Fifa 08 on the DS is the best football game on this conole by a mile.
I would even say it is better tahn the PSP version, though lagging behind the PSP in the graphics department the gameplay is much more fluid and smooth on the DS lite.
There is even more new licensed teams and leagues than before from the premiership to the australian league.
The only drawback of the DS version is taking the free kicks using the stylus pen and touch screen which gives you no control of power or accuarcy and can become very frustrating.
What is great about the DS version is the wireless multi-plyer link up.
You only need one console to have the game in and another console can wirlessly link up for multi-player action, a stroke of genius from the Nintendo team.
All in all Fifa 08 is a fantastic football game by EA sports and they seem to raise the bar every year leaving competitors like pro evolution soccer a distant second.
Can't wait for the release of fifa 09!!
Whilst I have never been a particularly big fan of games consoles, whenever my friends have had them when I have gone round to visit I have always felt the urge to join in. I think I have always had something else to spend my hard earned money on, and have always seen them as a bit of a luxury. However, last Christmas my seven year old son asked for a Nintendo DS and Fifa 08 to go with it. Given what the demand for DS's was last year I never thought I would get one but after much perseverence on the internet I finally got one and the game.
For the first few days I watched my son play on it and that urge came back to me - I wanted to play on it. Now I would consider myself a complete novice and indeed it took me a good couple of weeks to score my first goal. In fact I used to get that frustrated that I deliberately tried to get my players sent off as I had perfected how to do that.
Essentially, if you are playing the game by yourself, there are three different modes of play :
1) Game Mode
2) Tournament Mode
3) Manager Mode
In this mode you pick a team as yours from a whole raft of leages including all the English Divisions, Scottish Premier, La Liga, Serie A, Irish League and a whole host of others. Player lists are reasonably up-to-date although you are able to transfer players very easily from other clubs although you are only allowed a maximum of 32 players in your squad. You then choose your opponents and play a one off game. With all modes you are able to specify the skill level between amateur and world class if you really feel you are that good. You are also able to adjust the length that each half is played over, and decide whether you want to include bookings / sending offs, injuries and offsides.
This does exactly what it says. Once again you choose your team and steer them through a tournament. However, you are only able to compete in tournaments which your chosen side has already qualified for so as a Man City fan I can't compete in the Champions League (Mr Shinawatra would probably sack me for that !!). The Tournaments available include domestic cups, European Champions League and the World Cup. If you finish third in your Champions League Group you will drop into the Uefa cup.
In this mode you take charge of a team for five seasons and accumulate performance points along the way. These are gained for such things as winning games, keeping clean sheets, dominant possession and winning a game after being two or more goals down. After so many points you are awarded a star with the aim being to acquire all five stars.
Essentially you control the movement of the players by using the left hand keypad, with the player you are controlling being indicated by a red arrow on the screen. The right hand keypad is used to determine what you want the player to do when he either has the ball or doesn't have the ball. This includes such things as tackling, controlled shot, passing, lofted pass, crossing etc. You can also make the players sprint by pressing the right control button at the top of the console but this does make the player get tired quicker. You can also make your players do tricks but personally I find when they do this they tend to get tackled or lose the ball.
So what do I think about it?
I do enjoy playing it but find it isn't completely realistic. For example, I have just completed a season in Manager Mode where I won every game and scored over 450 goals in a 38 game season !! In addition three of my midfielders scored over 100 goals each but my strikers struggled to score 30 goals between them. My next highest scorer was my central defender who scored over fifty goals from corners which is totally unrealistic. I have perfected exactly where I need to position my player at corners so that more often than not I will score.
Another thing which I am able to do which wouldn't happen in reality is that my goalkeeper is able to go on mazy dribbles which on occasions has resulted in goals being scored by the keeper. One thing which is good is that if your team are losing in the last minute and are awared a corner, you can opt to send your keeper up for the corner.
Free Kicks are a complete joke on FIFA 08 for NDS. You have absolutely no control over the flight of the ball or power of the shot so you are completely at a loss to where the ball will end up.
Penalties are reasonably straghtforward. If you a taking a penalty move the ball with the stylus pen for where you want the kick to go. If you are facing a penalty, once again move the keeper where you think the penalty will go.
Overall, I do enjoy this game even allowing for all the issues listed in this review. I am still playing it now 4 months after purchasing it and my son struggles to get a look in now.
My only other gripe with this game is that no record is maintained during games of who has actually scored the goals in games. A record must be maintained by the system because when you are playing in either Tournament or Manager mode after the games you are able to access statistics which tell you how many games and goals your players have taken part in. It would be really useful if this information could be included during games so that you know who has scored in the particular game.