Product Type: Electronic Arts Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... means any EA game from now on i cannot play online cos if EA ban your gamertag from there servers you cant play any of there games online... more
EA Sports' Annual Offering Gets Better.
FIFA 12 (Xbox 360)
Member Name: he6rt6gr6m
FIFA 12 (Xbox 360)
Advantages: New tackling engine, two commentary options, thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Disadvantages: Takes time getting used to, not much of a pick-up-and-play title if you've not played it before.
Maybe you read my review on FIFA 11 last year, or maybe you'll go back and read it after you've read this one. Maybe you didn't and won't. Whatever category you sit in, I'll let you know that I considered FIFA 11 to be the very best football game EA Sports have offered for a long time. But EA Sports have now made that review pointless and seriously outdated with their release of FIFA 12.
The first thing I must point out is one major change in the engine EA Sports use to make FIFA games.
Tackling has been "improved" to avoid the over-use of the "A" (X360) and/or "X" (PS) which frustrated many last year with it being too reliable. This time, it's much more of a challenge, with "A"/"X" now putting pressure on the opposing player a yard away from him. "B"/"O" will lunge in for a standing tackle, or grab the opponents shoulder if he is by his side or behind him (which can result in a foul if persistently done) and "X"/"Square" will slide tackle, and from the standing tackle last year, compared to this year, it will take a few games to wrap your brain around. But it's perfectly possible, and while you can look quite foolish missing a tackle, you also get a sense of accomplishment for being successful in a good tackle.
With tackling comes player collision, and herein is where a problem lies for this quite remarkable game.
Players react to everything now. Barring coded wind or rain, when the ball or another player, opposing or a team-mate, your player will react to him if there is physical contact. They will fall over, spin around, and players even turn to the referee and protest about the other players conduct. And because of this, little bugs and glitches can be seen, with players being known to fly off unrealistically and even awkwardly fall and land in sometimes-amusing positions and ways. It can be entertaining. It can be frustrating. YouTube for FIFA 12's collisions will show you some fine examples. But don't be so down, as the game itself is still lots of fun and glory with perseverance.
Dribbling has also been tweaked, allowing your player to shield the ball for more control on where the ball goes.
Making their way back is the Be A Pro and Be A Goalkeeper mode, custom chants and music for entrances and goals, a fully updated player roster and updated club kits. Online, we're treat to the same sort of stuff that made FIFA 11 so addictive, including FIFA Clubs, where your Pro can go online to join a club, which can work as a cohesive unit to climb leagues and battle against other clubs around the world. Problem number two arises here, in the form of Online Pass.
Online Pass is EA's way of stopping people from buying pre-owned copies of the game. Economically, EA claim that the money someone may be spending on a pre-owned copy should go to them, rather than to the local shop you bought it from. And Online Pass is the ONLY way to use FIFA's online services. New copies of the game (RRP: £55, available for much less, so shop around!) have a code pre-packed, which allows you access, but if you did indeed buy a pre-owned copy, you'll be required to buy an Online Pass from the Xbox Live Marketplace or PlayStation Network, priced at 800 Microsoft Points (around £8).
Also seen from FIFA 11 is Game Face, which allows you to upload GOOD pictures of your face to the server to download onto your Pro to put yourself in the game truer than ever before. This can take a few tries, but is satisfying once perfected. Downloading your Game Face to the Pro gives you 10XP, for which allow you to reach targets to level up. However, I've not actually seen the point of the level idea. The EA statistics also make a return, giving you up-to-the-second info on players passing, distance covered, completion rates, shots on goal, saves made and so on. You'll have seen these if you have watched Sky Sports football games over the past year.
While on the subject of Sky Sports, Martin Tyler and Alan Smith (not Leeds United and Manchester United's Alan Smith) are the main commentators for the game, but with an added extra, EA have offered Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend as alternative commentary too, which is very good for the career mode, where the Premier League matches will be announced by the Sky duo of Tyler and Smith, and cup games by Tyldesley and Townsend. It's just a shame that the commentary is still amazingly repetitive and shows its age with Townsend stating "England are still in the lead thanks to Paul Robinson" when playing as Blackburn Rovers. But heck, I'll put up with that for the general idea of having both commentary teams on the game for that little extra realism.
I keep saying it, but I believe that any football gamer will love this game IF they persevere. Don't let the first few games dictate what your brain will believe is the whole game. It takes time to get used to, but once you do, you'll fall back in love with the game.
Buy it, but don't buy it for £55.
Summary: Buy it and take your time with it. Through the wall, there's a thing of beauty waiting for you.
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