UEFA Euro 2000
Reviewing games is a thankless task at the best of times, and one that is made none the easier when companies insist on releasing the same game every six months. By companies we of course mean EA Sports, who has foisted the umpteenth version of its football game upon us to coincide with the minor festivities taking place in the Netherlands and Belgium this summer. That they were going to do this was one of the greatest certainties in the world of interactive entertainment, and we are only surprised that they didn't see fit to squeeze in a Road To Euro 2000 in the meantime.
Qualification for the main tournament is a prerequisite here though, enabling England fans to re-enact the combined tumblings of Messrs Hoddle and Keegan. The misery of defeat in Sweden, the mind-numbing scoreless draw against Bulgaria, the hammering of Luxembourg, they're all subject to historical revisionism as you cruise through to the finals, hopefully without recourse to a brace of turgid play-offs against the Scots. Should you grow bored of playing the same teams, the draw can be randomised, enabling you to attempt qualification in a parallel universe. So as you reach the finals, instead of Romania, Portugal and Germany, a bunch of different teams await you. Why they couldn't include an option to re-enact the tournament proper is a mystery.
If nothing else, it simply serves to underline what a relatively weak licence the European Championship is. That's all Euro 2000 has to offer over FIFA 2000 though as, in terms of gameplay, this is of course the same game. In fact, if anything, it's worse as a couple of niggles have arisen which, if they were present in previous incarnations, we certainly didn't notice them. The main beef is with the camera, which seems to lag behind the action at times, a phenomenon viewers of Nationwide League Extra will be familiar with. As that programme's commentator often says, "That shot was too quick for the goalkeeper - and our cameraman." In Euro 2000, a ball whipped into the area will often disappear out of view. This makes attempting a header or a shot something of a lottery, with the camera only catching up when the ball is either nestling in the net or has been cleared to safety. A further gripe occurs when the opposition has a goal kick, as the computer initially only enables you to take control of one of the forwards, the other of whom often strays into an offside position.
Other than that, it's business as usual, although the Euro licence makes for fewer options than in FIFA 2000, as obviously there are no club sides. It's a perfectly playable game, but if you own any of the previous four incarnations, you don't need it. But you already knew that.
Download UEFA Euro 2000
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-11-07 UEFA Euro 2000 game added.