If you've played FIFA 12 (not the Wii version!) , you should already know that FIFA 13 Wii U plays a great game of football. Yet even though it doesn't feature the latest Xbox 360 and PS3 updates such as the first-touch control system, FIFA 13 Wii U is still the best football game on a Nintendo console ever.
Of course, it wouldn't be hard. Seeing as PES snubbed GameCube, there arguably hasn't been an essential football game on a Nintendo console since International Superstar Soccer on the N64. Not one that doesn't feature crocodiles as goalkeepers anyway.
It may lack all the features of the latest versions on other consoles but it has got one thing in its favour: The Wii U GamePad. With this new controller, you can shoot, pass and move your players off the ball. You can also take charge of the team in Manager mode. These new features could be seen as gimmicks but having played FIFA 13 on Wii U, it is time to look at how these GamePad modes work and if they improve the experience or are they gimmicks.
How it works: When you are in a position to shoot, you have to press R or shake the GamePad. This brings up a net on the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen and then you simply need to tap on the net to direct your shot, keeping your finger on the screen to add more power.
Does it work? Tapping a big goal on the screen to score a goal sounds like it should be a mode that makes it easier to score but for those used to playing FIFA games, it actually seems harder than pressing a button as you have to look down at the screen to tap the net before looking up and seeing if it went in.
In a recent FIFA 13 Wii U interview, we were assured by FIFA 13 producer Matthew Prior that you do become accustomed to it as, like all great strikers, you'll know where the goal is after a while and won't even need to glance down to shoot. Indeed, he said that his team of developers have been scoring amazing goals with the GamePad without looking at the Wii U controller.
Still, when you're in a crowded six-yard box and quickly need to put the ball in the net, it would take longer to press a button and tap the screen. By then the chance could be gone. Having said that, if you do get it right, it does enable you to place your shots more accurately and makes it more realistic.
For example, in FIFA games, if you are sprinting towards the goal at an angle and shoot it's easy to put it wide but if you check your run and move so you are running parallel to the goal, it is easier to score. That is a bit ridiculous when you think about it as you don't see many strikers doing that in real life.
Yet on the GamePad, you don't need to worry about that as you just tap on the position that you want to ball the travel. I actually scored with my first attempt, a dink over the keeper high into the net which I'm sure I wouldn't have done had I simply pressed a button.
So you'll need to get used to it and there are times when shooting by pressing the buttons will work better and other occasions when you'll want to use the GamePad. What is clear is that it's immensely satisfying when you score with the touchscreen as it really feels like you're in control of the shot. As a result you can see it becoming addictive.
The verdict: Hit