E3 2002: RedCard Soccer 2003 preshow report

Midway's over-the-top soccer game is coming to the Xbox.

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RedCard Soccer 2003 is Midway's entry into soccer. The game belongs to Midway's "sports asylum" line of games, which is known for taking several liberties with the rules of organized sports in the name of simple yet addictive fun. However, unlike the previous sports games from Midway, RedCard Soccer 2003 comes closer to resembling the sport of soccer than, say, NBA Showtime resembles actual NBA basketball.

Turbo meters and special kicks are the order of the day in RedCard. Penalties, which can be turned completely off, are rarely called on the game's default setting, so jacking ball carriers and pesky defenders with a head butt, a dropkick, a slide tackle, or a handful of other attacks is as simple as pressing a button or two. Each move takes up a bit of your turbo meter, which can also be used for speed boosts and special shots. A special shot uses your entire meter and sends the game into slow motion while your player performs some acrobatic stunt and launches a fiery shot at the goal.

Game modes in RedCard are pretty standard and let you play quick exhibition games with one or two players, play against every team to unlock hidden teams and stadiums, and set up multiplayer tournaments. In all, there are 10 hidden teams to unlock, such as ninjas, a swat team, dolphins, and Martians.

RedCard Soccer 2003 came out for the PlayStation 2 in April, and the upcoming Xbox and GameCube versions of the game are expected to hit shelves in June.

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