Review: FIFA Street

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Football is a game of two halves so they say (whoever they are) FIFA STREET is a game of four quarters, which is much better.

To be honest I am one of those rare breed of males who isn`t a fan of Football. Watching a bunch of overpaid numpties with ridiculous haircuts chasing a bag of wind around a field for 90 minutes is, to me a complete waste of my precious time, when I could be doing something much more exciting, like rearranging my sock drawer.

I admit as a child I loved football, in fact I used to go and watch Manchester City quite often in the days when most footballers stopped for a cigarette at half time, instead of a low calorie health drink.

As I grew up I put aside such childlike things and moved on, OK if football is your thing, then fair play to you, we all have to be into something right?

So when EA games sent me over a copy of FIFA STREET 2012, I remembered the first version which I have to admit I did like at the time. I think the appeal to us non-football types is the speed and skill required, and it comes across as more of an urban/street thing and not the big corporate machine that football has become.

FIFA STREET does remind me of the days when I used to play football in the street (I know the old cliché “jumpers for goal posts” comes to mind) and I do like that “urban” feel to it all, the sound is pretty good, mind you the constant shouting by the crowd and players can get a touch irritating after a while, it does give it atmosphere and you can turn the volume down. Unfortunately it also turns down the entire background noise as well, so there is no point.

The emphasis is on skill and tricks in FIFA STREET. You can gain points for “nutmegging” players. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means kicking the ball through the other player’s legs. If I am wrong all you football experts will put me right on this I am sure.

As you have probably guessed by now I am not a real fan of the game, if you asked me who Lionel Messi is, I would have told you he sounded like a hairdresser or a lounge singer, not a well-known international player who is actually featured on the front cover.

FIFA STREET is a different matter though. I really enjoyed playing this game and revelled in the winning, especially if I scored a rather tasty goal. It didn`t take long for me to be sucked into this world, organising my players and picking kits and emblems for them, being there for the lads when they are beaten (or should I say robbed).

The controls are more simplified than the original game, and I found that the skills the players had are more realistic than before.

This game is so big you can hone your skills at a local level and then progress onto the world tour, which not only offers 5-a-side and 6-a-side matches – there is the opportunity to enter competitions that force you to change your playing style, like last man standing (bit like musical chairs but with footballs).

FIFA STREET is not just about getting out there and scoring goals there is strategy involved as well, you have to balance your team, with the right skilled players otherwise you won`t get anywhere.

There are plenty of new kits available as you progress through the game, and of course they are all fully licensed products to keep your credibility up.

Elements like taking on new players from beaten opponents and the choice of getting rid of any “benchwarmers” that just don`t cut the mustard anymore, is another key element within FIFA STREET.

Now of course we come to the on-line element of this game, taking your team out to face the rest of the world is major step (have you trained them well enough?)

Now I would have thought the on-line experience takes the game to the next level, unfortunately it appeared somewhat lacking, OK there is a league/season thing going on where you can gain points for games won. But the potential is there and I am confident EA will elaborate on the on-line play as subsequent versions of this game are released.

Summary

As a person who would rather watch paint dry than a game of football , FIFA STREET stirred some kind of primeval feelings within me. Was that my inner football fan coming to the surface? Who knows, I was really taken into this world of tribal/macho shenanigans, and really wanted my team to do well. It certainly is addictive and loads of fun as a multiplayer and on-line.

I give FIFA STREET 8 out of 10 because if you want to play a great interactive sports game but the idea of a full blown football game turns you off, then go for this one, you won`t be disappointed.

Fifa Street

Publisher: EA games

Developer: EA Canada

Genre: Sports

Xbox 360®

Playstation 3®

www.fifastreet.com

Release Date: 16th March 2012

Age Rating: 3+

By Dayvid Ryan