PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 June, 2003, 12:00am

What PS2 says: 'This Is Football 2003 takes the series one step further, featuring a number of enhancements in gameplay, tactics and graphics. Players boast improved animations and even more realistic movement. The big-match atmosphere is captured, and surround sound audio ensures that you feel like you're in the middle of the action. You'll find more leagues and players - over 13,500 players in all, from European, North and South American and Asian leagues.'

Tester 01

Name: Jean-Paul

Age: 24

Console: PS2 (Region 3)

Gameplay: A couple of years ago, I went on vacation to Brazil for the carnival. While there I met the most amazing Brazilian girl. She was everything I'd ever wanted in a girl. Problem was, we couldn't communicate because my Portuguese was worse than her English. It was very frustrating.Frustration was the immediate feeling I had after attempting to play this game. Because it has been produced for sale in Region Three - Hong Kong and Japan - it uses only Japanese characters for game instruction.

Graphics: While gameplay is smooth and the graphics outstanding (not to mention a roster of more than 13,000 international and club players worldwide), there's the annoying problem of being excluded from the game's more enticing characteristics as I lack even a rudimentary understanding of Japanese.

Overall: Some kind of language toggle would be very useful in a market such as Hong Kong, and would certainly mean this game scored a higher rating than it has.

Tester 02

Name: Nick

Age: 27

Console: PS2 (Region 3)

Storyline: Play football with or against your friends or the computer.

Gameplay: I really wish I could tell you, but the wisdom of Sony selling a game of this complexity in Hong Kong without either English or Cantonese menu options (or at least instructions) is questionable to say the least.

According to Web sites I visited, this is an amazing game, with 13,000 individual players from more than 500 international and club teams to choose from, as well as historical and league options to explore. But the problem is, it's extremely time-consuming trying to work out how to even spell Manchester United, for example, in Japanese - especially when the team's uniforms are only approximate. And just forget about trying to use the more advanced functions.

Graphics: Some detail has been sacrificed for smoother gameplay, but it's worth it.

Overall: However, once you do get to play an actual game of football, the game does not disappoint (unless you're as bad at it as I am). The commands are straightforward, as are the management functions... and the Japanese commentary and crowd chants are pretty funny as well.