Product Type: Electronic Arts PS3 games
Newest Review: ... holding down x and waiting for the ball, its called tactical defending for a reason. Although there is not much improvement in the graph... more
Fifa reigns Supreme!
FIFA 12 (PS3)
Member Name: NicndDan
FIFA 12 (PS3)
Advantages: Marvellous title all round
As with every year the annual instalment of EA Sport's monster Fifa series is with us and this years Fifa 12 has been garnering rave reviews and clocking up record sales. The football franchise has long since surpassed its competitors and the number one sports title in the UK and has had avid gamers queuing outside freezing shop doors at midnight to get their hands on the latest release. Fifa has often been criticised in the past for releasing essentially the same game, with minor tweaks each year, but this years edition boats massive improvements and is much more of a complete game than in years gone by.
Fifa has in the past few years has moved away from its arcade roots in attempts to make realistic football titles. It certainly took a few years in getting there and some of the games in the transitional period were poor, but in the past few editions the series has earned the respect of gamers across the world as is close as it ever has been to an accurate simulation of the beautiful game.
The one major gameplay change this year has been the improvements in the defensive play. When you have the ball at your feet the game feels very similar, involving the same passing system, styles of play and skills moves as last years game. The deadly through ball is as efficient as ever, a short passing game is easy to achieve with practice and judging the long ball takes time and precision.
But in terms of defensive play everything has changed, gone are the days when you can merely hold down the X button and have your man hound the ball of opponents making it impossible to play against a solid defence. This year the focus is on so much more. Jockeying has been brought in making timing of tackles essential, X doesn't now mean your play hounds the ball off the opponent instead it takes a well timed tap of the circle button to get the ball. Time it wrong though and you are in trouble. The slide tackle is still controlled by the square button but again more timing is needed. Factor in the new systems on controlling the offside trap and making team mates go and jockey and what EA have provided is a much more well rounded defensive system that requires skill to execute meaning that no longer can you merely shut teams out without using skill. It does take time to master but its worth it in the end! In essence the new defensive system adds a whole new dimension to the game and ensures in a more in depth, all round footballing experience.
When you do load in the game very little has changed from the previous title with the menu's being almost identical. The arena controlling the player in a one on one situation is still present, the clunky loading systems on menus is still there also so you would be forgiven for thinking it's the same game at first glance but so much more lies beneath.
One new factor which pleased me and I am sure will please others is the fact that this year the much loved Ultimate Team mode is included from the off. With the ultimate edition you will get a monthly dose of packs to feed your needs but the standard edition still has the mode included. This mode involves you earning points to buy cards to build your ultimate team. Playing online or offline matches, winning tournaments and playing well results in credits which you use to buy packs of cards which you collect and use to add to your team (new players, managers, strips etc). It all harks back to the days of collecting football cards as kids and is a fun, addictive mode!
The Virtual Pro also returns and is as popular as ever. You create your own player and play with him for any team you like raising his stats as you achieve the varied accomplishments, raising his rating and making him more useful in matches. You can use your pro offline in any of the modes and online in the Clubs mode where you play with friends organised in clubs in leagues and tournaments. It is far better when you use your pro with friends as you only control him and when playing online in be a pro with randoms getting the ball can be hard and seemingly everyone plays up front! All in all though building your pro offline is equally as fun and because offline you can control the whole team you can have much more fun and diversity in raising your pro.
All the standard modes return including a more in depth, story based manager mode, player manager mode and all the big tournaments are there. A new mode to earn XP is the challenge mode where you play out recent scenarios and try and "change history". Add to this the return of live season, offline multiplayer and as many friendlies as you can manage and there is plenty to do.
Online play returns also with a new head-to-head-season mode. Your online play consists of batches of 10 matches in which you must earn a set number of points to work your way through the divisions meaning as you play longer your level irons out and you get more competitive games. This is a great idea and adds the feel of promotion/relegation to proceedings which is far better than the old systems of win/loss tallies. Works a treat! Also the fact that now it only matches you in this mode to teams with the same star rating means you get much fairer games. The games of Brentford v Barcelona are long gone! The EA servers on the PS3 have been working smoothly too with only about 2 of my games out of the 76 I have had suffering from lag.
One of the big appeals of Fifa, dating back to the early years on the old Mega Drive consoles, is the licenses it holds. Everything about the game is aimed at giving nothing but an authentic footballing experience and inherent to the games success has been the use of official players, stadiums and teams. From the minute you pick up the box with its usual array of cover stars to the minute you kick off your first match the game shines with realism and creating a true-to-life experience. The presentation is spot on with great graphics, stunning HD visuals, top notch commentary and the usual trendy soundtrack.
All in all EA sports have delivered a realistic, in depth and stunning football title that will have gamers hooked from the moment its placed in the console until next years instalment.
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Summary: Complete Football Package!