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FIFA 11 (Xbox 360)

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Genre: Sports - Football / Video Game for Xbox 360 / ESRB Rating: Rating Pending / Release Date: 2010-10-01 / Published by Electronic Arts

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      10.10.2011 18:54
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      Sheer class

      I have recently bought Fifa 12 so now seems like a good time to review a year of playing Fifa 11.
      The upshot of the year is if you like football and quite probably if you're not that bothered about football you will like this game.

      The gameplay itself is the culmination of about 20 years of gradual improvements and it is first rate. I know some reviewers have complained that it plays slower than the 'ping pong' football of Fifa 10 but I believe this is more than compensated by the added realism and improved passing system, which although harder at first ultimately rewards perseverence. As usual the team rosters were bang up to date at the time of release and the Be a Pro lets you design your own player to join them.

      The only negative I can think of is the slow progress of young player's improvement, it's a little frustrating to buy a young prospect with a fifty to sixty rating only to find after 2 years of regular play he's only gained about two experience points.

      I have just about unlocked all the accomplishments after 12 months so there is no question on the value for money factor.

      In short if you like footy get this one in the box.

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        08.09.2011 13:16
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        Good game but it has years to go before it is truly worthy of the praise it has been receiving

        Fifa 11 is a great football game with lots of things to do within it for example:

        1. Play manager mode
        2. Play ultimate team
        Or 3. My personal favorite to join or start a pro club with your friends.

        Pr clubs is the greatest ever creation for online football gaming, it is the only reason i buy fifa games nowadays, they are so fun and with friends you can share every moment, goal, cheer and touch of the football, its a truly fantastic addition to the fifa franchise.

        However the reason my headline for this review is somewhat upsetting is because while pro clubs could have been one of the best ever things to do online on a gaming console for football fans, it falls incredibly short in delivering a solid package. I will explain why below in 3 ways:

        1. If you do not have 11 friends to play in your team at one time the computer (AI) will control the positions that you do not if know one selects ANY as a position, this means that you will have terrible defense and more often than not they will act as assistance for the other team.

        2. The gameplay is frankly EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING thanks to pro passing etc the game always feels the need to pass to an opponent rather than where you are aiming, it can make you very angry and more often than not turn the console off in rage.

        3. The game is glitchy and clearly has not had enough production time thanks to EA games wanting to release a football game every single year to rake in the cash from gullible people like me. A years production time for a game is simply not enough, not even for the most experience people available. EA need to take their time with fifa over at least a 2 year course to produce something truly spectacular but unfortunately like i said, it falls incredibly short of achieving what could have been greatness.

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        05.09.2011 20:57

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        Great game

        Great game here is a little breakdown of what i thought of it.

        Pros..
        EA games has brought out numerous football games and in turn, i have collected and played near on every single one, from fifa 96 to road to world cup, to FIFA 11. I'll say it right now. If you enjoy a realistic game with gorgeous graphics and a simply brilliant atmosphere that is set by the game, you'll feel like your sitting in the top end at Stamford Bridge. Replay value is huge. Play career as a single player, then as a manager, or why not even both? online play is fantastically competitive and yet somewhat forgiving for new players due to EA skill matching system. New passing system is very fluid and motion of players is highly realistic.

        Cons
        The only bad points i can compare with other titles would be the new penalty system which is almost too simplified. hold a direction and hope it goes in? FIFA 10's was superb, and also free kicks have been made relentlessly hard!

        To finish..
        A superb instalment for EA, once again knocking Pro evolution down the ladder. If you own FIFA 10, you could question an upgrade, but if you have the cash, this one is not to be missed.

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        03.08.2011 22:50
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        Best football game ever made (so far)

        Used to be a PES man but switched to FIFA when this game came out. And I am very happy with my decision. In terms of the comparison with PES... no contest! This year's FIFA not only beats PES, it absolutely annihilates it, as is reflected in the fact that more and more people are choosing FIFA over PES. In terms of comparison with previous FIFA games, in my opinion FIFA '11 blows them out of the water too. New modes such as Player/Manager mode, a new highlights feature, more sophisticated ball control and improved online experience are just a few of the new game's improvements which really put FIFA '11 on top of the podium. Any criticisms? Perhaps a few: 1. Although the AI has been enhanced, gameplay with the computer lacks flair and creativity - instead I find myself reduced to playing rigid and slow tempo football with long periods without the ball (particularly on 'Legendary' difficulty). 2. One of the game's new modes, Be a Pro: Goalkeeper, is really quite tedious and requires a lot of patience. The game might be better off without it. 3. Since PES has rights to the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, FIFA's capacity for realistic tournament play is limited to major domestic trophies only, requiring you to create a custom-made tourney to experience a European club tournament. Other than that, a truly brilliant game and by far the most authentic football experience on the gaming market. At £21.30 this is a great purchase, although if you plan to buy FIFA '12 you might want to wait since its release is only around two months away.

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        14.06.2011 00:47

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        Great Game and can't wait for Fifa 12

        Fifa is by far my favourite console game on any platform and has been since my first purchase into the brand and this product just keeps getting better and improving as time goes on. Since the very first one I owned i have always made time to play this game and get it when it is released in order to access the new updates and lifelike game play and I have never been disappointed. Fifa 11 has more add ons and extra features to unlock of buy than ever before and is thoroughly enjoyable. The realism that each player has in terms of his real world attributes are quite stunning and the main features that make that player who is in the modern game shine through in this latest edition of Fifa. I like the advantage rule that the referees play but I am not really a fan of the handball rule as I have had many a game changed by penalties given away after blocking a cross and given away points in the match. Many people opt to play Pro Evolution Soccer or other alternative games in the past but the Fifa range of products are second to none and definitely a leader in the market of sports and soccer games. Nobody can compete with game play and the ability and likeness of the professionals it perceives in the game. The graphics of the individuals themselves is amazing and the faces especially are very well done particually in the more high profile players. The additional feature of Ultimate Team was added in last year in Fifa 10 but its role in the new game is very classy and encourages competition to build a new team from scratch and prove you are the best. The online features never fail to impress and the option to be the goalkeeper as well is revolutionary and in addition to this you can now be a goal keeper for a whole career or seasons. This now addresses any type of football lover and gives a new dimension to the game from a completely new viewpoint. Fifa plays such an important part in modern day society that it is only to be expected to produce a high quality game which I feel it does. I have always enjoyed playing Fifa games and it is one of the only games that I can play again and again and always come back to it without being bored.

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        12.06.2011 13:14
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        I liked the game for the first 3-4 months, but over excessive play I began to notice flaws

        To start off Fifa 11 is a great game and became my safehub for when I switched on the xbox. The great things I enjoyed where of course the free DLC (Downloadable Content) for ultimate team. This had you start off with a poor rated team, with possibly a low chemistry, to win games and earn coins to buy newer and better players. It's slightly more complex that that though, as you will have to buy contacts for the players, fitness cards to help them play through the next game, and even cards that boost attributes to help that weak link in the team preform to your teams standards. I also enjoyed the 'Be a Pro Team Play', this was extremely fun to play with you friends team and had you all praising each other for team play, but well unkind words were said to people who never passed and never changed their position around every once in a while.

        What I didn't enjoy was the fact that the game plays differently on Ultimate Team than any other game mode, I can't say exactly whats the difference, but it is hard to come of one to the other having played one for the past 3 months. Also, what is with the handballs? I have them turned on becuase football is not football without the handball rule. This though can be a bad thing at most times, I mean I clear the ball out my box only to have my own player stand in-front of the ball path. To add insult to injury, the ref blows his whistle and points to the spot... WHAT!? Another thing with the referees is that they seem to get even more biased as you increase the difficulty, on legendary (hardest difficulty) I can't tackle them without giving away a free kick and they can't tackle me without knocking my player onto his bottom. I felt this really frustrating at times and made myself seem mentally ill.
        Career mode seems like a waste for me, I used to enjoy manager mode on Fifa 09 but now it has deteriorated badly and I just ignored all aspects of it. I tried to have fun on it by doing the money glitch but that wasn't fun either as there seems to be bug that makes players stupid during negotiations ie they ask for a certain wage, you offer 10x more they refuse and then ask for less than what they originally asked for. I of course don't expect EA to fix this as they still haven't implemented a fully working handball system in the last 3 years

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        13.05.2011 00:50
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        10/10

        once again another great fifa game except the graphics are more awsome than ever. Was amazed when finally saw what everybody wants a replay theatre so you can rewatch youre best goals saves and funny moments. The player movement, actions and skills have been precision perfect and have absolutly nothing that i can point out to you that will put you off. Hours of football madness on the edge of the seat and heart pounding moments with two player you and youre friends can have lounge modes where all youre games are recorded into wins goals and things like that so you can always keep track on how mutch braggin rights you have over youre friends. If youre stuck between pes and fifa i would recomend fifa as its more up to date and good value for your money. so hope you enjoy youre new game you wont regret it.

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          10.04.2011 00:40
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          5/5 easy :D

          I was eagerly anticipating the release of FIFA 11 for months and months, and when I finally picked up my copy of the game, I couldn't wait to get back in and play it.

          I put it in the console and loaded up, and was immediately pleased with the purchase, and that was just by watching the introductory video. I set my profile up as usual, and decided to get going with a couple of games with my brother.

          From the first fifteen minutes of a match, I instantly knew that this was incredible. The graphics were superb, and far better than any other football game I've ever played. They were so crisp, colourful and the stadium's were spot on. It was brilliant to look at.

          It was also brilliant to play, the new passing machine was difficult to pick up at first, but after a couple of games, the Barcelona style matches had soon returned. The passing system was so spot on, it allowed the users to play quick short passing games, and allow the possession masters to really dominate a game at ease. At this point, I was absolutely speechless. I went on to play a few more, and as the games went on, we got more advanced, and started using the skill moves and celebration moves. Both were far better than last years edition, and much easier and quicker to pick up.

          Xbox Live has always been good to me, and I boast a pretty good record from the 40 odd games I've played head-to-head on Live. You get the occasional person who quits, and celebrates for about 30 seconds, but nothing you can't handle. If your lucky enough to have a Pro Club, Clubs is awesome. Playing with your friends against other groups of people is truly great. You get the occasional games where the opposition lag it out, but to be honest, why play if you can't take losing? It hasn't put a damper on it for me, as I still love playing Clubs on Live, and have played over 250 times for my club.

          The creation mode is pretty good, and quite in-depth. A wide range of boots to choose from, and some great hairstyles. My favourite being the David Luiz afro, haha!

          One of the additions was the Ultimate Team, which in my opinion isn't worth the money, but it's still pretty decent. The Ultimate Team isn't quite as good as previous years, but that's down to a lack of achievements for the game, which really made the game have an aim.

          Overall, I have to give the game a 5 out of 5, as I am just so pleased with it, and even after all these months, it is still my favourite and most played game. Well done EA, and here's to another FIFA Classic :).

          P.S Bring back Challenge Mode for FIFA 12 :).

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          31.03.2011 08:57

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          We Are 11. FIFA Forever.

          For years, the football console gaming is conquered by KONAMI and EA, one with its old Pro Evolution Soccer Series, and the other one with FIFA series.

          Ever since the release of FIFA 09, EA never look back again, KONAMI have a lots of problem to fix in the release of PES09 and PES10. Even though this year they managed to get back to the race with the release of PES2011, EA still in the head of the race with FIFA 11.

          Compared to the latest release, FIFA South Africa World Cup, FIFA 11 doesnt bring huge change of gameplay. However, it adds new Personality features which makes your favorite footballer in the game acts just like your favorite footballer in the field. This new feature combine with 360 control adds a whole new experience of football gaming. Brilliant goals and extraordinary crosses are expected to be seen.

          They also add new modes like Be-A-Goalkeeper, now you can be your own gigi buffon or edwin van der sar. Its all up to you and your gaming controller.

          If you are a die hard football fan, and you love games. You must grab FIFA 11 and start playing it like there's no tomorrow.

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          21.03.2011 21:20
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          THE must have football game. Great for Xbox and PS3. Online mode is exhilerating!

          In the last several years, FIFA has become the main football game, leaving Pro Evo in the shadows slightly.
          There is a reason for this - FIFA is brilliant. It is very difficult to develop a game each year, especially in these times, with only slight changes being made now.

          With even more realistic looking players, and even better gameplay, the game is still advancing each year. The commentary is very advanced, and is getting better and better too.

          Playing online is one of the most superb and at times aggrevating things. Winning, or scoring a goal is brilliant, as you know someone, somewhere has just got very annoyed at you, and can't do anything about it. I think playing online is brilliant fun!

          I would definitely recommend Real Madrid - Ronaldo is unstoppable!

          The new goalie feature is not good at all, but the career mode, where you are your own created self is pretty well done. Playing for teams, going up in the world of football...it's all fun as you seek glory (for yourself!).

          Another interesting feature is being able to put your real face in the game by downloading a picture from your computer. This is quite good, but not perfect at all.

          Another annoying this is that it's too easy to score from headers (once a header is actually made). This is only a small factor. The celebrations are great too, with a wide range to select.

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          17.03.2011 01:12

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          A must have for football game fanatics.

          Fifa 11 is the latest game released in this chain of games and in my personal opinion, is the best football video game on the market.
          After playing Pro Evo, which is Fifa's main rival in this category, Fifa was definitely my choice. This game sees EA introduce a revolutionary passing system within the game. This system, criticised by a few people i know, in my opinion makes the game more realistic. everyone who plays these games will testify that realism is the thing lacking from most games, however i believe fifa 11 has made the biggest strides in making this possible.
          One example of this, apart from the new passing system, is the 'be the goalkeeper' mode, which is brand new to this game. This allows players a different way of playing, which has never been possible before.
          The amount of customisation in this game is unbelievable and the vast array of team selection, game mode selection and now view of the game selection, makes fifa 11 a must have game.
          Many friends of mine had traded in this game, after not be able to get around the new passing system. after trying out other football games on the market, they swiftly returned back to fifa, as the level of realism and customisation is truly addictive!

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          16.03.2011 00:25
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          By far the best ever football game, realistic and absolutely fun to play. A must buy!!

          == FIFA 11 ==
          We all know about FIFA football games and this new installment is FIFA 11. FIFA first was released on the 8th of July 1995 for the megadrive and that was called FIFA Soccer 95 and in my opinion they have come far. FIFA 11 has a whole new bunch of features and really does impress me. There are new features such as the passing, its now been made with something named pro passing, which makes the passing more realistic. In previous FIFA games you could just go from your own half and pass it all the way through like there aren't any opponents against you and it was way to easy.

          Also one of the things that impressed me the most is the feature real player personality, which is for example, Wayne Rooney in real life is a hard worker always running around chasing the ball, he does that in the game which is real player personality. Also Daniel Alves, just like in real life gets forward and is quite slow at getting back. Cristiano Ronaldo is very tricky like his counterpart in real life football. There are tons of players like this and almost every top player looks like themselves, which proves FIFA simply is the football of all football games. There is also now a new feature which lets you play as an actual goalkeeper in the game. Also the loading screens are much quicker and it gives you less time in the arena. But if you like the arena mode like me you can do it on the main menu. When you do arena mode now you can also do it 2 player or you can even be the goalkeeper there against the comp. Also now you can upload chants for your favorite football teams into the game and also your own music as some of it on this FIFA is just rubbish. Also the new penalty feature is so rubbish that everyone is complaining about it, but in my eyes makes it more of a challenge.

          === Gameplay ===
          The FIFA 11 gameplay is the best gameplay of a football game yet to date. I do however have some problems with the gameplay, it can get quite slow and lack luster and for people new to the FIFA franchise might find it quite boring until they get the hang of it, me however I was born to play video games! FIFA 11 is by far the better football game and has always had a rival in Pro Evolution Soccer and they both seem to bring these games out round the same time and I have played both and FIFA just makes Pro Evolution Soccer look and feel shaddy. FIFA 11 in my opinion brings out the reality that games can offer. When playing FIFA after scoring you get to control the player who scored and do a celebration, my favorite is the chicken dance that some players do or the robot, which is Peter Crouch's favorite. One thing I don't get is why so many players do the robot on the game when clearly they don't in real life. It was only the other day I scored an awesome goal with David Beckham and when I celebrated it was the robot, now I have been a football fanatic for years and have never seen David do that?

          In my opinion there is always room for improvement in the football games and EASPORTS are gradually fulfilling that department of the game. The gameplay in the online modes can be quite frustrating as I have witnessed games crashing before they have even started, now I don't know if this was just me and a few friends or if in fact there is a slight problem with servers or something. But however I assure you the gameplay is simply magical online. Playing people across the whole world and winning is a magnificent feeling. It does get quite annoying when your winning and your opponent decides to up and quit the game as they no your beating them easily. Other than that the online gameplay is great, at half time on my game I have a song play and users hear it and its Eat My Goal, sounds great and feels more realistic with this. EASPORTS have worked for the past year trying to improve the gameplay of the last FIFA which was FIFA 10, but in my opinion it only needed a few adjustments to the gameplay and instead its been totally revamped and the gameplay is feeling much better.

          === Graphics ===
          Now the graphics of FIFA have come a serious long way from really tiny rubbish (but good in the day) graphics to players, pitches, kits and everything looking so realistic. All of the top players and even most of the smaller players look perfect like they're real life counterparts and they even run and move and do things like they do in real life. The pitches and stadiums have even been worked on a lot as in past games they did kinda look the same but now, for example Old Trafford looks like Old Trafford, which makes it feel better. All the kits and badges look like real kits and badges. The graphics to FIFA 11 have severally been improved and this stands out as one of the top points of the new and improved FIFA game. Roll on FIFA 12!

          === Sound ===
          Now most of the sound in the new FIFA is great and when I say great I mean real life great. There are a few problems that still haven't been resolved and FIFA will have to and probably will sort them for the next game. One being, one of the commentators! Andy Gray? why an earth do they have him on a top top football game? and why do they have him talking rubbish on it. Now in my opinion it should be Chris Kamara! Hes funny and more passionate in my opinion about football. Now the next thing and this bugs me alot, the goal posts and crossbar! Everytime you strike one of them it sounds like your knocking on wood. Now I know they nicknamed it the woodwork but seriously its not wood! Its metal it should be pinging. Also on past FIFA games one thing I have loved straight from the word go was the music on them, but on this new one it is simply disappointing but at least this has been kind of sorted by them letting you import your own music.

          === Game Modes ===
          Now the game modes on FIFA 11 are very similar to FIFA 10. There are still a few new modes but here is a brief detail of what is on the newest version of the award winning game.

          *Kick-Off is basically just a newer updated version of Exhibition mode. You can play a match against the computer or even play a friend.

          *Career Mode is one of my favorite modes and always has been. You get to pick a team to manage/play for or even play and manage and you can do a whole 15 years on this mode. Be your favorite team and buy and sell players. A great mode for any football fan.

          *Tournaments and Create Tournament. Now the Tournament mode is playing through any cup such as in england the F.A cup or League Cup through to any other cup in any league. Create Tournament lets you make one from scratch and choose a name and everything.

          *Live Season is a fairly new mode to the FIFA franchise and has only been in the past two or three and its an okay mode for people who can afford it. You have to pay like 800ms points to download it and its basically updates everything from the actual fixtures week in week out and updates players form and stuff as well as letting you play more and more of FIFA 11. In my opinion this part is a waste of money and strongly avoided.

          *Lounge mode is basically a friendly mess around with buddies that are with you, a sort of little tournament but is actually limited so not worth playing in my opinion.

          === Xbox Live Modes ===
          Now on Xbox Live the proper game modes and the exciting stuff comes into play. Game modes are listed below with a brief description:

          *Head To Head is probably the most popular mode in my opinion. You can play as any team against anyone and even players like Wayne Rooney play the game online. You can play in a Ranked match or just a normal unranked match against friends or anyone online. The ranked matches are more important as you get stats all over the internet on how your doing and stuff, which in my opinion is pretty cool. Unranked is better for playing friends that are better than you!

          *Team Play is a increasingly popular mode in which you use your pro. Now your pro is supposed to be you in the game. You play as him and its now 11 vs 11 so you and your friends can even make a team of 11 players and take on the world to see how you fair. Now me on the other hand needs a team so if anyone knows of one I can join or anyone who wants to join mine message me haha! But yeah this mode is great and has been updated brilliantly. Controlling one footballer is just how it would be in real life!

          *Friends League. This mode I cant quite figure out as I have tried and tried to join someones league but all it does is keep asking me for a password so I'm guessing its just for people who have lots of Xbox Live friends with this game so they can make a huge league to play against each other. Be any team against any but be warned some people just play online and make you look rubbish, either that or I am rubbish!

          === Other Bits ===
          There are other bits on the game such as Match Lobbies - this is where you can find waiting friends that want to play there other friends and stuff or some people use it to chat. There is also a FIFA store, which is basically pointless at this present time untill the game has been out a while and new features that you can buy for points will appear here. Lastly there is Virtual Pro mode which is where you can create your player. Now new to FIFA 11 you can create a player that you want to be a goalkeeper. Also it tells you all the stats you need to know about your previous records and stuff. You will also find your accomplishments here and you can also download your game face here. Now your game face is something that identifies you on Xbox Live also when your playing your face (if you have used your face and not created one) will appear to other members on Xbox Live.

          Now the difficulty of the game can range from being easy to be extremely hard. It all depends on what settings you have the game on. FIFA 11 is one game that is pretty much endless and lasts for at least a year until the next release FIFA 12. Also the multiplayer options are almost endless, there are that many of them. All in all I rate FIFA 11 one if not the best football game thats ever been released. With tons of options and things to do on it. It will honestly keep you busy and to be honest since I have had it I haven't seen my best friends lol. But yeah its a top game, I love it, any football fan will.

          Thanks for reading my review :)

          Review also on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987

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            21.02.2011 17:59

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            Best football game out

            Fifa has always been one of the leading football games, Its good gameplay and perfect graphics has always leaded it to sucess. Over the past few years its had real competition from Pro evolution soccer where its rival has suddenly become a lot more popular. The last few versions of both games have caused divids between many football gaming fans. The past few years if was thought that PES was catching or even levelling fifa in gameplay and enjoyment, even tho fifa had by far the better graphics. Fifa has always had many more advantages, from graphics to player licences ( so players have proper names in the games) but over the last few years fans including myself have thought that they were concentrating to much on things like graphics and not enough on gameplay. I found myself enjoying PES gameplay more because it was more to real life.

            BUT

            Fifa 2010 and now 2011 has shown that fifa has got their fight back! These last two versions of fifa have been to their best standard and in my opinion have been the best football game out. They have improved on the gameplay loads and its so much more enjoyable, the graphics are at a all time high and the extra features are increadable.

            For any football fan Fifa 2011 has to be the choice, Fantastic game play, amazing real life like graphics, Good online play.

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            08.02.2011 14:24
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            Very nearly the best game ever?

            The age of FIFA is here, it's dominance over PES is now known by all.

            Fifa 11 carries this on. Initially, the main comparison isn't PES but rather, FIFA 10 which is an interesting take on recent years. So, I'll review the gameplay only, the career mode change I feel is irrelevant. The real thing that makes football games great, is how they play.

            Gameplay
            The main difference from last year is passing, whereby the pass in Fifa 11 relies more on the skill of the player holding the control pad rather than the skill of the player you're using. For me, this was a great idea, it makes the whole approach to the game more fluid and realistic as it makes it harder to push forward in addition the feeling from slicing a team open with a string of one touch, high pace passes is incredible.

            The most obvious change is penalties. At first it is frustrating, the little green bar, when missed can result in an embarrassing miss. As well as this, holding the stick to far results in missing. However, it just makes game all the more exciting, and makes it easier for the goal keeper.

            Another change is that, taller players win the headers, player personalities and traits come through wonderfully on the game. Pace really is valuable in FIFA 11. Using skill (when mastered) is the most destructive of offensive weapons. Also tackling is improved, which always results in fouls when missed timed.

            Opinion

            Personally. 10/10
            The most realistic, exciting, entertaining and brilliant football game ever. Period.

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              08.02.2011 08:41
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              A game for all football fans, be you FIFA or PES, this should sit in your collection.

              Football games are one of the highest selling games on consoles. They always have been, and there seems to be no signs of them slowing down. FIFA 11 is this years offering from EA Sports, who have offered the FIFA series to us for 15+ years. And what an offering it is.

              Year upon year, EA have offered a football game that breaks boundaries. Something new appears in every new title, and the engine itself is tweaked in such a way to offer a more realistic and advanced experience to the player. But every year, those advantages came with their problems. Bugs, bad coding, glitches and basic AI stupidity have marred the FIFA series for years. FIFA 10 was no exception. Any reader here who hasn't scored or conceded a 50 yard thunderbolt on FIFA 10 really hasn't played the game enough. The Goalkeepers positioning is something that players hated in the last venture, and I experienced coding errors, particularly with the assigning of shirt numbers to players and statistics of players. But this year, after extensive playing since Christmas, I can safely say that for the first time since the transition of the new engine (2006) we have the perfect football game.

              What makes it perfect? Graphically, there isn't much upgraded from the last two years apart from the odd tweak here and there and a few more added players faces. The kits are updated, the players and their teams present and correct pre-Winter Transfer Period (update coming late-Feb) but the engine is grittier. Not as flowing as it once was. Not as easy. Your shots from outside the box aren't always guaranteed to beat the keeper, and if they do, you've hit it sweetly and must be a pro to do it frequently.

              The main additions in the game are the ability to be a Goalkeeper for the first time, using the left analogue stick to move the Goalkeeper, and the right analogue to dive and save the ball. A smashing introduction which seems to have fit right in first time without much in the way of faults.

              The other addition is the ability to input your very own music and chants. We all know the generic FIFA chants. We imagine them to say "[insert managers name here]'s [insert team colours here] army!" But we all know that really it says "Mrmmrm mrmrmmr's mrmr mrmrm army." Not any more. Google and YouTube are going to be your friends here, and you can find user-uploaded chants to download, convert and then put onto your console to play in the background during your match, making that ultimate experience even more special. Maybe you just want to record yourself drunk on the game. Not a problem! Just set up a playlist, change the settings in the relevant section and off you go! You can even come out to "The Final Countdown" by Queen if you so wish to! A small addition that adds that little extra spice and realism.

              But the games primary focus is the beautiful game of association football. Leagues across the world represented by the best teams in the world and their not-so-good counterparts. There are still teams missing for whatever reason (the Argentinian league doesn't exist on the game, for example) but the engine, the teams available in both club and country and the players likenesses for the major teams is second to none. Additions inside the game are improved statistics for players passing, distance covered, completion rates, shots on goal, saves made, etc. A very nice touch, especially given accomplishments in the "Be A Pro" mode need to be done. These give you an occasional update on how you're doing. They do, however, take part in the "must sit through" cut-scenes, which mast a couple of seconds before rapid pressing of the A-button finally skips them.

              The tackling inside the engine has been improved also. No longer is it too easy for the A-holders to tackle you without giving away a free-kick with their endless conservative tackling. Now they sometimes trip the player, obstruct him or just knock him over, resulting in a free-kick to the victim. The animations afterward can be quite amusing too, seeing players throw their hands to their sides in frustration.

              One addition that has the whole FIFA gaming-world debating, is the re-introduction of the handball. Hitting the ball anywhere at the top of the players body usually results in a handball, meaning it is quite easy to get hold of free-kicks in vital positions. It is, however, easily turned off in the options, but kudos to EA for including it in another element of realism that we all can appreciate.

              Mutliplayer is included as standard too, allowing friends to create leagues and face each other until their thumbs can take no more. There are still massive issues with lag and players quitting out of the games because they are losing, etc. which do need addressing.

              It does have its negatives, though - the commentary. For years we had Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend telling us what was happening on the pitch. Even Ally McCoist! These days, it's the slightly boring but no-less iconic Martin Tyler, and Mr. Andy "women don't know the offside rule" Gray. Previous to this, the commentary had been getting stale and repetitive for some time, but now, it is very hard to hear Gray's voice knowing what his true feelings are on women in football.

              Another gripe is that of EA starting anew online policy. Basically, a one-use-only code is packed with new versions of the game for EA updates on EA servers and playing online. This code's specific purpose is to stop the trade-in market from swallowing profits EA believes is theirs. Basically, if, once you have stopped playing the game, for whatever reason, you trade it in, the shop will firstly offer you a silly amount down to this, but EA will stop all vital traffic and bombard you every time you switch the game on to buy an online pass. Trading in games and shops selling them second hand is obviously something EA don't take kindly to. And it's a shame, because many budget gamers look forward to seeing what bargains can be had in the used section. I felt the introduction of online passes was a very bad idea which could have alienated many FIFA fans. It did leave a bitter taste.

              FIFA have built a monster on top of what they previously had offered. It'll be very interesting to see what they do in October 2011 to top this. New commentary is guaranteed, that's for sure. For now, EA must be thinking that the glass ceiling is getting closer. New ideas are needed, improvements to justify that we all go and spend £35 on the next one without feeling we have paid for an update. But for football fans the world over, this game should be in each collection. It is a shame that the game is slightly tarnished by the idea of paying for a code if you bought the game second hand. It's a very greedy thing to do on the part of the developer and publisher, Electronic Arts, but should no way detract away from the magnificent single-player mode it has.

              My Girlfriend and Grandparents both paid for this, £20 at Gamestation over Christmas. The price has risen since, and can be obtained for £25 brand new.

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