Game Review – FIFA Street

As already talked about on this site, the rights and wrongs of the football world were made pretty irrelevant this weekend following events on Saturday at White Hart Lane.  We at FFO, continue to wish the best to Fabrice Muamba and his family.

So, today we are going to cover something a bit more light-hearted – football gaming!

In football gaming there is a pretty clear divide.  A rivalry which has been fought year after year between the mighty PES and FIFA series.  I’ve seen best friends divided, families at war and all because no one can truly agree which series is better.  For what it’s worth, I believe that FIFA has surpassed PES in recent years which meant that I was quite excited when I heard that EA were releasing a rebooted version of FIFA Street.

Having not had much time for gaming recently, I was secretly very pleased when my missus announced that she wasn’t going to be home on Saturday.  I thought, perfect –  a chance to catch up on some much needed XBOX time.  So out I went to the shops, looking for a new game.  Initially, I had been hoping to buy the new SSX game but to my dismay it was sold out everywhere I went.  So I took a punt on FIFA street instead, and god I am glad I did.

Saturday became a blur, hours passed and suddenly I realised that all of those jobs the missus had left for me to do, simply weren’t going to happen.  It was that good.

For those who have played the previous incarnations of FIFA Street, the feel of the game has totally changed.  Gone is the cartoonish nature of the players and the unrealistic physics engine which was more like playing NBA Jam.  The game now, feels very much like FIFA 12 to control and uses the same system to activate tricks.  When you pull off a difficult trick, it’s much more satisfying due to the more realistic nature.

The game is split into two distinct modes, the first is exhibition play where you can choose your favourite team (most of the top leagues and international sides are covered), a game mode and off you go.

Futsal - a more tense affair

One of the most impressive features of the game, is the variety of game modes.  You have the standard 5-a-side, which in itself is great fun and most like the previous versions.  But the new additions are what makes it so immersive.  There is the brilliant “Futsal” mode which is the officially recognised version of street football, which is played indoors and without walls (so corners and throw in’s do apply).  It’s still 5-a-side, but with different shaped goals and it plays more like traditional football and is the most tense of all.  There is also 6-a-side, which you wouldn’t imagine to be wildly different, but again it’s the subtle changes like the pitch size being much bigger which makes it a totally different game.

Last Man Standing - Hours of fun

However, the most enjoyable so far has been Last Man Standing.  It’s so simple, but yet so much fun at the same time.  You start off on a relatively small street pitch, using tiny goals.  It’s 4-a-side with no goalkeepers, and every time you score, you lose a player and the difficulty increases until slowly but surely you are left with 1 against 1, or 2 against 1 and you literally start kicking every ball as the nerves start to jangle.  I jumped off the sofa screaming in either joy or agony more times playing Last Man Standing than I have playing any other game in history.

The main part of the game is called World Tour, where you create your own team and start out with a group of amateur players.  The idea being that you enter local tournaments, earning skill points as you go so that your players develop their skills.

It can be quite frustrating at first, as the players you have cannot perform even the most basic of tricks – they have to be earnt and upgraded over time.  Once your team is ranked high enough you will then compete in other tournaments worldwide, combining the whole variety of different game modes.

As you can probably tell, I am quite a fan of the game and think it is a massive step up from EA’s previous FIFA Street efforts.  It’s a joy to play on your own, but take it online or play with friends and it becomes even better.  My only concern is around longevity.  The beauty of the standard FIFA or PES, were that you could play them all year without getting bored.  Will FIFA Street be able to do this once the initial novelty has worn off?  Only time will tell.

My Score: 8/10