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About the Game
Released in 2008 by Electronic Arts, Fifa Street 3 is a football game for the Nintendo DS.
The game differs from the standard EA Sports Fifa football releases (such as Fifa 2008) as it is based on 4-a-side football teams rather than the full football squads as found in EA sports other titles. It also differs as the play takes place in more diverse locations such as A cold pitch by a riverside, an oil rig, a rooftop, Samba pitch, The beach, Africa, The Mediterranean or a shipyard.
On starting the game for the first time you need to select your Country and Team players.
World famous players are at your beck and call depending on the country selected; however there is no way of mix and matching players from different countries to create a super team.
Once you have a team ready you can then select to play an instant game or a Street Challenge. From the same menu you can also play the Kick ups mini game (I'll explain later) or play wirelessly against a friend via wi-fi (only one cartridge is required for this).
Also on the menu is the option to customise and personalise the game and this allows you to select your preferred game controls and change sound and music volumes.
In the instant game mode, you are first asked to select your opposition team, and then the venue for the match (from the bizarre list mentioned in the introduction). Next you need to select whether you want to play a time game where you play a fixed length match or play a score game in which the first team to score the set amount of goals is the winner. Finally you can set a Head start goal setting that is a way of making your game difficulty easier or harder. For example if you play a score game where the amount of goals required are 5 to win, and then set your opponent a 4 goal head start then the game becomes much more of a difficult challenge.
Playing the game is straightforward and you can choose to play the game using either the keyboard or the touch screen. Of the two I found using the buttons easier as you have more of a grip on the console. The pitch is displayed in the upper screen and the lower screen is used for control; if that is the control option that you have selected.
When you are in possession of the ball you find that passing the ball or shooting are a simple button click, or stylus tap and slide. There is however no off-ball control and the CPU controls and moves your non active players. In offensive mode tackling the opposition is either a slide or a barge, both which are effective to regain the ball.
In addition to the standard game play you can choose to perform tricks on the pitch. These tricks that are performed by using a sequence of button pushes add power to a 'gamebreaker' bar that is displayed at the top of the screen. Once the gamebreaker bar is full then an automated sequence of moves is displayed and usually ends in a goal being scored. There is an option to defend this onslaught, but it I find it difficult to perform.
And that's the instant game mode covered. In the other mode you play a series of challenge matches where you are set challenges (such as scoring a set number of goals) that must be completed to progress further.
The only other mode of football game is via Wi-Fi where the Gameplay remains the same but you are pitched against a human opponent.
In addition to the football games there is a mini game of Kick ups. In this game you must keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. To keep the ball in the air a series of two hexagons converge on the screen and you must tap on them when they overlap. This is similar in control to all of the music synchronisation games on the NDS, such as Elite Beat Agents.
Graphics, Sound and control
The graphics are very smooth and well created. The players are so small that they are hard to identify. Luckily their shirt colour and name displayed on screen helps in this area.
All of the menus, onscreen text and visuals are clear and well presented. Animation of the players is also quite smooth.
The music consists of synthy techno rock and rap tunes that quite happily loop in the background. They are pleasant enough and add an urban feel to the proceedings. There accompanying special effects when playing the game are effective, though not that important to gameplay.
Controls in the game are either via the stylus and touch screen or played using the buttons. It's a personal preference in which mode you use, though I found using the control pad a lot easier. Whichever mode you choose, both are fast and responsive.
There are a plethora of football games on the NDS.
This game is however a little different as it shrinks the side down to four and brings in the trick performing element that does give the game a different edge. Unfortunately, I found that having to perform tricks whilst simultaneously trying to thrash your opponent seemed a little daft. Admittedly this ultimately results in a goal being scored but I found it detracted from the Gameplay and slightly spoilt my enjoyment. Tricks aside, with such a small pitch and lack of off ball control the game became tired very quickly. The multiplayer mode was the most involving and a human competitor is far more challenging than the artificial intelligence of the consoles CPU. The kick ups mini game can provide a brief distraction, but throughout the gameplay remains a little too simple and lacks variety and sadly didn't hold my interest for very long.
I'll pass on this one.
Additional details, Price & Availability
Publisher: EA Sports
The game was available for £19.98 from www.amazon.co.uk at the date of writing (16th August 2008).
Copyright M Jones (Otalgia) 2008