A kick in the right direction
To give you some idea of how long I have been playing the Fifa the first time I played it was way back on the original Playstation for Fifa 1996. To say that this game has come over by leaps and bounds is an understatement.
The main annoyance of Fifa 2007 was that the game play didn’t seem smooth enough. I am glad to say that EA Sports has got round this bringing the game play above that normally reserved for the Pro Evolution circuit.
In a way I think EA are going to struggle to better what they have now
A new comer to this game might want to start out with the settings at a novice level but for those who are adapt or ‘Fifa’Pro’s you can wander straight in at Semi Pro or even Pro level. The skills that you play with are entirely up to you. As a novice you could quite easily get a decent amount of game play out of Fifa 2008 and maybe even score a couple of goals in the process but step it up a gear and this game really comes into its own. By learning the special moves, passes tactics and a whole lot more you open up the field and take the game play to a whole new level.
I personally switched into Pro mode and got on with it. Learning the additional buttons/combs takes time but after a while (not in the first game you play) it should become second nature but gone are the good old days of holding two buttons together to get a desired move. OH hell no, now you have to hold one button, presses another whilst pushing one joystick in the direction of play whist wiggling the other to create some sort of fancy move. If you do manage to pull this off correctly then congratulations you have just managed to get round the opposition but I can bet that whilst your brain is still thinking how you did that the next player will have tackled you and taken your glory away at the same time.
Now we get on to what the game is really about…..scoring. This time it is not as simple as the older versions of get within a certain range with full power and a spectacular goal will be forthcoming. This time it is harder. In the manual there is a fancy chart to explain how to power up a shot. If you don’t read this part your favourite striker will no doubt hit the ball so hard he will make Jonny Wilkinson look like a Sunday league rugby player and take out the spectator on row ZZ in the stadium. So with practice you will get the power right but then come the other factors. To say that EA have got this spot on would almost be disrespectful. They have got this part of the programming in a world of its own. Take a shot whilst under pressure from another player and you will find it harder to keep the shot on target like wise if you hit the ball with the players left foot if he is right footed and the power shall be reduced along with the accuracy. One final point of this I found was that it is nearly impossible to score if you’re sprinting at the same time. A tip of mine would be to try and time the sprint to end whilst powering up your shot for maximum effect.
So you have learned some skills and even scored a few goals. You might have even got through a league using a low league level team (Mansfield Town anyone). But connect your Xbox to Xbox Live and you will find out just how good you are. There are thousands of online players and teams all wanting to have a piece of you. Don’t get me wrong you may be good but until you play someone else that you don’t know at all you won’t know if you are as good as you think you are.
Another way to try and beat the opposition is to get the tactics to how you play your game. Full attack or full defence. Change the formations of your key players or put 3 strikers on at the same time. It is all there to take advantage from. Be careful as you can put players on that cause your team to work inefficiently.
I personally don’t know a hell of a lot about football. Which players are swapping from team A to team B and all that? However I do know a few key players here and there and the likeness is enough for you to recognise them even if you don’t see their name on the back of their shirts. Another good addition is the commentary. It has been around while since way back but the most annoying thing is that sometimes it could not keep up with the game play. Even in real life there is a struggle between game action and what actually comes out of their mouths but EA again has managed to get it almost to the point of true believable commentary.
In a way I think EA are going to struggle to better what they have now but with HDTV finding its way in to more and more homes I am sure that there is another surprise just around the corner that will give us all more realistic players. You never know we might influence the England Manager to take heed of what us gamers have achieved so many time with Virtual Cup glory.
Buy it as you won’t be disappointed.
The Bad: Still annoyed at paying nearly £50 for each new game.