Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: EA Sports
The 3DO version of EA's FIFA came out in 1994, and featured polygonal goals and sidelines, which allowed for alternate camera angles. Players were represented with colorful and richly animated sprites. For those that have seen the 3DO FIFA, the N-Gage version looks very familiar. For those that haven't, both titles are visually appealing, although not outrageously so, and they at least somewhat accurately represents the visual pacing of a real soccer match.
Like the console and PC versions of FIFA 2004, this mobile version has licensed music that plays in all of the menus, which is a nice touch. There's at least one crowd chant that's specific for each league represented in the game, and even though this version lacks play-by-play commentary, the chants and variety of assorted kicking sound effects keep each match from being bland to the ears.
The FIFA series has always represented a more arcade-like take on the world's greatest sport, while somehow maintaining the fun for even hardcore soccer fans. This title is much like all the others, and plays as much like the 3DO version as it looks like it: Passes, lobs, shots, weak and hard tackles are all present, although this version if lacking a "through" button like the other versions of the game have.
It's no "Winning Eleven", but FIFA 2004 is at least somewhat realistic. As a bonus, it features every team from this year's first divisions of just about every major soccer league in the world, along with every last player on those teams. Despite lacking a deep season mode with management-style capabilities, FIFA 2004 has, inexplicably, the most addict-forming potential of any game in the N-Gage libary.