RedCard Soccer 2003 offers 11-on-11 gameplay with 32 international teams, 60 frames-per-second animation, and character models that are realistic to the last scar. The game includes 500-plus motion-captured moves modeled specifically for the high-impact, hard-core style of RedCard Soccer 2003. Stadiums and spectators capture the pageantry and fanatical nature of international soccer audiences (without the hooliganism!). Modes include single match and world championship. The game features multiple hidden characters, stadiums, attributes, and other secrets as you progress.
A football game in a truly arcade style, Midway's RedCard 2003 quickly abandons realism and accurate simulation in favor of exaggerated moves, over-the-top tackles, and, at times, sheer violence. Fortunately, it's a cocktail not without reward. Grounded in what is effectively a simple mixture of pass, tackle, and shoot--all moves that are suitably intuitive and easy to get to grips with--the basic game in itself is a quite enjoyable kickaround. The difference, though, comes with the Boost button. By holding this as you tackle, you can quite literally fly-kick your opponents off the ball. While shooting? Get ready for a Matrix-style slow-motion buildup before launching an explosive effort towards the goal. Suffice to say, there are plenty of little moves to master, and you're going to have a lot of fun learning them.
Yet while this could easily turn out to be short-lived fun, Midway has injected RedCard with a few extra goodies to ensure a longer play life. The World Conquest mode, for instance, allows you to take control of a national side and quite literally beat the best of the world, while cup tournaments and the simply essential multiplayer mode further enhances the entertainment. Throw in extra teams and other features to unlock and there's a fair challenge packed onto the disc. So don't be fooled by the seemingly over-the-top approach. In the arcade football genre, it easily beats Sega's tepid Virtua Striker, and it also gives more mainstream titles a real run for their money. In short, this is a really quite surprising and irresistible hybrid of sports and fighting games. --Simon Brew -- Amazon.co.uk