Last year, FIFA 08 took a huge step forward, while Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 took a small step back. This resulted in the two football franchises scoring exactly the same on PALGN (7.0 for those playing at home). Suddenly, it wasn't quite so easy to answer the question of which the best football game was. Here we are six months later, with UEFA EURO 2008, or FIFA 8.5, so has EA's football franchise scored a goal or have they simply failed to qualify?

UEFA EURO 2008 is the official tie in game for the EURO 2008 championships which take place between the 7th and 29th of June. EURO isn't as big as the World Cup, but it's still a huge deal in the football world, with sixteen European teams fighting it out to take the EURO 2008 championship. As the game is based around the EURO 2008 championship there are significantly less teams than in FIFA 08 or the upcoming FIFA 09. Of course, the A League isn't featured in the game, nor are top power house teams such as Brazil or Argentina. It's obviously to be expected, but it's a bit of a shame that the game still retails for full RRP, despite the fact there are less teams.

Thankfully not an angle you can play from.

Thankfully not an angle you can play from.
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Despite the fact that there are less teams, there are plenty of single player and multiplayer gameplay options. Those that just want to have a quick kick can play a quick match in kick off. There is also a chance to play through the UEFA EURO 2008 tournament (while starting at the finals qualifiers or playing a full campaign) as well as an online Euro 2008 knockout cup. There is also a Story of Qualifying mode. The Story of Qualifying takes you through some of the dramatic matches from the UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying. It's like a scenario mode with different matches and it's worth completing because completing all of the levels results in a bonus level being unlocked, which features UEFA EURO 2004. But, the true highlights of the package are the Battle of Nations and the Captain Your Country modes.

At the very beginning of the game players will have to choose a country to represent, (Australia, unfortunately isn't included). After selecting a country to represent, every match played offline and online will contribute to an online leaderboard. So, for every match you play, as long as you are connected online, you will earn points which contribute to the leaderboard. At the end of each day the players and the nations in the top finishing positions will earn bonus points. These points then go toward an overall leaderboard which will determine both a champion player and champion nation. It's a brilliant little concept that will probably appeal a little more to European nations than Australians, but we would love to see it expanded upon for FIFA 09.

The Captain Your Country mode is an expansion of last year's Be a Pro mode. In the captain your country mode you take control of the one player and try and work your way up to the captaincy. First you'll need to create a player, and then work with your team to win. It isn't all about scoring, or even setting up goals, but remaining consistent. The game awards points, based on how well you pass, position, shoot, dribble and tackle and then gives the player a real time rating out of ten, which changes as you perform. By passing consistently, or staying in the correct position you'll have a higher mark, which in turn means you will play better. Once you do work your way up to captain your country, there is a little more control over your team as well, so it's worth the effort. We're also pleased that EA is expanding upon the options for those who like just taking control of the one player.

The celebrations are over the top, but we're not complaining.

The celebrations are over the top, but we're not complaining.
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One of the neat little touches in the game is the gamer controlled celebrations. After a big play or a key goal you can push a button to celebrate (Y for example with raise two arms). Any of the four face buttons will execute a gamer controlled celebration, but there are also advanced celebration controls, for those who really like to gloat after a goal.

Where EURO 2008 really impresses is in the gameplay. The developers have obviously started with the FIFA 08 gameplay, but just about everything feels upgraded in some way, shape or form. The AI is now a lot more realistic and a lot more strategic. The game also adds in weather, which actually makes a difference. If it's raining the ball will obviously move slower, which forces the player to change their approach to a game. Those who decide to play a passing game in the rain will quickly find themselves behind. In comparison to Pro Evolution Soccer, EURO 2008 is a better title, so it is now Konami's turn to catch up.

The presentation is second to none in EURO 2008. The game looks simply phenomenal and the stadiums are faithfully recreated. The players look sensational, the crowd is even more vocal than ever before and the attention to detail is absolutely spectacular. This doesn't mean the title escapes unscathed though, as there are still some random glitches and the crowd could do with a bit of work visually, but overall EURO 2008 is a very polished game.

The stadiums look absolutely fantastic, as does the whole game.

The stadiums look absolutely fantastic, as does the whole game.
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EURO 2008 is a better title than FIFA 08 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. The tweaks to the game have resulted in a more realistic game of soccer and the upgrades are enough that if you go back to FIFA 08 the game does feel inferior. Those that forked out for FIFA 08 when it launched may be a little hesitant to pick up a title that will be made redundant in about six months, but if you've previously shied away from the FIFA series then EURO 2008 is a brilliant re-introduction.
The Score
UEFA EURO 2008 is a fantastic game, and it's amazing how different the title is from FIFA 08. Football fans who are heavily into the tournament should pick this title up immediately.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related UEFA Euro 2008 Content

UEFA EURO 2008 shots
05 Apr, 2008 Celebrate good times.
UEFA Euro 2008 demo up for download
28 Mar, 2008 Available now on the XBLM and PSN.
First UEFA EURO 2008 images released
29 Feb, 2008 Looking like a goal?
13 Comments
5 years ago
Review wrote
Of course, the A League isn't featured in the game, nor are top power house teams such as Brazil or Italy
Er...Italy are in the game. Maybe you meant Argentina?

For the record, the Netherlands and Wales are NOT licensed (fake kits and fake names).

Review wrote
The AI is now a lot more realistic and a lot more strategic.
I disagree to some extent. When playing in Team mode the game feels EXACTLY like FIFA 08 to me. In Captain Your Country (or Be A Pro for one off games) however, i agree that its a whole different game and i'm very impressed with the AI, especially your team-mates on offense.

I'm still disappointed with the lack of strategy options too. The only new option regarding tactics i've seen is "Counterattack" and it works very well when set on. But its really about time we see things like centre backs being brought up for corners and wingers switching flanks, without having to pause and edit the lineup especially since its not possible to do so in CYC mode (until you become captain).

Overall its still a very fun game, but most of my time is spent in CYC mode due to the average AI in Team mode.
5 years ago
^ Argh i did mean Argentina (or any other team NOT in the game).

I'm interested in your opinions though Hindu... I do think Captain Your Country is a mode that needs to be in FIFA 09.
5 years ago
Luke wrote
I do think Captain Your Country is a mode that needs to be in FIFA 09.
Agreed, however i think they should let us be able to change management settings even if we are not currently captain (so basically a season mode for Be A Pro). It can get very frustrating in UEFA if you are a goal down from the 30th minute on, but your CPU manager doesn't make subs or any tactical changes until the last 10 minutes.
5 years ago
Euro 2008?
I can't wait to beat the Germans as Eng-
Oops, I just realised, we're not in Euro 2008...
icon_cry.gif
Now I really hate Steve McClaren
5 years ago
The gameplay sounds impressive but I've never been a fan of paying full RRP for any of the UEFA games as they don't offer as many teams to play with than other games out there. I'll most likely pick it up when it drops in price.
5 years ago
Ken_Gooner wrote
Euro 2008?
I can't wait to beat the Germans as Eng-
Oops, I just realised, we're not in Euro 2008...
icon_cry.gif
Now I really hate Steve McClaren
I know it sounds stupid because its the gameplay that counts but I'm not going to get Euro 08 despite how good it looks because England isn't included. Might try out the demo though just to see what might be happening in Fifa 09.
5 years ago
England IS in the game, they're just not in the cup icon_razz.gif
5 years ago
Luke wrote
England IS in the game, they're just not in the cup icon_razz.gif
How can you smile at our demise? icon_wink.gif
But yeah, i still feel somewhat traumatised by the croatia game.
5 years ago
Good review, but still interesting in how you found the features

This "Captain Your Country" is new to me - is it just sort of a bs feature that people will never use?
From the sounds of it it could be insanely boring (playing a full game as an (e.g.) defender where you have to stay back near the goals?) or pretty kickass and an almost game in itself where you build up your little character. How'd you find it?


P.S Rosicky looks like he's impersonating Jesus with a goatee, Koller looks like he's eyeing Rosicky's behind, and Galasek looks like he's just found out his wallet has been stolen
5 years ago
I've never played fifa 2008 on the next generation platforms and have never played a single player fifa game since fifa 2004, so i wouldn't know. But there is a similar feature in PES where you set the cursor to fixed or something. It would be boring because the best captains are the defenders (Bobby Moore, Tony Adams, Franz Beckanbaeur or however you speell it, ect)

You must have alot of nerve to take the mick out of Rosicky in front of an Arsenal fan icon_wink.gif
5 years ago
Yeah I think it's an interesting concept but question the one player only thing and how playable that would be (for more than 10 mins)

Have you ever seen Rosicky with a goatee but?
5 years ago
gresszilla wrote
This "Captain Your Country" is new to me - is it just sort of a bs feature that people will never use?
From the sounds of it it could be insanely boring (playing a full game as an (e.g.) defender where you have to stay back near the goals?) or pretty kickass and an almost game in itself where you build up your little character. How'd you find it?
Well no-ones forcing you to play as a defender (unless you are going for the "Lead from the Back" achievement), but i've played as a full back a few times, and even though you won't be as invloved or on the ball as a striker or centre mid, you still get plenty of chances to prove yourself as a defender, and in offense by joining your team's midfield and strikeforce when they are in the final third. I haven't played as a centre-half yet so i can't comment on that...it'll certainly be a lot more difficult to get a high rating though, since you have to rely on tackling success over shooting and passing.

I think Captain Your Country is easily the best feature of the game, but its certainly best when you play as a centre mid or striker where you are heavily involved throughout each match.
5 years ago
hinduguru wrote
I think Captain Your Country is easily the best feature of the game, but its certainly best when you play as a centre mid or striker where you are heavily involved throughout each match.
Sweet as, so it's a feature that's actually worth playing. Might try pick this up then
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  17/04/2008 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Electronic Arts
Genre:
  Sports
Year Made:
  2008

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