on 25 October 2008
You can always tell what time of year it is. The old PES vs FIFA debate is dragged out of the cupboard for another dusting down ... and this year the hype for both games was off the chart !!!
I started off being a FIFA fan until about 1998 when I started to lean towards ISS then PRO EVO. I hadn't looked back since. Until now that is. After purchasing a copy of PES 2009 and being massively dissapointed by how poor it was I returned it and decided to get my first FIFA game in a decade.
When you initally load FIFA you are instantly hit with how professional the game looks. No dodgy music, cheap imitation teams and players and no feeling of anything other than license heaven.
The novelty effect continues when you load up a game with your favourite team and watch the great opening graphics sequence lead to a very impressive match engine. The physics and detail in the player and stadiums are wonderful. You feel as close to the real thing graphically as possible.
With the inclusion of a new Be a Pro mode allowing you to create yourself and have a 4 year career .. along with every playable league and online mode you could want you would think this game is tops. Unfortunately after playing for a while you begin to touch upon a few annoyances ... that become frustrations ... that becomes enough to curtail your enjoyment. Then you realise why many previous reviewers didn't give it the BIG thumbs up ...
Firstly - it seems as though the reflexes of the players you control are so sluggish. Youtry to trap the ball - turn and shimmy past the defender with wayne rooney and all that happens is you trap the ball - turn and get tackled. It doesnt matter which player you go. Sometimes when you play a clinical through ball you player slowly jogs a step or two rather than sprint at full pelt as per your commands. No matter how hard i have practised i can seem to be as good as the computer at dribbling etc. Its not a case of me not being good enough - other reviewers have touched on this.
Secondly - how hard is it to beat the goalies??? its darn hard. Try unleashing a series of raspers from inside the box and you will see what I men ( and thats even against the weaker goalies ).
Next is the lag in the controls. I have lost count of how many times Berbatov has pointed to where he wants the ball to be played but ends up offside cos it takes the computer a few seconds too long to respond to my commands of a thru ball.
Finally - corners and crosses are made pretty much redundant. Try them for yourself and see how many you can land on your own players head and how many are cleared. 99.9% cleared should be the answer.
Ok , ok i know we aren't talking about massive problems on the surface. But try dealing with them every match and it starts to bring the enjoyment of the game down. In comparison to PES this is the biz , but it needs fixing for the next version.
on 4 June 2009
... but only if you really like FOOTBALL.
If you are really into your football games, but wouldnt say you really had the patience or passion to learn the tactics of the real game, then dont buy this.
There have been a few negative reviews on Amazon for this game, and they all seem to be complaining about the same thing - fun and frustration. Many people have been saying if they wanted to play football realistically, then they could just go outside. Personally, I cant really understand this criticism as you are never going to be able to play to the level the game allows you to, and i also think that criticising a game for being TOO accurate is just bizarre.
There are negatives to the game. On PS3 the online is a bit hit and miss, sometimes you will go through periods of just being constantly disconnected all the time, but when it works, its great.
The manager mode is also not as good as Pro Evos master league. Dont ask me why, it just doesnt give you that same feeling of building a team that you get from Pro Evo. Thats not to say that its bad though.
The great thing about this game though is that it is just a total replica of the game of football. The movement of your teammates is just out of this world. Its some of the best AI ive ever seen in a game. You can play the game anyway you like. You can play long ball if you want, as long as its the RIGHT ball, but mainly you'll pass it around and thats were the game really shines.
On Pro Evo, if you pass the ball forward then you cant really go backwards again. Your AI teammates just look to run nto the box rather than giving you a number of options like they do in FIFA. In FIFA you can build brilliant moves and score utterly spectacular goals, but its all a case of learning the game, having patience, and understanding how football in real life works.
Most of the criticism that i've read here feels like it has come from one of the many people i've beat online in this game. I dont mean to sound big headed at all, but most people tend to get the ball to their striker as quickly as possible and just run up the pitch and shoot. The guys playing like this are just totally stuck in the past. You may still be able to do that on Pro Evo online, but not in FIFA if you're up against decent opposition.
Its easy to defend against people who are just going to try and run around you all the time, just like it is in real life. the best way to score is to keep possession of the ball, build attacks and allow the AIs movement to create space.
That is the beauty of this game. If you pass the ball and keep it in the opposition half of the field rather than just trying to burst thorugh the defence on your own, then your AI teammates will make intelligent runs behind the defence for you. Thats how I've managed to win quite a few games online. Its just patience.
So overall, this is the greatest football simulation ever in my book. If you have an open mind about games and want to actually learn how the mechanics work, then you will get a lot out of it. Its a fantastic game, one of the best of last year and I couldnt recommend it highly enough.
on 1 October 2008
To quote a fellow reviewer 'Real footy fans will buy Pro'. Well after the last dismal installment of ProEvo I think I will be buying Fifa again this year, especially after playing the demo. I always bought ProEvo until last year - but I can happily say Fifa are moving in the right direction at last. the gamplay is very slick, compared to Fifa08 (which is still a great footy game) the ball mechanics and AI have been greatly improved, it feels so polished. I'm not saying we should snub ProEvo again this year, hopefully it will have sorted out the terrible gameplay, bugs and bought at least one more license! However this game has it all - fully licensed teams, players and loads of leagues and online features.
on 20 October 2008
I've played ten games of FIFA so far, and am basing this review on the online game, as I don't really play against the computer much.
1. The passing has been much improved from FIFA 08, giving the player much more incentive to play the ball around, rather than just running up and down the wings with Messi and Ronaldinho, as the majority of people I played against on FIFA 08 did.
2. There seems to be much less disparity between the teams, which I think is good, as Barcelona were far too good on FIFA 08, especially considering they finished third in La Liga!
3. The speed of play is faster than FIFA 08, which means the game is generally more fun to play.
4. It is much easier to get behind defences with passing, which was very difficult to do on FIFA 08.
5. It is easier to defend against low crosses - I played against hundreds of players on FIFA 08 who only tried to score from low crosses.
6. The crowd effects in the stadium are much improved, and now look much more like a football crowd as well.
7. The responsiveness of the online servers has improved markedly.
1. It is far too easy to play forwards in behind the defence.
2. Consequently, it is far too easy to score. I'm already averaging 4 goals per game on FIFA 09 and have not really mastered the finishing yet, whereas I played a lot of FIFA 08, got into the top 1,000 players in the online rankings, yet only averaged about 2.5 goals per game.
3. It is tough to stop opposition forwards from dribbling, in fact any kind of defensive game is very difficult.
4. From time-to-time when chasing a through ball, players sidestep alongside it for no apparent reason. This is quite irritating.
5. Rushing the keeper off the line rapidly is still far too effective as a tactic.
6. The AI is pretty poor. Frequently your own players intercept passes intended for someone else (sometimes admittedly this benefits you), and the off-the-ball running of defenders is abysmal. This contributes to the number of goals scored, which is too many.
Overall, there are elements of this game that are better than the previous FIFA, but the big drawback for me is the ease of scoring. I think the customer average of 3.5 stars is fair.
on 10 March 2009
As a football video game fan of over 20 years (from Sensi to Kick Off to Fifa and PES) I've felt compelled to write a review of the game that has been awarded so many stars and sells in such big volumes (though I believe one of the main reasons for this is the brand name).
Now I have to put my hands up and admit that, first and foremost, I'm a PES man but even I can appreciate that it's fallen a little by the wayside over the last couple of years (though 2009 is a vast improvement over 2008).
Which is why I wanted to give FIFA '09 a go - here's a game that has apparently made significant progress throughout each year - with many claiming that it's finally taken the crown off PES.
So, after borrowing the game off a work friend, I sat and began playing with a completely open mind. After all, I wanted a game where I could pick a League Two side and take them all the way up to the Prem (with perhaps a cup victory to boot). I wanted slick presentation and great online play (the two biggest downsides of PES).
With a few nights play under my belt I was ready to give my verdict...and it's not good. I could go into minor detail about everything but there's no need, as the biggest problem area can be summed up easily.
Now call me old-fashioned, but in my view, a video game of any genre is ultimately about one thing - GAMEPLAY. When I sit down and switch on my console and boot up a game I want to enjoy the experience...because that, inherently, is what gaming is about. You can dress any game up in bells and whistles but if it isn't any fun, if it doesn't make you jump off your sofa, if it doesn't make you shout with joy then what's the point?
And this is FIFA '09's biggest flaw. At no point did it have me on the edge of my seat. I got bored of trying to build up the play only for my striker to balloon it over the bar. The passing was painfully slow. The crossing poor. "But it's true to real life" I hear you cry. So what? If I want to experience real life I'll go out and actually play football.
I'll be honest - I was disappointed. Mainly because I really wanted to like this game as it potentially offered so much. Yes, the presentation is slicker than slick (and something that PES needs to aspire to) but this simply is not enough.
The reason for this review was not to turn it into a FIFA v PES debate - but I do have to say something. If you want a football game with the "correct" licenses and great presentation then by all means go and buy FIFA '09. And if you're happy to sit there patiently in the hope that something exciting will happen then go ahead. But I truly believe you're missing out on any gaming experience. Which is where PES comes in. It doesn't have the licenses and the overall presentation is poor (though the Champions League is a good starting point) but it has gameplay in abundance - it'll have you screaming with joy when you bag a last minute winner. It'll have you slamming the pad down in frustration as the opposition grabs a late equaliser. It's arcadey, I know. But that makes it so much more of an enjoyable game. And don't get me started on the thrill it brings when a few mates get together for an evening of PES'ing.
When returning the game back to my work mate (who, for the first time, had chosen FIFA over PES) I game him my feedback. Now bearing in mind he'd been initially singing its praises, he actually paused and said (rather defeatingly) "you're right - I don't enjoy playing it either"...
on 4 October 2008
I've always bought fifa every year since PSone, and I've never really enjoyed Pro Evo. But last years Fifa 08 attempt I thought was poor. Although it looked stunning on the eye, the gameplay was slow and slugish. Passing was fustrating and scoring anywhere from 6 yards out was almost impossible. Coming up to the release date for fifa 09 and pro evo, my mind was swaying for the first time towards Konami's attempt. As I read the great things about the new fifa and played the demo I decided to go once again for Fifa and what a great decision that was.
Fifa 09 is without doubt the greatest football game ever made. It's visually better than 08 and the gameplay is exceptional. Every pass, movement, tackle and shot has to be thought about. You can't just press pass, pass, pass, shoot and it's 1-0. You have to work your players about the pitch. Look for passes in space, make your players move. It makes you think about every aspect of your game. Tacklings tough too, as every player is different and weight and size of the player is taken into account. Rooney against Wright-Phillips in a 50/50 tackle and Rooney will win 95% of time but put Rooney against Gallas or Gerrard and it it could either way. Apart from the goal celebrations which you can do yourself, which at 1st are cool but after scoring 50 goals it gets a bit annoying, there isn't anything i've come across which is poor in any way. Well done EA. 10 out of 10!
4 Months in and I finally felt compelled to write a review. And I'm glad I waited. I've noticed alot of customers writing their thoughts when they obviously haven't played the whole game, or base their thoughts around what it was like "at my m8's house". In other cases, people just haven't given it long enough.
I can safely say after all this is time that, in my eyes, this is the best FIFA in the series, which is pushing it even at the fun standards of FIFA 98 (my previous favourite). So what have EA done right, and how does it beat Pro Evo this year?
Lets get to the important stuff - Gameplay. FIFA 09 is easily the most fluid of all the titles released. In the past, each game felt quite stiff and inflexible; formations were rigid, and no-one had the common sense to run off the ball into a good position, not helped by poor through-balls. 09 fixes these problems with fantastic AI on your own teams behalf, so that a players individual (and very in depth) Bio determines how they move, where they run, and how they do it. It's the catalyst to making that player unique, and more so than ever.
But lets not forget that this 'intelligence' is only based on the players skill. So how do we fix this? EA give every player in the game a more advanced Bio than ever. Players gain 'Experience' points, which slowly over time allows you to improve many different areas of their game. The points gained are based around things like Form, Confidence, and Ratings. Play a reserve player, get him to score a hat-trick on his debut, and the points rise. Their are some 20/30 different areas you can improve; some areas improve automatically, and the points accumulated allow you to improve further areas.
Away from points, we also have the 'Office'; a centre for you to spend money as you wish on your club and deal with players. Improve Stadium Capacity? Hire better fitness coaches? They all help to improve your team. If you're lucky enough to support a wealthy club, this can turn your club into a World Class team. For the League 1/2 supporters, it's an uphill task, but fantastically challenging, which shows EA have finally figured out that players such as Figo can't move to teams like Acrington Stanley. It took a while, didn't it?
This more realistic transfer market means that few players are available in the window, the prices are more realistic, and you'll be forced to off-load players if money gets tight.
A Message Centre provides you with mail on Injury quotas, the Boards comments on how you're doing, and some clever little Question and Answer sessions that affect you fans and teams morale. This idea has been used in the past, but it adds to the overall realism and is welcome.
FIFA 09 provides plenty of different game modes; both on and Off-line. Without the Internet, the Manager and Tournament modes provide a real self-challenge to improve your Mangerial prestige, while Online modes such as 'B.A.P' (Be A Part...) allow you to play as 1 player in a 10 v 10 game. A really excellent mode that provides plenty of laughs, and so far all the people on Microphone/Headsets have been friendly. Though I have received the odd head-scratching message, such as "U f**king looser take dis bak to blockbuster" etc etc. This individuals are, laughably, the ones who can't actually play. You can of course Block and ignore rude messages/players.
Their's always been an air of sillyness or genuine fun in FIFA games; they're usually a one-off in each title. This time round, EA have included a fantastic 'Celebration' mode, were after you score a goal, the camera follows your player around the pitch (as you move him around) and you can choose his celebration. With around 25+ different moves, such as dancing, the 'robot', body slides, cart-wheels, somersaults and more, you'll be glaring at a sheet full of button combinations to pull off a funny celebration. My favourite has been to get an old-timer like Ryan Giggsy and make him do a triple somersault into the crowd!
With the ability to take Screen-shots and save Replays, you can capture those fine moments, too.
The games Licensing is packed to the brim as usual, though I'm a bit jealous that Pro Evo got the 'Champions League' license this year, which gave it a real sense of authenticity. But perhaps the most impressive on FIFA 09 are the boots, where almost all the manufacturers and their different boots can be seen on every single player. Their are plenty of different footballs as well.
Skills on the ball are easier to perform, though as ever, some are destined only for certain players. The First Touch skills are perhaps the most blindingly improved in 09, with the ability to dummy, feint, or simply push the ball in a new direction upon pass. This allows a much more realistic tone to how top strikers can get away from defenders.
Goalkeepers are definitely harder to beat in this game, but again, makes up for years of poor AI in the past, so theirs hardly any point complaining if you're not good enough. Goalkeepers can also now be selected to play outfield, and outfielders in goal, just like in FIFA 98, which is good fun if you like a challenge.
Crossing is also harder, because unlike set-pieces, the 'perfect timing' is different on the power bar, meaning you have to learn the best moment on each one. Once perfected, you'll be scoring headers in no-time - just practice, practice, practice...
Team Management has had a makeover and offers the essential tactics to a winning team. With lots of different styles, you can easily make and save some good profiles that are easily switched. Again, its all about choosing the right options, and if you don't, please don't start calling this a bad game.
The A.I, finally (cue shock music)... is not bad. Lets face it, many of us that have played Pro Evo switched in the first place because we didn't like the A.I in FIFA; its just always been something predictable and rigid. In this sense, not alot has changed. From kick-off, you can learn how to worm your way through the defence in the exact same dribble path, or how to beat defenders. But this is why I'm reviewing the game now. More than ever, 09 takes alot of learning in order to understand the A.I and what it does. Once you've cracked it, just move up a difficulty level! Then the hard work begins...
Although the Xbox 360 port has brighter and more vivid colour palettes (due to the better graphics processor), FIFA 09 still looks stunning, and I do love to sit back and feel privileged at the age were living in. With a new recent update that allows Trophies to be unlocked, this is a game that provides hours of fun - whether you're playing against the PS3, or an individual 500 miles away. Just make-sure you're going to take the time to learn the game play, rather than judging it, impatiently, on your own incompetence.
on 7 November 2008
OK. Let me start off by saying i am primarily happy with the game! It has made massive improvements on past versions of the title.
But... Their are still huge bugs/issues with the game! Please hear me out before you rate this article one!
I love Career Mode. I started playing as Plymouth. Take them into the Premier League bla bla bla. After 2 months of real life playing the game, im into my 3rd season. 2nd game in, at home to Arsenal. Loading screen comes up. Starts to load, and gets stuck on 1%.
I try reloading, starting a earlier saved game... Everything. Still the same problem. Contact EA, and they say that their is nothing that can be done. My save game has become corrupted. Blaming it on my consol. Something that had me rather miffed as i dont have any problems with any of my other games. Not to mention i have read that others have had similar problems... Oh well, be warned if you do manager mode.
Moving on. I have been totally hooked on this game since it first came out on the PS1. I did a review for Fifa 06, preying that Fifa would do something about the problems, but amazingly, their still are some clitches that have me mildly anoyed considering this is meant to be next gen:
From my 06 review that are still applyable (will also list the others i complaned about and mention it's sorted):
1 - I complained that too many of the players for one team has actual faces, and the others are just all similar with the same general face structure and different coloured of shaped hair! - This problem has been vastly improved... PLUS!!!
2 - I moaned that the player positions for too many players are inacurate, and when played out of position, the teams chemistry goes down. Resolved... NOT A PROBLEM NOW. PLUS!!!
3 - I moaned that you cross a ball into a player by air 95% of the time you can score, but whenever you take a shot from anyway outside the area, the ball just bounces off a defender! - This is where we stumble. Headers have become much much more dificult as unless you have cross assist on crosses will mostly either go short, long or wide. Shots outside the area beyond a certain distance have now become impossible! NEGATIVE!
4 - You can lob the goalkeeper nopw! Positive!!!
5 - Moast famous players do do have their name said verbally during the match! But their are still many International players missing! Hmmm...
6 - Free kicks are still way too difficult and should be set back to how they used to be in Fifa 05 when you could select to spin the ball! That is still my opinion. NEGATIVE!!!
7 - Too many times, i have played, and had 30+ shots on target, all saved and yet the team i have been playing have scored 2 goals from the only 2 shots they have had on target!! This comes from a poor AI performance most games from the Human goalkeeper and a super goalkeeper playing for the AI's... NEGATIVE!!!
8 - I moaned that there werent enough stadiums! This is now much improved! POSITIVE!!!
9 - I moaned that the whole transfer system is pants, you spend all your transfer chances agreeing a price for a player you want and the players contract just to find out the team your buying from doesnt have enough players in it to make a transaction... This is still a massive problem! NEGATIVE!!!
10 - The team you play get the ball off of you even if you go even slightly towards you, but if you try and get the ball off the other team it takes ages and doesnt always work! STILL A PROBLEM!!! NEGATIVE!!!
11 - If you get the ball anywhere near the touchline you always run it out of play! Unlike the computer controlled team which doesnt! STILL A PROBLEM!! NEGATIVE!!!
12 - I moaned that when taking a long range shot, on the rare occasion it doesnt hit a defender it always hits the post! It doesn't anymore. It doesn't even hit the post! The goalkeeper either makes a simple save, or the ball misses the goal alltogether! WORSE!!!
13 - None of the teams have a youth / reserve section. I still think this would be a quality addition. You do have youth players now though... Hmmm...
14 - I said that "too many players are missing from the game or are rated unfairly if there in it!" this is stilla a problem... NEGATIVE!!
15 - "If you choose to expand the stadium, the stadium doesn't change at all!" Still a problem... NEGATIVE!!
16 - "There are rarely any transfers involving other teams, and even then the player brought never plays for that team again!" Still a problem! NEGATIVE!!
17 - "The changable weather graphics are pants" - This is still a problem outside some stadiums etc.. NEGATIVE!
Overall the game is much much better. But still so many glitches!
on 28 October 2008
This game is perfect in almost every way. The worst parts being the fact that you either have to have short pass or change player as L1 which is very annoying. The second point is that whenever you "press the defender" the chances are he will fall over which really wouldn't happen. Just a word of advise if you have played a football game before do not choose amateur it is stupidly easy i have scored at least 7 goals with my keeper. In conclusion this game is really good and the L1 thing is very easy to adapt too. Buy this Game
on 4 October 2008
Fifa 09. New title, same old story...
The thing that really annoys me about Fifa games is that people always say, "this one will be so much better than last year!", and in effect, nothing major has changed. There have been updates in transfers, new strips and different background songs, all which you would expect, but nothing major has changed. Graphics look the same, same stadiums, although the gameplay has changed slightly for the better, there needs to be more for this to be described as the greatest football game ever.
Every year when the new Fifa title is released, it is hyped as the best football game ever. Well, it should be shouldn't it? If it hasn't got any better then no-one would buy it. Improvements for this title are slim, but I will try my best to highlight them:
- New skills (backheels, outside of the foot shooting etc.) look very nice and it is now more realistic, especially in the air.
- Developed gameplay. Players can slide for the ball to intercept and the pass must be weighted to perfection.
- Celebrations (much like EURO 2008) are unique, so you can celebrate the way you want to.
- More recent songs.
On another interesting note, the Adidas Live system seems like a nice idea. Whether you will have to pay or not remains to be seen. But if they are including live with player updates and attributes based on how they are playing throughout the season, will this mean there is any need for a Fifa 2010?
So, to conclude, if you basically want an updated version of Fifa 08, then by all means but this. It does the job smoothly and efficently.
However, if like me you are tired of Fifa grinding out the same titles over and over, year after year, then go for something new, or just keep Fifa 08 and save yourself £40.
Hope my review was helpful, and feel free to leave any comments.