I love FIFA
soccer games and every year EA Sports somehow takes this pre-existing
franchise and turns it into something unique and
for the XBox 360 is no exception to the rule.
Even though the gaming soccer camps have
been neatly divided into EA’s FIFA series and Konami’s PES series, I’ve
always stated that FIFA had the edge with better graphics and dare I say
it, better gameplay and with 250 core gameplay additions to this latest
incarnation, one can only enjoy just how good this game is.
gameplay - Featuring 250 additions and enhancements to core
gameplay, including new animation technology that creates more
responsive first-time shooting and passing, faster and more
controlled dribbling, and improved trapping, and new player momentum
physics that delivers realistic player collisions, authentic
jostling for the ball, and more variation in tackling.
Custom Team Tactics
—Become a first-team coach with the power to tune and balance 11
tactical sliders for 140 attacking and 40 defending options (more
than 50,000 combinations) so CPU players and your team perform just
like the real-world team or how you think the real team should play.
Save your tactics to make strategic decisions to exploit your
opponent’s weaknesses during the game. Plus, share your strategies
with friends online*.
Be A Pro: Seasons —
Pick or create a professional player and test your football ability
over a four season campaign. Master a single position and develop
your skills -- passing, shooting, positioning, marking -- to
ultimately become a national legend.
Intelligence – Goalkeepers position themselves more intelligently,
react to shots more realistically and recover from saves faster.
Controllers – Create your own bespoke controller configuration, save
it and even take it online effortlessly. Assign actions to the
buttons exactly how you like them for complete control.
No of Offline
Players: 7 (PS3); 4 (Xbox 360)
Some of new core gameplay additions are
quite impressive and at the end of the day, gives more control and
realism to the player. For instance, the player has more control over
not only the ball but also the speed of the ball.
The game also calculates player momentum
physics by using the speed and weight of the player to calculate gaming
tactics. Even though much of these core gameplay modes cannot be seen,
you really need to experience the title hands on to see all the changes
made to this franchise.
EA have added some tweaks to some of the
gameplay modes, for instance, “Custom Team Tactics” now allows you to
play as a coach for your team which means you can play, coach and
The “Be a Pro” mode now includes career
mode which adds a true depth of realism to the game. However, even if
you are just a casual sports player in the console world, EA Sports have
not forgotten about these gamers and they can still pick up the
controllers and have a satisfying soccer experience but the beauty of
the game is that you can actually grow as a player which allows for
almost endless gameplay options.
The online mode of FIFA 09 offers more
choices than a candy store (well, not really but…) which allows soccer
fanatics to download the latest updates from their favourite leagues.
The “Be a Pro” option has also been transferred online which means you
can play as against gamers online, each controlling one character which
as realistic as it comes. Don’t have XBox Live? That’s ok as the game
allows you play up to four players off-line for some true gaming fun and
is great for having a group of friends together as you attempt to kick
the winning goals.
The control system has been tweaked since
last year and once again feels perfect on the XBox 360 controller as you
perform a variety of realistic soccer maneuvers and the defense and
offence tactics of the game feels even better than previous versions.
The new moves can be performed by using the
shoulder buttons and the right analog stick, making you almost like
David Beckham on heat. Still not liking the control system? Prefer the
Konami control system? Well my sporting friend, EA allows for total
controller configuration control that allows you to setup the controller
just how you want it.
Graphically, once again FIFA is the king of
the hill and it’s pure eye candy with almost photorealistic graphics.
The players move with a true fluidity of unparalleled proportions. Match
that with extreme detail on their uniforms and some of the most
realistic background stadiums that we have seen and FIFA 09 must be seen
on an LCD or Plasma screen for the amazing attention to detail.
A beautiful colour palette, true real-world
physics (including weather) and this is the most impressive soccer game
to date. As to the music, once again EA has their pumping soundtrack to
match the gameplay and realistic commentary (as per usual) and soccer
sound effects to thoroughly immerse you into this game.
At the end of the day, FIFA 09 is one of
the most amazing soccer experiences on the XBox 360 with superb
gameplay, eye-catching graphics and good old fashioned sporting fun
which game be played by a variety of different levels of gamers. The new
control system and tweaks to the game are perfect and this is definitely
a runner up for Sports Game of the Year!