EA kick-started (groan) the generation with the idea of the interactive footie arena at the very start of the game and preceding each match. It's a simple concept - just you, the ball, a goal and goalkeeper. It lets you dribble the ball around and pull off insane displays of ball control before hammering a shot home past the goalkeeper as many times as you like without ever actually playing any of the main game. With replays too!
Of course, as soon as the match begins, all these skill moves become completely forgotten because the game just doesn't seem to act the same when the match has started. But in terms of keeping us entertained while the game loads its polygons, there's always a slight sense of 'aww, do we have to?' when the 'PRESS START TO PLAY' message flashes up. Especially as the fully loaded stadium and crowd appear magically with barely a pause, making the damn thing look even better than it did already. Come on, just one more shot…
The intellectual analysis:
The football connoisseur will appreciate the level of detail in the trick animations, the tightness of the hit boxes, fluidity of the physics and more than likely comment on how this one-v-one multiplayer mode strips football down to its purest form, creating a microcosm of everything that's great about the world's favourite sport.
The layman's analysis:
A park kickabout without the risk of dog poo.
Right. Now we've seen the word 'loading' so many times, it's lost all meaning, so we'll load it there and let you load. Loading!
Loaded on 20 Jun, 2011
A celebration of C64 loading screens
The art of waiting, Commodore style
Why do some cartridge games still have loading screens?
An old weekly segment where we answered YOUR questions
Bayonetta's sexiest moves in slow-motion
Because some things are worth taking your time over