FIFA Street

FIFAStreetThe most popular sport in the world gets the personal treatment as Electronic Art’s FIFA Street offers a very involving street football game experience features a huge real-life player cache and several worldwide locations that obviously include more urban environments.

Players address their individual (experience, performance progress rewards, unlockables) and group (wins, advancements, etc.) games amid teams maxed out at six players per side plus several other variations including panna (featuring special skills like getting the ball through defender legs, futsal (no walls), and one-on-one play. There are no referees and a large cache of available players plus several unlockable items including footwear, team kits, street wear, environments and teams.

FIFA Street also features national and club teams for the first time in this game series. The MLS league is included along with the Serie A (Italy), La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France), and the Premier League (England). Players can also unlock the following special teams in the World Tour mode stages three and four: African All Stars, Asia All Stars, South American All Stars, North America All Stars, Street Ballers, Street Kings, Street Stars, Street Wizards, Street Swirl, Street Stylers, Street Dragons, and Classic Team.

Venue walls and other environmental elements important and play into the physics as players get authentic streetball complete with fans, strong game sounds, and audible on-field chatter. Some extensive branding reminds players of familiar big venue football elements.

New features include The Virtual Pro career mode features a manager mode (15 year career), improved one-touch passing (a.k.a. Street Ball Control), new “ATTACK” dribbling system, and the social competition Street Network where players can record and share their gameplay video. Players can view featured videos any time.

In the single and multiplayer modes, players can compete in “cage matches”, trick competitions, “last man standing”, and fight-for-possession matches. The tutorials and practice modes are ideal for players wanting to learn more about the sport.

Players form their own team in World Tour mode that features team management, a progression point system and integration into the EA Sports Football Club where player progress points yield rewards in other associated game like FIFA 12. Players also choose their locations with five- or six-a-side matches.

The controls promote fast paced footwork by utilizing the dual analog sticks where one controlling player movement and the other control his foot.  Complicated schemes yield rewards and jaw dropping moves including aerial move and quick boosts past defenders though the formidable AI does not give away anything easily. All players recover well after hits or when they get burned on a nifty trick. Full field views are important for passing and figuring out all the angles, but expanded camera view options would have added even more realism and a unique on-field view.

Tricks and move combinations impress, but the rewards increase when the result is successful. Completed tricks and moves only transfer into points with successful goals. Players can also ramp up point amounts by choosing higher difficulty levels and successfully winning. The customization features include point distribution so players can strategize to make their team well rounded or create skilled specialists. The overall system intrigues and promotes progress, but an automatic “level-up” option would have been a helpful addition.

In the Hit the Streets mode, players mixes preset scenarios with customization while the online mode features open voice chat via a headset microphone and the ability to play between two and 20 players (players need an EA account and Playstation Network account to sign-in). Players cannot use licensed club players online, which creates stronger individual elements and unpredictability where other players must strategize against other teams instead of incorporating the same tactics from other game mode. Friends can also track each other’s progress.

The in-game soundtrack features 24 songs from artists including Fatboy Slam, Vato Gonzalez, KKS, Kano, The Chain Gang of 1974, Felguk, Malachai, and Spank Rock. Also available on Xbox 360.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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