Club Football 2005 Xbox
Developed by Codemasters
Release Date : Out Now
Price : £39.99
it's been a busy week for playing football games here at Deaf Gamers. We've already looked at Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and FIFA Football 2005 and now it's the turn of Club Football 2005. Whilst the Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA series have been very successful over the years, it's only the Club Football series that offers different versions of the game that are each dedicated to a particular club. Last year we looked at the Chelsea flavoured version of Club Football and this year we look at the Birmingham City variety of Club Football 2005 (one of the new teams added to the line-up). Regardless of which team you choose though all will contain the same components only they will be tailored to that particular team.
As always let's look at what's new in Club Football 2005 before we look at anything else. One of the main new features is the ability to create a player, in your own image if you like, and put them in your team's squad. You get to choose exactly how the player will look and as your career progresses you'll earn skill points that can be used to increase the player's abilities. You can even play the matches controlling just your player, which Codemasters have called Career Player Focus, if you want to. Whilst this seems a brilliant inclusion at first thought it's not quite as involving as controlling the whole team. New Precision Trigger moves have been included which basically involves pressing the black button in combination with directional movements to perform a variety of special moves and it works quite well.
The number of modes on offer have increased in this years Club Football games. You can play a Domestic Season which in this case will be a season in the Premier League with Birmingham City but it all depends on what team's version you purchased. There is also a Super League which is essentially a European Super League containing some of the major European clubs. Codemasters have also added a range of Scenarios from the clubs recent history. As Birmingham City for example, you'll return to the 2001 League Cup final with Liverpool to try and win it this time around. I've always been a fan of scenarios in football games and what's on offer here certainly doesn't disappoint. As usual you can have an Exhibition match or simply use the Practice mode to brush up on your skills and the new Precision Trigger moves. There are also some extra modes that allow you to create a custom tournament (playing as any team you want to from the 250+ teams in the game). You can create a Custom League, Group Cup or Knockout Cup. You can also create a custom club if you really want to. Finally there's a Fantasy Match Creator which allows you to create your own scenarios that will be given a code which you can pass on to others so that they can input your code and play the very scenario you've created.
Last year we commented on how the Club Football games where a great piece of merchandise to own if your club has a dedicated version of the game and it's exactly the same this year. The games interface has been redesigned to be even more dedicated to your team than last years games. Player pictures, player movies, stadium movies etc. can all be unlocked for your viewing. Your team will be fully adorned in their official kits. Player likenesses could be better though and the game doesn't take full advantage of the Xbox's graphical abilities to be truthful and whilst we haven't seen the Xbox version of Pro Evolution Soccer 4 the game doesn't look as good as the Xbox version of FIFA 2005.
Impressive as these games are for fans of the clubs to which the games are dedicated, the football action itself still isn't as good as it could be. The control scheme is very similar to the one used in other football games so you should have no problems in feeling comfortable with it if you've played other football games on the Xbox. After playing both Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and FIFA Football 2005 for the last few weeks alongside Club Football 2005 it's fair to say that Club Football 2005 is the third best game here. The action feels far too quick (almost twice as quick as PES 4 and FIFA 2005) and arcade like. In fact there were times when it felt like I was playing Actua Soccer 2 or 3. The keepers still seem to have ESP and know instinctively where your shot is going to be placed. The Precision Trigger moves do add something to the game but because of the frantic pace of the game you don't really get to enjoy them as fully as you would if the game speed was at a more natural setting. Set pieces are handled OK but don't surpass anything we've seen before.
We said with last years game that the Club Football games make a great, and somewhat novel, piece of merchandise if there is a version that has been based on your club. We haven't included a paragraph on how deaf gamer friendly Club Football 2005 is because it's just the same old story with the commentary not being subtitled but with other information being showed either iconically or in text there are no real problems. It's still an accurate description of Club Football 2005. If you're looking for a general football game, and not for a piece of software merchandise, then you'll be disappointed with how the game plays. It's a long way behind the refined Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and isn't as good as FIFA Football 2005. Of course if you don't like either of those and prefer the zippy pace of football games of yesteryear such as Actua Soccer 2/3 then you might prefer how Club Football plays but I suspect this won't be the case for many out there. The attention to detail for the club in question is wonderful but it needs a better football game underneath it all to make it an essential purchase.
Game Rating: 6.5/10
A great piece of merchandise but the football game underneath just isn't good enough to rival the other football games out there.
Match commentary isn't subtitled but there are no real problems for deaf gamers.