The last time I’ve played football games were back in the days of Sensible Soccer, FIFA 98: Road to World Cup and the football in Tiny Toon Adventures: Acme All Stars, if that counts at all. Before you ask, yes I know about the offside rule, do you?

Admittedly I’m not a huge follower of the sport but I enjoyed a casual play with friends in the playgrounds. The video gaming side was naturally encountered when you have an older brother religiously following the Premier League. He’d be playing his own football fantasies with the yearly titles and I’d occasionally hop in too (because I would play any video game). I guess I want to see how football games have progressed since I had stopped playing them 10 years ago. How different is it now for me to try crossing over the ball before attempting a goal?

Once FIFA 09 booted up I had to get through the profile set up. This lets you setup your defaults, so yeah that’ll be beginner skill level and Arsenal as my team (to honour my brother). Nipping into a quick kick off with Liverpool and well I gotta say, this game has certainly achieved atmosphere. It’s undeniable that FIFA 09 has got really slick and fantastic presentation. From watching the players come out onto the pitch, the pop up information of your team and formation, the lively crowd chanting and what use to be choppy, repetitive dialogue in the past, the commentary flows nicely in todays latest FIFA. The developers have nailed the feel of football.

The gameplay was pretty smooth, though it does feel at times that the AI seem to be able to tackle you a little too easily. Just about getting across the field with the good old one two tactic I was happy enough to score one goal in each five minute halves. The control system takes a bit of getting use to but the more you play, the more you’ll come to learn of how to travel and time your tricky passes to prevent the AI nicking the ball. The hard grafting work takes place mostly between the mid-fielders but everybody can vouch that as soon as the ball nears a goal there’s a rush of adrenaline and excitement.

Enhancing our vanity, the instant replays are pretty fun to play around with. Whether being a smug solo player reliving a fantastic goal score or being the cheeky sod humiliating your opponent, there’s no doubt that everyone will spend quite a bit of time toggling to and fro with the camera functions. By the way, the final result did fall down to Arsenal 2 Liverpool 3 (I don’t think I made my brother proud there!)

There’s a fancy feature for those connected on Xbox Live, the Adidas Live season. EA can update the player stats onto your Xbox on a weekly basis from real football matches. In my opinion would make playing the season quite interesting where at any time your favourite players could be performing good or bad, giving a challenge to your tactics. However, once again the rubbish part of EA online is having to register for an EA account. Also having to sign up to subscriptions should you want to play more of Adidas Live season and it’s various leagues. This can cost you up to 1,600 microsoft points but for the hardcore footie fans it will add spice to your FIFA season. You do get a trial code with the game at least but damn, after the Rock Band issue, why do EA continue to milk more money from us?!

The only issue I’ve got with the game is that it was aimed squarely at HDTV’s! Just like Dead Rising, the text is bloody difficult to read and you find yourself squinting so much. Microsoft and the developers seem to be forgetting that not all of us can afford new TVs!







One response to “FIFA 09”

  1.  avatar

    I totally agree that FIFA 09 is fantastic, however I did find one glitch rather disturbing, in that when players do the ‘robot’, their hair changes colour. It appears to differ between characters hair colour but it is rather irritating…
    And yes, AI players definitely are able to tackle too easily… I jumped in at the deep end when first playing, only to find I could barely tackle anyone.

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