FIFA 08 DS
Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
It's surprising just how much content can be included in a handheld sports game these days. Take FIFA 08 for the Nintendo DS for instance. The game has a whopping 30 leagues, 576 licensed teams and more than 15,000 players. The game even allows you to play online against your friends and it's certainly not short of modes to play. Gone are the days when handheld sports games are pale imitations of the main console versions.
The modes on offer in FIFA 08 for the DS are Kick Off (which allows you to play exhibition games), Scenarios (which can be created and shared with friends), Manager mode, Tournament, Training, Penalty Shootout, Multi-Card Play (for up to four players), Single-Card Play (for two players) and Nintendo WFC. The Manager mode isn't as comprehensive as the one you'll find on the PS3/360/PC/PS2 versions. Essentially you'll guide your team through five seasons aiming to complete objectives that your board have set for you. Successfully completing these objectives will earn you Prestige Points. There are various rewards that can be unlocked by completing various objectives. There are items such as home stadium upgrades, classic teams and various mini-games.
There is a nice variety of modes on offer then but how does the game play? Fortunately, FIFA 08 on the DS actually plays a solid game of football. Given the small amount of buttons on the DS you'd be forgiven for thinking that the game would have been streamlined to such an extent as to make it feel too basic. Whilst the controls aren't as comprehensive as in some of the other versions of FIFA 08 however, what's here is more than adequate. The game even features skill moves, controlled shots, lobbed through balls and chip shots. The touch screen isn't used a great deal but it's used sensibly. During a match you can simply use it as a radar or to make quick tactical changes. You can aim your direct free kicks, take penalties and attempt to save them using the touch screen using a tap and drag action. You can even use the touch screen to line up your wall when defending a free-kick.
The general presentation of the game is fine. Surprisingly the game does include match commentary and naturally, this isn't subtitled. In every other respect the game is fine for deaf gamers. The only disappointment with the game from a technical standpoint is that the match graphics actually look a little crude. To be fair, no one expects a football game on the DS to look great and the rather crude nature of the graphics is compensated for by the fact that the action flows at a consistently smooth frame rate.
With FIFA 08 being the first football game we've seen on the DS it's a little difficult to comment on how it fairs against the other football games on the system. That said, the DS version of FIFA 08 is actually quite impressive, both in terms of the modes it offers and how it plays. It doesn't feel as though it's been compromised at all for being on a handheld gaming system and the overall quality of the package should please anyone who is looking for an enjoyable football game that can be played both offline and online.