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FIFA 09 All-Play Review

Looks like Pro Evo has a rival

What a difference a year makes. Last year EA released FIFA 08, its first attempt at a football game on the Wii. We gave it 82% and warned that while it was fun, the yet-to-be-released Pro Evolution Soccer 08 (PES) would probably be better. Turns out it was, thanks to the innovative pointer-based controls that let you make pinpoint passes. EA had a lot of work to do in order to match PES: well, they've done it and then some. We'd even go so far as to say that FIFA 09 All-Play is now the best football game on the Wii.

There are numerous reasons for this and the most important is the game's control method. If they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then PES should be feeling pretty honoured now, because FIFA 09's passing system is pretty much a direct lift of Konami's effort. You pass to players by pointing at them with the Wii Remote then pressing A. Unlike in PES however, you don't have to draw lines to make runs or anything like that: you simply point to the location you want to pass to (whether it's at a player's feet or a space you want them to run on to) and your teammate's AI does the rest. Shooting is a case of flicking the Remote: once again, no different to Konami's effort.

Click to view larger image
The main difference however is in the defending system, the one issue that annoyed us about PES. In that game you had no direct control over your defenders: you simply pointed at an opponent, pressed a button and hoped the game would decide your defenders were good enough to get the ball off him. Thankfully, in FIFA you have full control of your defenders meaning it's up to you who tackles who and when. It's the best of both worlds: the innovative attacking system of PES but the old-school (and preferred) defending system too, meaning you're in full control at all times, not just half of the time.

Naturally, some people just prefer traditional joypad controls and can't be bothered with all that Remote and Nunchuk lark, so in a nice touch you can choose to play with a GameCube Controller or Classic Controller instead. It's refreshing to see a game not forcing a new control system on people who don't necessarily want to change.

A League Of Their Own

So the game's fun, we've established that much. Even better, it's packed to the brim with loads of gameplay modes, more than any other football game we've seen on a Nintendo console. For starters, you can take part in any of the game's tournaments: there are a massive 32 full leagues and 22 cups to play through. In a cruel touch, the game has a My Trophies screen where you can see how many of the tournaments you've won. So if you're the sort of person who feels the need to completely finish a game and unlock everything, you've got a lot of matches ahead of you.

Click to view larger image
One thing that disappointed us about last year's Wii version of FIFA was the lack of Manager Mode, the career mode that let you play as a team during a number of seasons while also dealing with transfers, sponsorship, staff and club developments. Thankfully this mode is now present In FIFA 09 and is a welcome addition. Then you've got full online multiplayer, which works well and generally lag-free for the most part due to the fact that players connect to EA's reliable servers in order to play.

Of course, there's also the much-hyped 8 Vs 8 Footii Match mode but while that's fun in multiplayer for a while, it's pretty basic when all's said and done. It makes for a nice change though, unlike the Footii Party mini-games which are exactly the same as those in last year's game and just as forgettable as they were then. The only real disappointment is that the game doesn't have the Be A Pro mode which features on the other systems' versions (even the DS one!). It's a fun mode, where you control one player and are rated on your performance, but we can live without it for another year. Get it in next time though, EA!

FIFA 09 All-Play is simply the best football game on the Wii just now. With a control system that improves on PES, full online multiplayer and literally hundreds of hours of gameplay for those who want to win all the cups, there's a very good chance you'll still be playing through this by the time FIFA 10 (or FIFA 2010 or whatever it's called) comes out.

Comments

49 comments so far...
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  1. Icarus_Kid Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 11:20

    Good to know its actually good, unlike 08... shame about the 'be a pro mode' been a no show, but i'll still get it :D

  2. Pedroia15 Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 13:12

    Got it last night and it is superb ! The only thing bugging me is the shooting , can anyone help ? I can do driven shots no problem however how do I do placed or chip shots ?

  3. Falcon1991 Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 14:26

    This is great news.

    I haven't played a football game since World Cup 98 on Windows 95.

    I'm wondering whether to get back into the football groove. :)

    This is making me wonder...

  4. Bobby64i Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 15:29

    :o Sounds great! :D

  5. 02hollandj Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 16:08

    what about the graphics,last years effort was very bad,to the point when it literally gave me a headache ,are they any better this time around

  6. Lugiatamer493 Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 16:53

    how updated are the teams. i'm sure usually the deadline day transfers aren't included, but one of those screenshots had robinho in a man city shirt. will spurs have pavlyuchenko,coluka, and campbell or not? the question we all want to know

  7. B Ave Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 17:04

    how updated are the teams. i'm sure usually the deadline day transfers aren't included, but one of those screenshots had robinho in a man city shirt. will spurs have pavlyuchenko,coluka, and campbell or not? the question we all want to know

    Didn't EA do updates on Fifa 08 to keep the teams up to date?

    Anyway was gonna get this today, but didn't have enough money in the end... :( So will buy it next week when i get paid...

  8. NCFCLFC Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 17:35

    Played the game for about 1 hour today and overall I think it is an improvement on Fifa 08.

    Although I liked the old control system, the new one seems to work well and considering the little time I have played it I seem to have picked it up well.

    The graphics seem to be a small step up from 08 particularly during the gameplay, however I don't know if it is just me but during the goal celebrations the graphics seem to be poorer than last year and seem to be overly bright. Considering what I saw on videos on the internet I deffo expected better.

    Online is pretty much the same as last year apart from the fact that you can choose to play socialy or competitavely. Although the system stated that there were 85 people online I found it hard to find people to play with although as more people go online I hope this will improve.

    Overall the game is shaping up to be pretty good, only dissapointment for me was that I only got Ł5 trade in value for Fifa 08 wii at game :shock:

  9. lminett Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 17:41

    I may have to get this, fifa 08 was alright, but not amazing. ive played fifa 09 on the DS and its just pants.

    Heres hopeing this is far better.

  10. michaelt Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 18:27

    I got FIFA 08 and was dissapointed with it. I'm going to get this one though.

  11. eeveeman Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 21:12

    looks like a good game

    lol, just looked at GAME and every game execpt wii have had prices slashed by Ł5 or more. why not wii?

    :)

  12. nintendorockz90 Friday 3rd Oct 2008 at 21:28

    I was waiting for the review, and now I'm definately going to get it. Looks great.

  13. Rnald Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 10:16

    Got rid of 08 days after getting it on wii.

    This is brilliant though, defence may take some getting used to though and there is a slight glitch when scoring with a sub.

    Overall its superb and I'm glad not to have to settle for PS2 this year.

    Footii Party is fun aswell.

  14. Dean Thompson Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 14:08

    nice. ill be getting this me thinks.

  15. mickymoo72 Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 14:56

    The graphics are like looking at PS1. The gameplay .. ok nice ideas, but for me it doesn't work as well as PES (imo). Defending a big improvement though. Players feel as if they are running in treacle. What really gets my goat though is online... the lag is poor, but its the network error disconnections on nearly every game I've played. And whats worse is if you happen to be losing when it disconnects you it counts as a loss on your stats. I'm sorry to sound negative, but mine will be going back to the shop on Monday!

  16. fanboy Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 16:17

    Mickymoo - that actually sounds like you have a poor connection if its happening on every game you have.

    Not sure about this one. Genrally Im losing faith in ONM, they seem to be giving out massive scores recently for games that are rated quite poorly elsewhere.

    This only got 75% in Ngamer and they said it wasnt a patch on pro evo.

    Plus ONM have reviewed De Blob and Wario with big scores, but in many other mags they've struggled to get into the 80's.

  17. 02hollandj Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 18:45

    i just bought this and my first impression of it is that it is the best football game i have ever played

  18. daddybobo Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 19:23

    looks like a good game

    lol, just looked at GAME and every game execpt wii have had prices slashed by Ł5 or more. why not wii?

    :)

    You can get super smash brothers brawl for Ł24.99 at Game now.

    I will deffo get this in the christmas sales. Love Fifa and Pes and am looking forward to the 8v8 online.

  19. whorooney Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 19:55

    It looks awesome. One prob...WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO ROONEY?????????? :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :?: :?: :?: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  20. daddybobo Sunday 5th Oct 2008 at 06:05

    It looks awesome. One prob...WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO ROONEY?????????? :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :?: :?: :?: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    Turned him into the overated, overweight, need a shave shrek lookalike that he is. :D

  21. The Timesplitter Sunday 5th Oct 2008 at 12:51

    At last! EA have odne what countless developers have failed to do! kept the modes that appear in the 360 and ps3 versions and put awesome wii exclusive stuff in there!

  22. bhoyinblue Monday 6th Oct 2008 at 00:20

    how updated are the teams. i'm sure usually the deadline day transfers aren't included, but one of those screenshots had robinho in a man city shirt. will spurs have pavlyuchenko,coluka, and campbell or not? the question we all want to know

    I got it preordered woohoo!
    All the teams are from the 1st of september (end of the transfer window) so any of the free agents moving around after that arent done, so I dont think pavluchenko is at tottenham, but you can easily rectify that with the transfers option in the game!

  23. darkandy666 Monday 6th Oct 2008 at 06:02

    i got this on Sunday its much much better then fifa 08 the controls are better every things better how to take pentlies and free kicks the 8v8 footii match ARE FUN WITH YOUR FRIENDS as well and be a pro mode doesn't sound that good anyway people get this game :!:

  24. ultra_slb Monday 6th Oct 2008 at 14:57

    im having some basic trouble... I cant seem to find where to change the oponents shirt in the career mode, i've played twice red against red, its awful

  25. Tom266 Monday 6th Oct 2008 at 17:20

    How many players can play online?

  26. darkandy666 Tuesday 7th Oct 2008 at 06:07

    m having some basic trouble... I cant seem to find where to change the oponents shirt in the career mode, i've played twice red against red, its awful

    i've had the same thing blue vs blue and it is anoying wired i won tho i coulfdn't tell who my players where

  27. Kirby_Love Tuesday 7th Oct 2008 at 19:45

    Are there any girls with this game? if so do u like it

    I'm a girl and this game looks good, so i think i'm gonna get it unless someone strongly objects

  28. Kirby_Love Tuesday 7th Oct 2008 at 19:45

    Are there any girls with this game? if so do u like it

    I'm a girl and this game looks good, so i think i'm gonna get it unless someone strongly objects

  29. Leo91 Wednesday 8th Oct 2008 at 01:04

    Mickymoo - that actually sounds like you have a poor connection if its happening on every game you have.

    Not sure about this one. Genrally Im losing faith in ONM, they seem to be giving out massive scores recently for games that are rated quite poorly elsewhere.

    This only got 75% in Ngamer and they said it wasnt a patch on pro evo.

    Plus ONM have reviewed De Blob and Wario with big scores, but in many other mags they've struggled to get into the 80's.

    I don't know about Wario's game, but, as a proud owner of De Blob, I don't think ONM over rated it in the slightest. It's one of the most inventive, creative and enjoyable games I've played in quite a while. So what it sounds like, is that those other mags you've been reading have been very unfair...
    De Blob deserves more than 92% if you ask me :/

  30. slangman Wednesday 8th Oct 2008 at 14:52

    Sounds great though i dunno if i will get it since i am not a sports fan when. Shame about the lack of No Be A Pro mode (it almost sounds like EA wanted to simplify the game just for casual users though i hope not.)

  31. 61850n Friday 10th Oct 2008 at 17:26

    Having played it for the first time today, i'm a little disappointed with FIFA 09. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but they work reasonably well. Could have more control over crosses, shots and tackles (i have tried both ALL-PLAY and advanced modes, yet to have a go wiht a classic controller).

    The worst thing is that you cannot edit the teams, so unlike on other platforms you cannot create your own teams and put yourself and your mates in the game :-(

    The Footii matches are great, harking back to the 5-a-side FIFA 98 indoor games on the N64, and they allow you to play as your Mii alongside Rooney. Again it would be great if you could pick the rest of your team and put other Miis in but that is not an option.

    A final missed opportunity is not being able to save replays, which was great on PES.

  32. 61850n Friday 10th Oct 2008 at 17:30

    Are there any girls with this game? if so do u like it

    I'm a girl and this game looks good, so i think i'm gonna get it unless someone strongly objects

    Shame there are no ladies teams in the game! There could at least be some international teams, but they are not included. I think this game would be enjoyable for girls.

  33. wta121 Sunday 12th Oct 2008 at 09:36

    FIFA games are always awwesome. ITs good that ONM recognises its brilliances.

  34. Chinweazle Tuesday 14th Oct 2008 at 16:40

    I'm really enjoying it. The controls work well, there are plenty of game modes and the option to alter the controls is very helpful when playing with people fo different abilities.
    The manager mode works well and adds an extra dimension.
    However, the commentary is awful. It's often completely at odds with the action on the pitch. Especially annoying is Andy Gray telling you that someone or other looks injured when he's nothing of the sort.

  35. Sabrewulf Wednesday 15th Oct 2008 at 10:56

    I'm really enjoying it. The controls work well, there are plenty of game modes and the option to alter the controls is very helpful when playing with people fo different abilities.
    The manager mode works well and adds an extra dimension.
    However, the commentary is awful. It's often completely at odds with the action on the pitch. Especially annoying is Andy Gray telling you that someone or other looks injured when he's nothing of the sort.

    Thank god I thought I was going mad, i'm really getting into this game now and the controls are working really well although yet to get to grips with crossing yet!

    BUT PLEASE SHUT UP ANDY GRAY, I wish I could turn him off as every bloody slide tackle I make he says something along the lines of "he held nothing back there, but I think he may have injured himself". He says this every flippin' time it is so frustrating and i'm trying my best to not let it ruin my game the other commentary is fine I just want to filter out the nob end that is Andy Gray, grrrrr :evil:

  36. Anonymous Wednesday 15th Oct 2008 at 12:27

    This sounds just like what I need to tide me over to next spring(PES09)
    What does annoy is the way you guys harp on about the defensive shortcomings of PES08. Let's set one thing straight, you CAN direct a player to defend/shadow/tackle the opposition sthe same way you can control any player directly with the wiimote and chuk. You simple click one of your players and drag him about like normal, the opposing player gets a red ring round him when it is likely a slide tackle will connect. Just like attacking control really. It is NOT true that the only way to defend is to click on an opposing player and hope he is tackled by one of yours.
    Edit - It was the shooting that is rubbish on PES08.

  37. .Yoshi. Thursday 16th Oct 2008 at 14:25

    How many players can play online?


    4 max like multiplayer. To be honest it would get crowded with more.

  38. .Yoshi. Thursday 16th Oct 2008 at 14:27

    How many players can play online?


    4 max like multiplayer. To be honest it would get crowded with more.


    W8 this fifa 09, not brawl isn't it? :oops: :oops:
    As many people there are in a football match. I think.

  39. promaster Sunday 19th Oct 2008 at 10:16

    How many players can play online?


    4 max like multiplayer. To be honest it would get crowded with more.


    W8 this fifa 09, not brawl isn't it? :oops: :oops:
    As many people there are in a football match. I think.


    In other consoles you can play 20 player online as there is be a pro mode unlike the wii.

  40. leah08 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 20:15

    got this on sunday and OMG.............
    its GR8! beta than pes 8! cum on u chelsea :D

  41. leah08 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 20:16

    Are there any girls with this game? if so do u like it

    I'm a girl and this game looks good, so i think i'm gonna get it unless someone strongly objects

    YEAH im a girl :D and its soooo gud i defo recommend it :D its the best!!!!

  42. robbieallton Friday 7th Nov 2008 at 20:51

    I bought FIFA 09 on the strength of the ONM review and belive me they weren't lying. It's one hell of a game. It's god dame pure footballing heaven. Imagine George Best crossed with Pele add a touch of Ronaldo and a slight sprink of Rooney..... You get the picture!

  43. funkyteacher Thursday 13th Nov 2008 at 00:42

    Really enjoying the gameplay but lack of Pav and Campbell from Spurs squad is a bit crap. If only EA set up Squad Updates straight after transfer deadline or at worst allowed you to transfer players from your custom team to league teams so you could at least create the players your favourite team is missing... :roll:

  44. Smash-bros fan Saturday 13th Dec 2008 at 21:59

    Good game, great controls decent graphics, 2 things annoy me though.

    Andy Gray (eg "It was a fantastic slide tackle but i think hes injured himself.") he spams that too much and number 2...


    IPSWICH GOT A HIGHER STAR RATING THAN NORWICH!!! I think that stupid as we beat them and we obviously the better team.

    PS. On my copy Peter griffin is now Spurs manager XD

  45. leoj8 Saturday 27th Dec 2008 at 19:47

    got this on sunday and OMG.............
    its GR8! beta than pes 8! cum on u chelsea :D

    You might want to check your spelling - 'cum on chelsea' and 'come on chelsea' have very different meanings...

    I agree with lancasm, the defensive controls on PES08 were no where near as bad as ONM made out. I think that one or two improvements could have been made but they weren't too bad.

    Personally, I think they were better than FIFA 09's.

    Yes, shock horror, but I find that no matter how much I press tackle, jockey, or even goalkepeer charge the game takes a good few seconds to react to this and even when it does, my defenders just seem to stand off the player in possesion and let him through.
    What's more, the attacking controls feel a lot more limited than PES08's did, and FIFA's passing system is absolutely dire in comparison to PES's.

    I am absolutely gutted that I traded in my PES08 to buy this, as in my opinion it is a shamble of a game that deserves a low score. If I find any improvements I swear to post here, but I have a feeling that I will be returning thsi game.

    (May I just add, my signature in no way reflects what I have posted - I have been honest here!)

  46. leoj8 Sunday 28th Dec 2008 at 21:55

    OK, well I said that if improvements were found I would post them. I have never been one to refuse to swallow my pride, so I have decided to say that things have changed for the better.

    I realised that the controls weren't clicking for me due to the fact that I was trying to play the game like it was PES. And in my opinion, PES's controls always feel slightly more free and smooth than FIFA's occassionaly wood-ish feel. So instead of trying to play extravagant through balls and the like, I went back to basics and played it how you are supposed to play a FIFA game. And what a difference.

    The attacking controls feel a lot better now - the point and pass system in my view is still a little inferior to PES's, but certainly not bad by any means. It is also nice to have full defensive controls but I did like the man-marking option in PES - I find a little too often that an opponents attackers drift through the defence too easily.

    In summary, I think that if you played PES08 on Wii then it will take a little time to adjust to the FIFA way of playing, but persevere and there is an enjoyable experience to be had here. Although I prefer PES's passing system, as an overall package I think FIFA is better.

  47. wonkeykong Friday 2nd Jan 2009 at 11:23

    can anyone tell me how to do chip shots with a remote and nunchuck?

  48. DBZFan355 Monday 19th Jan 2009 at 16:11

    good, but not great. 86% maybe

  49. Gooners4ever Wednesday 22nd Jul 2009 at 10:30

    im thinking about buying fifa 09. is it good? how come on the wii version they dont have be a pro season. All i want 2 know is wot rating would u give it out of 10 :D :D :D

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