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FIFA 10 Review

The footy behemoth is back with a brand new look

There's been a lot of talk on internet fan forums about FIFA 10's presentation and control system, specifically that it doesn't offer the degree of control required for a top drawer footy game, especially next to a Certain Other Footy Game. It's caused a bit of moaning and griping about EA Sports putting casual gaming at the forefront of its Wii agenda.

Certainly next to some of the other versions of the game, FIFA 10 on the Wii doesn't quite have the same painstaking attention to match day detail, and the big game gloss is replaced by comic strip fun throughout. Bleedin' EA Sports and its bleedin' lowest common denominator policy, you might think, but you'd be wrong.

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Besides, how daft would it be to try and make, essentially, exactly the same experience as a Certain Other Footy Game developer? Instead, it's aiming for something a little different, while trying to provide a deeper, more rounded experience - despite what those lighthearted graphics might suggest.

The caricatured style of the game actually looks great. It's arcadey in feel and mirrors the code buzzing away beneath it. From the moment you boot up the game, you're bombarded with high-octane images of Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and friends looking square-jawed and heroic, booting footballs as though they want to kill them. As you can see, our pampered heroes are represented with rather sharp edges here. There's no denying that the graphical style here won't be to everyone's taste, but in conveying FIFA 10's never-stand-still, end-to-end philosophy, it's just right. Anyway, when the game's racing along at the speed of sound, it's hard to really pick fault.

Man On!

'Over the top' is the creed that EA Sports has followed with FIFA 10. While options at the outset look pretty slim (you've instant, online, tournament, training and manager modes), it's a mantra that manifests itself in a few ways - some good, some bad.

The game's a no nonsense thrillfest, yet it trips over its own bootlaces at key moments, making spontaneity as fractured as the idea of saving for a rainy day in Madrid. So while you slip together a sequence of sublime passes which sees you glide to your opponent's box in the blink of an eye, a sidestep might see a microsecond's pause as the appropriate animation kicks in. Time enough for your mate, if you're playing online or in your living room, to snuff out a promising opening.

If that's frustrating, the shooting itself lightens the mood because, frankly, it's hilariously exaggerated. No angle is too obscure, though with distance the element of surprise lessens, and a nice vapour trail adds to the impact. Never mind the controls or the visuals, the key hook for the Wii version is the conspicuous Momentum bar at the bottom of the screen. As you force the play by gaining territory and possession the attributes of your team will be sharpened. Strikers hit the ball harder and cleaner, passes outside the area ghost through defenders, and if the 'keeper manages to make a save, he'll only parry it. As you send a rocket goalwards, the action goes slo-mo to heighten the intensity, but it's really just for show.

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Hit A Howitzer

Although shooting is thunderous, it jars with the action around the rest of the pitch. As soon as you get within range it's as if you enter an auto-aim mode - you will rarely shoot wide or high. Passing and tackling, meanwhile, is much more finite. You decide weight and direction of passes (annoying at first when you hit one to John Terry when you intended to lay one into the path of Deco); tackling only comes off with dedicated tracking and timing. So to score goals as easily as this flies in the face of the effort required elsewhere. Adding to the fluctuating football are Booster Cards, which are earned upon meeting certain challenges set before matches, like conceding no more than six shots on your goal or grabbing a combination of five goals and assists. You then get to choose a pair of random cards which bestow extra powers on your team in the next match, like better shooting, reduced fatigue and slicker passing. As for the controls being an issue, if you don't like the Remote/Nunchuk combo, you can switch to the Classic Controller with its own variants - and that's almost identical to a Certain Other Footy Game's control scheme. Whinges about this being 'too casual' or 'not like PES' are a waste of breath. This is more like Virtua Striker with heavy emphasis on heavy bombardment and less on hard fought stalemates.

Comments

13 comments so far...
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  1. ILoveWii Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 16:03

    Last Fifa game I played was '98. I used to love that.

    But now I think I'll finally play it again and buy one of them.

    Good review.

  2. nintendo_guy Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 16:11

    Oh. I was expecting 87-91 percent, but ok...

  3. Kiran145 Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 16:14

    84% is generous, PES 2010 on Wii is going to be miles better, more features, more detailed graphics and a better all round game, i would say 77% is a fair score.

  4. JohnWilliam Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 16:30

    84% is generous, PES 2010 on Wii is going to be miles better, more features, more detailed graphics and a better all round game, i would say 77% is a fair score.

    Yet you've not played either game. :wink:

    And deducting a score because there is a "better" in your biased opinion, should not be done.

  5. mr FBE Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 18:58

    i think the fifa series reached a zenith with 07. last one on the gamecube. controls were spot on, career mode as good as it got, ability to create your own team, ability to create 16 of your own players, excellent interface, etc. i think they've been downhill since. who wasn't annoyed when 08 has no career mode at all? 09 felt too cold, like it didn't care. whats with this focus on cartoon graphics in fifa 10? whats with that name? surely fifa twentyten sounds much better? i'll be giving this one a miss i think, which is dissapointing since ive had every one since 03

  6. ultra_slb Wednesday 30th Sep 2009 at 20:56

    oh dear oh dear oh dear....

    What's to say..? Do you actually know what the Fifa franchise is all about and what their fans like? It's sad.. really sad that professional journalists like you are, praise a game that's utter crap just because you don't enjoy football like the r-e-a-l fifa fans do.

    First of all, these graphics? for christ sake... this is garbage, pure garbage! Those who enjoy football and the more realistic possible, not this!

    Secondly, game modes.... even the DS as a be a pro and creation zone... the DS!!!! but no, apparently those who play fifa on wii prefer Arcade games (bull..) those who play fifa are, or were, from 15-45?and now whats this? aimed to 2-10 year olds?

    Thirdly you proved that you don't appreciate football like football fans do, football is not about wow moments, and not about ridiculous shots and goals from anywhere, if you don't enjoy football the real way (that's what fifa is meant to be) then stick to mario strikers!

    Fourthly, you praise a game that wa s produced by an incompetent guy who has an image of an Xbox on Twitter and you don't even see that the fact that Wii Fifa and PC fifa are crap is to try and move people to NG Consoles, that's all they care about, thats why they only do good improvements on PS3 and xBox.

    Fifthly the menus seem like a stupid kiddy game

    And to conclude, a piece of advice, you are reviewing Fifa, not PES, so drop that you fanboyism towords PES, I agree it's an excelent game, but the review is about Fifa, not PES!!! really really sad review, stick to mario strikers reviews if you don't llike football like fifa fans do, and don't even try to deny me in this point, because the only thing you have to do is go to the forums and see the general opinion

  7. mario555 Thursday 1st Oct 2009 at 18:30

    oh dear oh dear oh dear....

    What's to say..? Do you actually know what the Fifa franchise is all about and what their fans like? It's sad.. really sad that professional journalists like you are, praise a game that's utter crap just because you don't enjoy football like the r-e-a-l fifa fans do.

    First of all, these graphics? for christ sake... this is garbage, pure garbage! Those who enjoy football and the more realistic possible, not this!

    Secondly, game modes.... even the DS as a be a pro and creation zone... the DS!!!! but no, apparently those who play fifa on wii prefer Arcade games (bull..) those who play fifa are, or were, from 15-45?and now whats this? aimed to 2-10 year olds?

    Thirdly you proved that you don't appreciate football like football fans do, football is not about wow moments, and not about ridiculous shots and goals from anywhere, if you don't enjoy football the real way (that's what fifa is meant to be) then stick to mario strikers!

    Fourthly, you praise a game that wa s produced by an incompetent guy who has an image of an Xbox on Twitter and you don't even see that the fact that Wii Fifa and PC fifa are crap is to try and move people to NG Consoles, that's all they care about, thats why they only do good improvements on PS3 and xBox.

    Fifthly the menus seem like a stupid kiddy game

    And to conclude, a piece of advice, you are reviewing Fifa, not PES, so drop that you fanboyism towords PES, I agree it's an excelent game, but the review is about Fifa, not PES!!! really really sad review, stick to mario strikers reviews if you don't llike football like fifa fans do, and don't even try to deny me in this point, because the only thing you have to do is go to the forums and see the general opinion

    That was an excellent speech. 8)

    I agree with you. Stupid next generation consoles. They are ruining the Wii. >.>

  8. camaroni Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 11:23

    Last Fifa game I played was '98. I used to love that.

    But now I think I'll finally play it again and buy one of them.

    Good review.

    I remember FIFA 98, like I only bought it 11 years ago... Oh.

  9. groynk Saturday 3rd Oct 2009 at 13:07

    so i played Fifa 09 to death, it might not be the best but I enjoyed it,
    a) because it has all the licenced teams and players
    b) because i could play it online.

    I've been dying for Fifa 10, because
    A) I want the updated squads
    B) the online performance should be improved
    and maybe c) any further general game polish would be an added bonus.

    Online is better, the squads are updated, but now im playing virtua striker... and i cant even use my GC controller

    PES doesnt fulfill my 2 main requirements, plus it wont be out for 6 months or so.

    I guess I'll have to get a new console!

  10. mac_plas Sunday 4th Oct 2009 at 15:19

    this game is a complete waste of money, i am tempted to take it back and get a refund, i have been waiting since early aug to get this.
    i got it on the release date started playing to which i was not impressed by the look of it. feels like a kids game.
    my moans are as follows-

    a) cannot change the length of matches.
    b)cannot change difficulty settings mid-season.
    c)if you have enough stars and transfer points you can buy ANYONE
    d)no transfer fee, contract negs, wages. just stars (WTF) im not 10.
    e)when i got my team promoted to premiership i was automatically placed in the europa league.
    f) no player profile's so you cant tell how old they are.
    g) no edit teams and no create teams.
    h) no reserve teams, stadium upgrade, sponsorship options nothing at all.
    i) boosters
    j) basically just the game in general i have had it 2 days and feel like iv had it months. i dont play pes because iv always been a fifa fan but this game is utter garbage. save your money.

  11. Medea Tuesday 6th Oct 2009 at 12:12

    How comes the ps3/360 versions get the brilliant virtua pro mode and we don't. Yet again EA are putting wii owners as second best. I will not be purchasing this catastrophy

  12. Nanto Seiken Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 11:23

    I bought Fifa 10 and I haven't even touched it yet... this does not bode well.. I was hoping for a fun online football game that I wouldn't have to think too much about when playing.. I've also got PES on my ps2.

    I'll go hammer out Fifa 10 and let you know what I think.

  13. Smash-bros fan Monday 19th Apr 2010 at 15:33

    Why compare this to PES and not FIFA 09?

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