A somewhat belated review of the new instalment in EA Sports’ FIFA Street series… (PS3)
The initial FIFA Street series contained some enjoyable enough games without being too groundbreaking, but could justifiably be accused of being too arcade-like in nature, which is perhaps why EA Sports decided to start afresh with this title, not referring to it as FIFA Street 4, but simply FIFA Street.
The game contains much the same premise as the previous editions, with the focus on small-sided matches where, depending on the game mode being played, skills can be of integral importance. In the ‘Panna’ mode for example, the key is to build up as many intricate moves as possible before finding the net and claiming a vast number of points, but the adverse aspect of this is that, if it is your opponent who scores first, then they reap the benefits regardless of how many moves they were involved in.
A wide range of teams from Europe’s top leagues, in addition to plenty of unlockable sides, such as the ‘Euro All Stars’, ensures that there is much choice and replay value, although the squad lists for each team are considerably cropped, whilst another minor frustration is that there are no options to make substitutes during the course of the, admittedly short, game.
One particular highlight of this title is the brand new ‘Last Man Standing’ mode which is pretty self explanatory in that two teams take eachother on in a 5-a-side game, with players having to leave the field once they have found the net. The trick here is to try and ensure that your most clinical players remain on the pitch the longest, meaning that you are likely to be better placed in the event of a 1-on-1 showdown.
The old days of using the L1 and Triangle buttons to navigate past opponents with ease are long gone, and users will have to take some time to master the vast array of different moves on offer. Using the same engine as FIFA 12, the game provides a shorter, sharper alternative to the main series and, initially at least, can prove more enjoyable due to its compact nature.
The main aspect of the game is the World Tour mode, a career mode in which you commence with a side playing down the local park and, by beating opponents along the way, take the opportunity to effectively steal their best players and add them to your line up, much in the manner of previous versions. This mode can be seen as rather long winded, due to the time in which it takes to fully complete it, but it is worth prevailing for the satisfaction garnered by ending up with a star-studded line-up that is of complete contrast to the side that you started out with.
In all, the new FIFA Street is a worthy purchase, and provides an enjoyable alternative to FIFA 12. It is much preferable, however, to play against a friend if possible, as this is where the competitive nature of the skill-based game comes to the fore. Playing alone, in contrast, can cause you to lose interest at times as the game becomes rather repetitive, but, on the whole, the range on new innovations mean that this is an enjoyable encounter.