FIFA Street Xbox & PlayStation 2
by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports BIG
Release Date: Out Now
FIFA Street, an introduction.
Ever since the success of NBA Street it was inevitable that the ‘Street’ formula would be applied to other sports. As well as the three NBA Street games we have also had two NFL Street games and here we have the birth of another 'Street' series with FIFA Street. Taking a 4v4 football game and placing them on 'Street' style pitches with over the top moves, definitely seems like an idea that could prove popular. After all we've already seen a similar game in Urban Freestyle Soccer. Let's take a look and see if FIFA Street can be just as appealing as the great NBA Street series.
What's the game about?
As you would expect FIFA Street is a game of football where anything goes. Dirty moves, no stoppages (the ball never goes out of play) and way over the top moves are all included and it makes for non-stop action from the kick-off to the final whistle. Games are either played for a fixed amount of time or until a certain amount of goals have been scored. Game modes include Game On, Friendly and Rule the Street. Just like in the other 'Street' games you can create your own player and then, in turn, create your own team. Rule the Street is the heart of the game and it's here you'll play with your team and attempt to upgrade them as you earn skill bills (SB) and rep points. Like the other 'Street' games you have to play with style and perform tricks. You have the trick stick (right analogue stick), tricks shift (left analogue stick) and the Y/triangle button to assist you with this. Filling your combo meter will enable you to use a Gamebreaker which is essentially a super shot that should enable you to score providing no defender gets in the way.
What's good about the game?
Some of you may remember the older FIFA games where you had an indoor mode. FIFA '97 was one that springs to mind as having an indoor mode and quite enjoyable it was too. FIFA Street, to a certain degree, feels like the old FIFA indoor mode only here it is 4v4 (including the keepers) instead of 5v5. One of the big pluses with FIFA Street is that the control system is actually quite easy to get to grips with and you'll find yourself performing great looking tricks in no time. As you hold down the shoot button an icon of the goal appears and you can position your shot with the greatest of ease. Passes, lobs and headers are equally easy to pull off. The intuitive control system is actually a bit of a saving grace as the included tutorial (as we mention below) is pretty awful. You'll also find around 17 national sides in the game as well as a star team creator where you get to form your own team of superstars. You can't take this team into the Rule the Street mode though.
What's not so good about the game?
FIFA Street has several issues that prevent it from being a great game. To begin with the included tutorial is terrible and is annoying for hearing gamers to follow, never mind deaf gamers. Rather than deliver each move individually and give you a chance to master it the developers went for the compile everything into a non-interactive movie clip that simply shows move after move. The tutorials aren't subtitled either and whilst there is an onscreen controller to show you what controls are being used it's virtually impossible to keep your eye on the film clip, the onscreen controller and remember everything you're seeing. Other annoyances include erratic keepers, a loss of control when an opponent performs a skill move on you (such as a nutmeg) and some laboured player animations that take a little too long to complete. You may also throw in a lack of an online mode as an annoyance. FIFA Street could have been a lot of fun in a 3v3 online game and it's a shame an online mode hasn't been included.
How does it look?
FIFA Street doesn't look that bad at all. Naturally with the game being played on smaller pitches and with fewer players involved the camera is zoomed in and the players look quite large. As with all multi-platform games the graphics don't really capitalise on the graphical power of the Xbox and in truth it's looks identical to its PlayStation 2 counterpart. There are around 10 pitches in all including Mexico City, Rome, Lagos, Rio, New York and London. None of these are what is termed as ideal playing surfaces but they all look suitably themed for their location. Whilst realistic ball physics were probably never expected in FIFA Street it does come as a bit of a shock how the ball appears to be tied to the players by some invisible elastic band. Whilst some of the tricks look good, some take too long to carry out and actually harm the flow of the game. Thankfully there aren't too many of these.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
FIFA Street will cause deaf gamers no problems for the most part. As we mentioned above the tutorials are essentially a waste of time for deaf gamers and this is quite annoying. As for the rest of the game there aren't any other problems. All of the information including objectives and instructions are all shown in text so you'll have no problem in enjoying the game.
FIFA Street as a series definitely has the potential to be something special. This first game has a few rough edges though, which do detract from the overall experience. The Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions of the game are practically identical with the loading times being marginally quicker on the Xbox. The game falls into the same category as Urban Freestyle Soccer and SEGA Soccer Slam. Whilst I would say the game is marginally better than the former I wouldn't say it's quite as enjoyable as the latter. Of course there are some real players included here and that will be all important for some gamers. Had an online mode been included it might have been a more desirable purchase but that said if you can live with the aforementioned problems it's by no means a bad game and the Rule the Street mode will certainly keep you busy for a while.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Make no mistake about it FIFA Street is actually an enjoyable game but there is plenty of room for improvement. An online mode could be included, the ball physics could be made slightly more realistic and a worthwhile tutorial mode could also be added. What's here is, for the most part, enjoyable and it makes a change from the American themed 'Street' games that are already on offer.