FIFA Street (March 13 , 2012) for XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 is a renovation of a series that was waiting four years to come back to life. For those unaware of the Street series, picture the major league sports in street locations and extremely over the top. Generally the athletes are doing skills that no normal human being would be able to pull off. This year’s FIFA Street decided to take a new look at the Street series. Instead of going over the top, they took a more realistic approach to street soccer. To some it may be a disappointment, but it may be a victory to others.
When I heard FIFA Street was coming back, I was quite excited. I was anxiously awaiting getting a chance to pick this game up. When I first heard about the change to it being more like street soccer, I was not quite sure what to think. I liked the arcade-like play of previous Street games. When I started to play, I instantly noticed the difference between games of the past. There were lots of things I liked, but at the same time a lot I did not like at all.
The basic gameplay is simple which initially keeps some of the Street feel of the past. There are a lot of pretty neat variations to the game. There is your basic street football, as well as panna style, futsal, and last man standing. Basic street play allows you to play the ball off of walls and fences, which is pretty cool. In panna style, you earn points based on beating your opponent away from the ball and earn these extra points when you score a goal. Futsal mode is football in stadium environments with boundaries. In last man standing, the object is to have each player on the team score a goal. When a player scores a goal, that player leaves the field of play. The winner is the first player to have all players off of the field.
The world tour is this game’s top feature. If you were a player of the last FIFA game, you can import your character into this game, which I really did like. You can use this player or make a new one into your world tour team. In this mode, you make a team and play them through many different regions and many different game types. There are different game types that general play does not offer, such as tournament play and skill based play, where points are awarded based on the skills you perform. Each event has medals awarded based on difficulty level attempted and items are given based on the medal achieved. In some events, you can choose to “recruit” a member of the opponent to your team. These events can also be played against live members.
The environments throughout the game are diverse and very cool. The environments really make this game work as a Street title. In one arena you may be playing on an old basketball court, while another you may be playing on a loading dock. There are also some areas where a fence does not entirely enclose an area, so you have to be careful not to play the ball out of the zone.
There are certain parts of the gameplay that are really clunky. Many of the special skills that are performed are done with the right analog stick in combination with the left or right bumper. Unfortunately some of these movements made me feel like I was playing a Street Fighter game. In order to perform what should be a simple ball move, you have to perform several crazy maneuvers with the stick and it makes it feel more like an arcade fighter than a sports game. It felt to me as though the game developers felt there were not enough arcade elements in the game, so they added this to make the maneuvers challenging. Everything else about the controls are simple: it just feels terribly out of place.
The physics of the players as well as the ball are quite terrible at times. In a soccer game, it’s really important for the ball to move like a real ball would. In FIFA Street, that’s not always the case. The ball doesn’t always behave like a real soccer ball should, and I have to say that’s a big disappointment. The player movements are even worse. When some tackles are being done, the player flops around in a very puppet-like way. There have been many times my player got stuck either in the goal post or a fence and has cost me several points. Other times the character models appear to take up the same space and fuse for a split second.
Other than exhibitions, World Tour and online play, there really isn’t a lot of diversity in game types. Other than World Tour, there really isn’t a season mode. There are a lot of teams you can play with outside of World Tour, but it appears you can only play single games with those teams.
This is a game that I truly wanted to love. I really enjoyed FIFA and was hoping this would be a fun new take on soccer. Instead it just felt like an unpolished FIFA remake. Even though there are flaws- quite a lot of them- I still enjoyed playing this game. My big problem with this game though is I did not feel like it had the lasting power that FIFA had. World Tour is a lot of fun, environments are cool, but it feels empty outside of those things. In the end, my main emotion from playing this game was disappointment.
About the Author
Jason "Pulsaris" Thomsen joined 2old2play in 2006. He is 33 years old and lives with his wife in Radford, Virginia. Jason is a 2003 graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelors of Science degree. His first gaming console was the Intellivision and has been gaming since. Gaming favorites include first-person shooters, role playing games, and sports games. He loves playing for both competition and for fun, as well as for the social interaction with his friends. Other activities include playing trumpet and skiing.