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Stars series

From Kick Off World of Soccer - wikickoff

Stars was a shortlived football video game series by EA Sports, after in 1999 Electronic Arts gave their European studios a chance of develop a new football videogame outside the FIFA series. As the company already owned a Premier League license (used in their managers), it was decided to make a game entirely devoted to one of the most popular leagues. Unlike FIFA 99 and the upcoming 2000 edition, The F.A. Premier League Stars had real kits and accurate stadiums of all teams. Released for both PC and PlayStation, it failed to top the market, but EA was satisfied enough and allowed a second game to be deveoped. This was also released in Germany, France and Spain fully localized and licensed for the top leagues in each country. As the FIFA series progressively assimilated (or planned to) some of the features of Stars, the franchise was discarded after the second title.

The game used an improved version of FIFA 99's engine, but added features that would later be used in the main title of EA's football label, such as power bars for sprints, shots and passes, chosing the spot of the ball to hit on free kicks and corners, individual kits and bonus points for performance that could be used to improve the team. The "stars" concept of the game is slightly similar of those in the early Pro Evolution Soccer series, where the player gets points for scoring goals, not receiving cards, winning matches, etc. Then, the points could be used to improve the players (each player could be improved in several aspects, from speed and stamina to shooting and passing out of 15 scale, split in 3 groups, where a bronze star only cost 10 points compared to 30 of a gold star) or buy new players from the market pool. In Stars 2001 players could also earn (or lose) points by taking part in "Stars Challenges", which required the player to fulfil a task such as scoring a number of goals. Although the main competition is the league, there are several other competitions, including national, European and World cups. If a player wins the world trophy, a final game against a team of all-time greats is played. Another new feature in the final game was the ability to pitch two user teams that finished a season, the winner being able to sign players of the losers squad. Although this feature was welcomed, it lacked an online mode to increase the public awareness of the game.

The music on both games was provided by Ministry of Sound.

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