UEFA Euro 2008
From: EA Sports
For: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Simulation, Sports
ESRB Rating: Everyone (6+)
UEFA Euro 2008
Focusing exclusively on the quadrennial football tournament of European nations, UEFA Euro 2008 is actually the second professional soccer game from EA Sports this year. This seems to have afforded the sports game giant the opportunity to both fix what was broke in FIFA 2008 and implement a few new features, rather that forcing fans to wait a whole year to hope against hope that, one day, EA will actually get all of it right and put all of it in one package. Hey, one can dream.
New in UEFA Euro 2008 is a "Captain your Country" mode where you create a player and control him throughout all of the qualification games -- similar to the "Be a Pro" mode introduced in FIFA 08 -- and if you perform well enough, you can be named -- you guessed it -- Captain of your Country.
Also new to Euro 2008 -- new to any soccer title, in fact -- is the celebration control that enables you to celebrate each goal in your own style, as opposed to watching some pre-scripted victory dance shenanigans over and over.
Returning to the series -- or rather not
returning to the series yet again -- is the aggravating lack of simulated games where you let the computer decide the outcome of a particular match-ups you don't particularly want to play. It's a pretty common feature in most sports games, but not here; a glaring omission and totally lame.
Speaking of omissions, also back is UEFA Euro's complete lack of club teams, or anything resembling regular season play. Sure, it's a soccer game focusing on just the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, but seeing as FIFA games include everything soccer, the kitchen sink, and
let you create a Euro Tourney and
a World Cup, Euro 2008 comes off as just one-mode game with no other options -- yet you pay full price for it. Full price for, what, half a game, a third? Pfft.
What's more, UEFA Euro 2008 looks, plays and feels almost exactly like FIFA 2008 -- no shocker there, what with EA Sports handling both games and releasing them within a few months of each others.
One notable difference is the depth of player selection for your national team of choice, and it's key: Look over your team before you start the tournament proper, (during qualifying games you can change your players after each game, but once the finals start, you're locked to the guys you pick before your first round game) as the game doesn't always match the actual side that is chosen or one of your favorite guys might be left off the team.
Overall this Euro 2008 is just as good as its yearly FIFA counterpart, though paying full price (again) for a "specialty" title that comes out every two years isn't worth the same price as a FIFA game which comes out annually (also at a frustratingly full price). Unless you're a nutso fan, of course, which EA hopes you are because your disposable income is appreciated.
Then again, that's what the rental store is all about, and EUFA Euro 2008 is certainly worth renting for the weekend. And when you find it in the pre-played bin for $20 (any day now), hey, there's a deal.