Product Type: EA Sports in Infotainment
Newest Review: ... game. You are given a 'match credit' every six hours (up to 4 credits) which you use to play matches against other football clubs - in d... more
Free for a reason
Member Name: ReviewKing05
Advantages: - Presentation
Disadvantages: - GAMEPLAY- Made for those with cash to succeed and those without to fail
FIFA Superstars is EA Sports's first game released as a Facebook application, and is free to download and play from the Facebook website. Despite offering an interesting gameplay idea, in practice this game is a chore to play and way too drawn out. More annoyingly still, you need deep pockets to succeed in this 'free game'.
Firstly, I'll briefly describe the game to those who have no prior knowledge of it. FIFA Superstars is a 'trading card' game, in the sense that you collect cards representing different football players from across the world and create a team from them. You can substitute and sell players, and then purchase new ones in 'packs' via the store screen. In this way, and in its theory as a game, it is the free cousin of the Ultimate Team mode available for FIFA 10. Its main arc is to create your ultimate team by winning competitions, earning cash and then purchasing better players as you go along to rise up the rankings and have a team to be proud with at the end.
The game looks very slick, as you'd expect from a FIFA game on any platform. The home menu is incredibly clear and easy-to-use, with high definition icons showing the players you have purchased in your preferred formation. An easy-to-operate menu hugs the left of the application and is pretty self-explanatory, with options like store, training and play.
You can create your own club crest from a very limited set of options given to you and can name your team as you please. Your 'reputation' level sits underneath the crest, while to the centre of the app is the current competition you're in and coins earned. To the right sit the match credits left, team rating and training rating. Clicking a little spanner icon brings up the ability to mute the app or turn off effects.
On the manage screen, you can highlight the cards of your team and learn more about where the players are from, including their attributes. You can change your formation and sub people on and off.
Sadly, I was left bitterly disappointed on the gaming side of affairs. First of all, you can't play the games yourself, but instead you see it simulated or can skip it altogether. This is to be expected for a free app though, so this can be forgiven. However, the game model co-created by EA Sports and Playfish intends to make the game a cash cow, and makes no illusions about the cost of success from the very beginning.
I'll start with the match credits system. If you want to play games, you must have these credits first. You are given around 3 at the start and one is used up in every game you play. This is one of the downfalls of the game, especially for those without deep pockets. Find yourself without credits and you can't play. How do you earn more I hear you cry? You can wait 6 HOURS to be given another couple for free or you can buy them (surprise, surprise) via Playfish cash on credit card. The result of this system for someone like me looking for a fun, free game to play on Facebook is that once you start the app, you're on for ten minutes simming the games then have to get off and wait hours if you want to play again. This is literally the worst system I have seen implemented in a game like this and it's ludicrous for the developers to say it's free when it clearly isn't meant to be.
Then comes the training mode, arguably just as annoying as the credits system. If you want to have any chance of beating any of the teams in the tournament, you have to select a training option. If you pick the one which is most effective, it'll take between 12 and 24 HOURS (yes, HOURS) for your team to reach an adequate stage. What's more, if you forget to make them train after every game, they LOSE fitness. This is actually ridiculous, as going in to the game inevitably leads to you clicking a training option, turning it off, waiting 'til the next day, using match credits up, then leaving the game AGAIN for these to recuperate!
Just when you think it can't get worse, the coins you receive per match are meagre to say the least. A pack of bronze players costs 10,000 coins and you receive around 700 per game, so you'll be waiting a fair while to even get good enough players to win a game in the first place. The tournaments themselves are completely randomised. The result? Your team which has better fitness and better ability than the opposition can inexplicably lose, losing you credits, larger amounts of coins and fitness. The game always seems to put the odds against you, and it simply isn't fun to play. Finally, in this trading card game, you can't yet trade. Enough said.
Avoid at all costs. If you like wasting your time on apps which preach that they're free but make it insanely easier for those with deep pockets to succeed, then play on. The fitness mode is a joke, the match credits system is laughable and even when you rise above these obstacles the game is no fun to play, with waiting taking longer than actually playing. Simply awful.
Summary: Avoid at all costs. Clumsy, poorly designed and a chore to play, don't waste your time here.
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