Ryan Play’s the World Cup: Part Three – 2002 FIFA World Cup

By Ryan Howden

2002 FIFA World Cup – Gamecube (2002)


So yeah after I however we did in France 98 (I’m assuming I partied to hard after and amazing run and have forgot the result, because I won’t break character dammit) its time to move on to Korea-Japan 2002 and more importantly the reign of Emile Heskey.

Now the game is certainly different to previous instalments, opening with a orchestra playing, its now Chumbawamba  but hey still nice.

Now the most important decision I had to make as manager of England was one that is always scrutinised the most, my squad selection. Now this game gives you a massive amount of players to choose from so I could create the true team of the people. I decided on a 4-2-3-1 than lined up as followed.


Powell, Keown, Carragher, Mills

Hargreaves, Bowyer

Sinclair, Murphey,Parlour


My first group game was against the Swedes and the first thing I noticed was there are wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men at the corners of the pitch!

10/10 review done!

Now onto the game, the first thing I noticed is how slow the game feels its just so lethargic, your sprints feel like runs and the ball moves across the turf like its made of steel and this kills any excitement in attacks. Ball control feels nice and fluid and choosing how hard you want a pass to be is nice but I can’t get over how slow it feels.

Just as I was thinking this was just a boring badly made game, Powell was booked for a badly timed challenge and dramatic music and camera angles started which had me and my flatmate in stitches. Then Heskey scored and got the massive fanfare he rightly deserves and I fell in love with this game.

Just imagine this fanfare with Heskey’s face and that’s the amount of hype I had

Next game was against Argentina, and I got my first corner of the tournament and could see that even four years later they use the same big arrows yet have somehow made them look worse. England win 2-0 with Trevor Sinclair opening with a surging run and Heskey toe poking in the second after Sinclair had another shot blocked. Heskey scored in the final game against Nigeria as we won 1-0 to see an unbeaten England move into the last sixteen.

Denmark were the opponents and were light work for the team of the people, Ray Parlour scored a screamer from 25 yards before Heskey danced past three Danish defenders to make it 2-0. The only downside was captain Lee Bowyer missing a penalty on 90 minutes, but it didn’t matter England were in the quarter-finals.

Brazil proved to be the opponents as the game gave me a chance to change real life events. A tough physical game ensued with the battle in midfield been brutal, Danny Mills was sent off for a tackle in frustration on the Brazilian goalkeeper. After a 120 minutes it was still 0-0 and it was time for penalties, England’s worst nightmare.

Again dramatic music and camera angles, and the tension fades as I lose it again. In the end England as usual go out on penalties again as Sinclair and Carragher see there efforts saved.

In the end I have a love-hate relationship with this game, the slowness of the play sucks all the excitement and really any action out of the game, but it is so big and dumb with its dramatic music and camera angles I can’t help but enjoy it.

Rating: Gazza/10 (Big, dumb and all in all loveable)


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