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Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer is one of the most genuinely high-quality soccer simulators for the zeros era’s mobile phones. Although the release came out in 2004, only a few football games could compete with it until the end of the decade.
I will start with a warning. In this article, there will be a lot of comparisons with FIFA for N-Gage. And in the end, I will share my opinion, who made the tastier creation – Gameloft or Electronic Arts. Let’s go!
Compared with FIFA 2005, the graphics in this football simulator resembles a cartoon. However, the game engine itself is more realistic. It’s quite an unexpected combination. Plus, the celebrations of goals and players entering the field look more lively and emotional.
As for the disadvantages, the mobile game has no video replays. By contrast, we have interesting little things like medics entering our soccer battle to help a player. I also like the larger scale of the field than that of the rival game.
The music in this game for Nokia N-Gage is reminiscent of the first part of Asphalt Urban GT. No, developers had not copied the tunes. However, the same synthesizers and other arrangement techniques had used. In terms of sound effects in the menus, these games are identical at all.
On the other hand, I would only thank Gameloft because I like the musical themes from Asphalt. So it was quite pleasant to hear its continuation here. To be expected, the music here had also dominated by electronica. And it perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the early 2000s.
The audio track during the match deserves special praise. It is a head higher than in the competitor from Electronic Arts. The sounds are cleaner, more varied, and pleasant. It applies to almost everything – the kicking of the ball, the referee’s whistle, the opening song before every match, and the fans’ singing.
Career mode begins with selecting a team. After that, you go to the second division. Sixteen opponents are present there. Note that your squad of players will be the same, whichever team you choose.
All of the footballers here are fictional. So you will need to build the strategy based not on the last names but the skills. Here you can buy new players and sell your existing ones.
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There are a total of 32 club teams and the same number of national teams. Just like in FIFA, in Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer, you can see the control instructions before the match. It is quite handy. There are also no questions about the control itself. It is pretty logical and comfortable.
The shooting system looks much easier than in FIFA. Especially at performing the free kicks. Here we need to set the arrow to one of several values and set the shot’s power. Unfortunately, curved kicks from FIFA are not available here.
There are as many as four difficulty levels. This list includes beginner, amateur, semi-pro, and professional. Artificial intelligence is very resourceful and diverse in decision-making. Computer opponents act quickly and sometimes even aggressively.
You can view the skill level of the players in two ways. The first one is graphical. It looks like in front of your eyes appears a rectangle, each edge of which denotes a particular skill. The more it had filled in – the stronger is the quality of the player.
The second way is more common. It is the usual list of the following seven characteristics: speed, reaction, acceleration, precision, strength, attack, and defense skills.
The highlight of the game is that there are no licensed players. However, this does not prevent recognizing familiar names, albeit with some substituted letters. For example, Ronaldo here is called Ronildo.
Oddly enough, the names of the stadiums remained the same. There are six in total: Old Trafford, Camp Nou, Maracana, San Siro, Stade de France and Stade de Princes.
Another interesting point that I want to mention in this N-Gage game review is similarly related to some of the players’ passport data. Although this football simulator had released in 2004, developers had listed the players’ ages here as of the summer of 2003. At the same time, the overall rating had also based on that year. At least I had that feeling.
Also, the clubs’ squads correspond to the data of the beginning of the season 2003/2004. For example, Manchester United has Cristiano Ronaldo, but Wayne Rooney is absent. I should remember that the Portuguese joined the Mancunians in 2003 and the Englishman in 2004.
As a coach, you can change the formation and list of players in your team’s main squad. I counted a total of 23 preset schemes. It is pretty good, I would say. The user can set the duration of the match in the value from three to twenty minutes.
Among the game modes available: friendly, cup, league, and career. In the first one, you can play a regular match or play a penalty shootout. In the second, there is a choice of three formats: International, Championship, and Classic. The league allows you to take a national team or club to win a series of matches.
Well, here comes the moment that I’m sure many have been waiting for with trepidation. And so – I’ll reveal the intrigue, friends. Yes, multiplayer via Bluetooth is present. You can enjoy it without any problems. After all, playing together with mates is a special kind of fun.
Friends, I’ll be honest, for many years, I thought FIFA 2005 was the best game dedicated to soccer created for Nokia N-Gage. But while making this material, I realized how much I had underestimated Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer before. Yes, I played it back in the zeros. However, somehow I didn’t focus on its benefits.
Now my eyes have been rediscovered on this little masterpiece. In fact, the only two indisputable advantages of the release from EA Sports are a huge number of licensed players/clubs and a system of free kicks. In all other aspects, it is either on par with the brainchild of Gameloft or even inferior.
Also, I should note that FIFA 05 is more potent as an arcade entertainment product. But as a soccer simulator, I would give preference to Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer. It makes you want to spend more time in it. It is especially true for the gaming experience in the matches.
However, this is just my opinion. I don’t want to get into an argument with fans of the superb FIFA series. Simply, Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer was closer to my heart. Therefore, I do not want to present an objective winner in this duel. Let the gamers have their word here.
That’s it for today, folks. See you in the new materials. Have entertaining matches, everyone. Bye!
Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer (N-Gage Game Review) is written by
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