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FIFA 12 3DS Review

The most comprehensive football game on 3DS, but without online play

FIFA 12 3DS review: We put PES 2011 3D's lack of online mode down to the pressures of getting the game ready for 3DS launch day, so it's bewildering to discover that FIFA 12 3DS is similarly lacking.

<b>FIFA 12 3DS - Rooney shoots</b>
FIFA 12 3DS - Rooney shoots
Whatever the reasons for this - EA Sports has cited a lack of demand and a preference for local multiplayer - to have a big-name football game arrive on a new console in 2011 without online play is bizarre.

Despite this huge gap in the overall package, FIFA 12 3DS is really impressive. In the absence of online play, there are tournaments, cups, leagues, an in-depth career option, street matches and the Be A Pro mode - an arsenal of gameplay styles which puts PES 2011 3D's meagre gameplay options (and licences, for that matter) to shame.

Ever woken up in the middle of the night with an insatiable desire to guide SC Wiener Neustadt to glory in the Austrian OFB-Samsung cup? That dream is now a reality.

For solo players, Career mode is predictably comprehensive, although the transfer system might be a little basic for some. Your team's budget can be sunk into training, stadium improvements and medical facilities too, should the mood take you.

Be A Pro is another rewarding single player option. It actually offers a greater sense of progression than the career mode, as there are incidental XP bonuses and conditions to meet as well as constantly changing locales.

Starting within the tighter confines of street matches, your fully customisable in-game self can work their way up from the five-a-side pitch to the heights of international football. Don't dismiss this one as a bolt-on spin-off mode - Be A Pro is in many ways FIFA 12 3DS's secret weapon.

Underpinning the impressive feature set is the game engine itself, which feels looser and more open than ever before. The pace is also much more considered than we're used to; manoeuvring lumbering giants like Andy Carroll about the place feels really sluggish, and even with the run button clamped down, quicker players still don't feel particularly electric.

FIFA 12 3DS largely concerns itself with the passing game. Counter attacking or cutting in from wide positions is usually the most effective form of attack.

Nice Touch?

It's in front of goal that FIFA 12's big 3DS-only gimmick comes into play - touch screen shooting. Step within around 35 yards of goal and the map on the touch screen switches to a shot of the net, upon which you can take aim.

From there it's down to each individual player's shooting stats whether your strike glides into the top corner as intended or spoons it embarrassingly into row Z. Inside the box, it's best to stick to the traditional button-press - taking your eye off the top screen to prod at the bottom screen usually results in an interception or a fluffed shot.

It's a slightly strange system, but it is useful for taking potshots from distance. Unless you're playing as the likes of Stevenage, in which case every shot is hacked into oblivion. Free kicks, corners and penalties are also handled down on the touch screen, with mixed results. Corners and free kicks, in particular, seem a little too random for our liking.

FIFA's generous set of game modes and play styles - Street football is another interesting diversion - place it head and shoulders ahead of PES where value for money is concerned. In a pure gameplay sense, though, the two games are a lot closer. FIFA is the more accessible option, while PES is more complex but far less polished overall. FIFA 12 just about takes the 3DS crown from PES, then. But with online play and a tighter, faster game engine, it would have been a comprehensive victory. As Arsenal fans are increasingly used to saying, maybe next year.

Want to know what the Wii version is like? Here's our FIFA 12 Wii review.

Comments

26 comments so far...
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  1. mariosgal64 Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 11:23

    No online play? Not on my list now..

  2. Havak Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 11:32

    Would have bought this if it had online. Would have bought StarFox if it had online. I see a trend developing here.

  3. lminett Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 11:58

    Dont care about online gaming that much so ill probs get this, dont see why online is such a biggey for games tbh, some games just dont need it

  4. Mighty Shouter Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 12:06

    Woah, no online? Come on EA, it's 2011, almost 2012, and yet you're not including online for a console which has great online capability and for possibly the biggest sports game series on the planet? In 2011! Jeez, we know you hate Nintendo, but to go this far? "A lack of demand and a preference for local multiplayer"? That is utter rubbish. You just couldn't be bothered to make the effort. Just like with NBA Jam; it was supposed to be Wii-exclusive, then you decided to put it on PS360 too, THEN you included online on those systems and not for Wii.

  5. Mario84 Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 12:11

    @Havak

    Completely agree mate, I skipped Starfox because it had no online play. Now I will also be doing the same on Fifa 12!

    Maybe I will wait to get it cheap second hand - it would have been Day 1 purchase otherwise... :roll:

  6. K2000 Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 12:44

    Well I might have got it but without online I won't, looks like if I even get it at all it will be for my xbox360.

  7. imbusydoctorwho Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 12:49

    Never played a football game before,well if you say Inazuma Eleven is a proper football game.
    I'd like to try a real football sim but no online,seriously EA that is just plain lazy,with the 3DS superior online capabilities I should think it's time more developers take the 3DS online more seriously.
    I might go for it on the cheap.

  8. chano_safc Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 14:04

    Sounds really good so far glad I pre ordered this can't wait. :)

  9. super yoshifan Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 14:58

    No online play? The gameplay better be damn good - by which I mean realistic like on the PS360.

  10. CyberGW Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 15:02

    It really annoys me that companies STILL aren't including online play! I mean, the 3DS is definetly more than capable of it!
    Look at Street Fighter which was released at launch, and Mariokart 7 which will have 8 Player Online Gameplay!
    Sorry FIFA and EA, but you've let us down a bit.

  11. Davesoh Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 15:43

    I liked PES, so I'll probably get this as well.

  12. hqmanpoke Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 15:51

    Games like these, games that would be so much better if they had online would sell much better. The lack of online on Star Fox and Fifa 12 (a game that,sadly, i will be purchasing on a non-nintendo console) mean they are inferior to their console counterparts. Quickly, let's say Fifa 12 3DS had online and Fifa 12 Wii did not (for some strange reason!) I'd rather buy the 3DS version due to the replayability it offers. (you can never get tired of beating people online).. Im jus saying.

  13. Mighty Shouter Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 15:55

    Games like these, games that would be so much better if they had online would sell much better. The lack of online on Star Fox and Fifa 12 (a game that,sadly, i will be purchasing on a non-nintendo console) mean they are inferior to their console counterparts. Quickly, let's say Fifa 12 3DS had online and Fifa 12 Wii did not (for some strange reason!) I'd rather buy the 3DS version due to the replayability it offers. (you can never get tired of beating people online).. Im jus saying.

    It's as if EA don't even want to bother pushing the 3DS to its full use. Not including online is just a joke, tbh.

  14. Davesoh Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 15:56

    Games like these, games that would be so much better if they had online would sell much better. The lack of online on Star Fox and Fifa 12 (a game that,sadly, i will be purchasing on a non-nintendo console) mean they are inferior to their console counterparts. Quickly, let's say Fifa 12 3DS had online and Fifa 12 Wii did not (for some strange reason!) I'd rather buy the 3DS version due to the replayability it offers. (you can never get tired of beating people online).. Im jus saying.

    It's as if EA don't even want to bother pushing the 3DS to its full use. Not including online is just a joke, tbh.


    Hopefully they'll provide a reason as to why online is not included.

  15. Mighty Shouter Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 16:12

    Hopefully they'll provide a reason as to why online is not included.

    They did - they said there was "not enough demand" for it, and that 3DS owners would prefer local multiplayer instead. Complete rubbish IMO.

  16. olrodlegacy Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 17:02

    You've got the wrong link at the end.

    I'm assuming the touch-screen shooting is optional...
    Tthe graphics seem a lot more realistic than the Wii style.
    Surely if this does indeed include Career mode, the game warrants a higher score than the abysmal Wii version?

  17. Davesoh Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 17:54

    You've got the wrong link at the end.

    I'm assuming the touch-screen shooting is optional...
    Tthe graphics seem a lot more realistic than the Wii style.
    Surely if this does indeed include Career mode, the game warrants a higher score than the abysmal Wii version?


    Yeah, I think it should.

  18. paultheotherone Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 19:06

    Whilst the lack of online is annoying, (athough I imagine a lot of people would probabaly quit if losing), why is there no mention of the 3D in the review?

    I don't usually consider portable footy games because of the small screen, but with the official license for Fifa, the be a pro mode and the dearth of retail games till November I am quite tempted but wanted to know how good the 3D is-any thing to say about it Neil?

  19. GuitarHero Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 20:36

    Woah, woah, why no Stevenage love?

  20. andrea987 Monday 26th Sep 2011 at 21:17

    Dont care about online gaming that much so ill probs get this, dont see why online is such a biggey for games tbh, some games just dont need it

    I agree, but sport games DEFINETELY fall in the category NEED IT, I'm afraid. They are at their best on multiplayer, and not everyone can count on friends always being around. It's just not acceptable, I'm afraid. Having said that, if they were going for the same online they have in Fifa for Wii, better not having it.

  21. mushroomchow Tuesday 27th Sep 2011 at 14:27

    I find it amazing that this looks more visually appealing than the Wii version. Kind of proves two things: 1; The 3DS has good graphical capabilities and 2; Nobody can be bothered with the Wii anymore. It's on it's way out...

    I might get this, since online play never fussed me one bit on PES.

  22. Mighty Shouter Tuesday 27th Sep 2011 at 15:42

    I find it amazing that this looks more visually appealing than the Wii version. Kind of proves two things: 1; The 3DS has good graphical capabilities and 2; Nobody can be bothered with the Wii anymore. It's on it's way out...

    I might get this, since online play never fussed me one bit on PES.

    But EA was never bothered with Wii in the first place. They always treated it as a second-class console EVEN THOUGH it has thrashed PS360 in sales.

  23. JamieRIOT Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 09:21

    The lack of online has completely killed any chances of me buying this game which is a crying shame, because apart from that, everything else was looking stunning in the 3DS version.

  24. retrotoad Saturday 1st Oct 2011 at 19:17

    Sounds like it's got some great features, shame about no online but it's not a deal breaker for me. Will probably get this as it'll be a good football fix for on the go.

  25. garsh303 Monday 3rd Oct 2011 at 19:39

    Can't find a 'Save Replay' button. And I've just owned Chelsea with a beautifully curved free kick from Leadbitter!

  26. Wacko212 Sunday 26th Aug 2012 at 10:19

    A good game but coz im a city fan i go mad every time that rooney goal comes up (overhead kick)
    He failed coz he it with his shin :twisted:

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