FIFA 09 Review
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FIFA 14 for PS4 doesn't make drastic changes to its current-gen version, but the enhanced graphics, new animations, and improved player awareness make it one of the strongest PS4 launch titles.
- Improved graphics and overall presentation
- New animations enhance realism
- Greater player awareness
- Players still slightly off
- Some missed opportunities in crowd overhaul
- Not a giant leap for the franchise
[Editor’s Note: I understand soccer should be respectfully labeled as football, but because the majority of our reader base is from North America, we’re going to utilize the word soccer instead. Don’t be so offended and please don’t litter the comment section with Soccer> American football -- we get it.]
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EA Sports appears to be experiencing something of a turning point this season. While the company may have struggled during the initial development process the latest generation of consoles, it’s starting to become evident that any kinks are now few and far between.
Last year’s FIFA 08 took the appropriate steps forward by improving on physics, visual detail and most importantly, the way the sport played. As a result, this afforded EA the chance to capitalize and ultimately expand upon these improvements with FIFA 09, resulting in one of the best overall soccer titles in recent years.
Quite simply, is there any sport that exemplifies the dreams of millions more than the game of soccer? Often regarded as the world’s premier sport, soccer is played in almost every country around the globe. FIFA 09 offers gamers the opportunity to fulfill those virtual dreams, become a hero on the pitch, and ultimately earn legendary status -- that is, at least until the next installment arrives. FIFA 09 provides this through the in-depth Be A Pro mode, a feature that has quickly become a staple among EA’s titles for this season.
Those of you who played FIFA 08 should recall that EA included the Be A Pro option in the feature set. Unfortunately, this mode was only playable on a per game basis, resulting in a lot of wasted potential. Things have been tweaked this season, however, allowing gamers to expand their Be A Pro experience across four full seasons of play. During this run, you’ll work your way through the reserve squad in hopes of landing a full-time gig with the starting team. Those of you with enough talent can take the process one step further and potentially find yourself with a spot on the national team. Keep in mind though that not every nation has a team within the game. Thankfully, EA gives a heads up on which countries will offer this experience when it comes time to create your pro.
Creating your pro is quite an intricate process. Much like the standard create-a-player function, you’re able to change any aspect of your appearance. This provides you with full freedom in determining the look of your jaw, cheeks, mouth, lips, eyes and ears. EA has done a great job in providing the user with true customization for their pro player. After the long sculpting process, expect to take some time fine-tuning your player’s attributes to better reflect what position you’ve chosen to play. Gamers start off with 10,000 points to dispense, which is sufficient enough to build you up to a 65-67 overall rating.
Sadly, unlike the NHL series, some gamers may find FIFA’s Be A Pro Mode a tad monotonous. NHL offers a fast-paced atmosphere where your player will touch the puck numerous times per shift. However, with soccer being a more patient sport, chances are you may only see the ball 2-3 times a game, if not a tad more. This will appeal to hardcore fans that enjoy the speed of play and the teamwork involved, but it may put off more casual gamers who want to have a larger impact on the outcome of the game. Of course, this does make every touch that much more important, which in turn adds a lot of excitement once you have the ball at your feet.
Fortunately, for gamers who have no interest in Be A Pro, EA has delivered on their promise of significantly improving over 250 aspects of their title, the most noticeable of which happens to be the physical style of play. Whereas past soccer games have always allowed for the smaller individual to have the ability to overpower a player twice his size, EA has now switched things up ensuring that a player’s physical attributes play a much more prominent role in a match. As such, not only does this ... (continued on next page)
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