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It's fair to say that I'm not a big football fan. My sport of choice (Rugby League) leaves little room for the prima-donna antics of soft, overpaid football players. I tend to have the same attitude towards computer versions of the sport too, so whilst I enjoyed Sensible Soccer on the Amiga, the last football game I owned was the very first EA FIFA game 96. I'll be honest; I only picked this up because I saw it for £1.50 in a second hand store and couldn't resist it at that price.
Despite this unpromising start, FIFA 12 is actually a pretty decent game. What really impresses is the thoroughness. Competitions, teams, leagues and players from dozens of countries are represented, giving you the opportunity to play in the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga and so on. The attention to detail is incredible and it seems that no matter how obscure the competition, it is recreated in FIFA. Of course, you do have to bear in mind that this edition reflects teams at the end of 2011 so it's no longer accurate, but if that sort of thing matters to you you'll already have bought FIFA 14 anyway. For the rest of us, a slightly outdated game for £1.50 is perfectly acceptable.
Equally impressive is the level of customisation. Difficulty levels can be tweaked in, controllers set up to reflect your preferred methods and squads altered so that if you really do have to have up-to-date teams, you can change them manually. It gives you a real feeling of control that many other games lack.
This extends to the game modes which are extensive and give the game massive long term playability. If you want to dive straight in, you can play a single game; if you want a bigger challenge you can play a whole season; if you want to make things even tougher, you can take full control over your side through the management option. It gives FIFA 12 a real depth that caters for everyone's tastes. Throw in multi-player offline modes (competitive or co-operative) and online matches (which I've not used) and FIFA 12 offers an awful lot.
At this point, you're probably thinking that this is all very interesting, but how does it play as a football game? The answer is: very well. Once you have got used to the controls, the game feels very fluid. Passing feels natural, as does shooting. Within just a few games, you begin to get the hang of passing the ball around, whilst tackling is also easy to get to grips with. Set pieces (particularly corners) are a little more challenging, but it comes with practice. The crucial thing is that FIFA plays like a real football game with crisp, accurate passing and a good implementation of the rules. Computer AI is decent (depending on difficulty level) and computer controlled teams play a good game of football.
The difficulty level is also well-honed to meet the needs of all players. If you've never played a football game before, you can alter the difficulty levels to make it as easy as possible; if you're a FIFA veteran, you can ramp the difficulty levels up. Unlike some games, this makes a massive difference to how the game plays. As an experiment, I played an FA Cup tournament on the lowest difficulty setting and the highest. On the easy setting, I won the cup easily, beating Manchester United 6-1 in the final; on the hard setting, I didn't get past the first round, and I'm not going to tell you the final score! Essentially, however good (or bad!) you are at games, you will still be able to play FIFA.
Graphics are very good indeed. Stadia across the world are faithfully recreated and, whilst the game doesn't have photo-realistic graphics, the players at least bear a passing resemblance to their real-life counterparts. Animations are generally very fluid and the game's perspective works well giving you a decent view of the pitch so that you can attempt a proper passing game, rather than just hoofing the ball up field and hoping for the best.
Sound is perfectly adequate, although was the one aspect I was less impressed by. As background noise, the game features songs from various artists (some well-known, others less so), although the choice of some titles is a little odd. In-game commentary is provided by Martin Tyler and Alan Smith. Whilst this is perfectly adequate, like all such games, it can become repetitive, with the same phrases cropping up time and time again. Crowd and background noises are also a little disappointing. These are pretty generic stuff and don't really capture any sense of excitement.
The one major complaint regarding controls is one suffered by every football game I have ever played. In standard game mode, the PS3 assigns you control of whichever player it thinks is best at the time. You can switch to another player by pressing a button, but I find this can be a little unresponsive. Too often, by the time you have selected the player you want, your opponent has run past the man and you have to start all over again.
The other downside to the game is the deplorable way EA Sports treat this franchise like a cash cow, essentially releasing the same game year on year with just a few tweaks, whilst charging gamers around £45 for the privilege. How EA can justify this practice is beyond me... but I guess as long as people keep buying it, they will keep doing it.
Still, the upside to that policy is that if you're willing to have a slightly older version, you can pick them up dirt cheap. I got my copy a while back for £1.50 (second hand), but I've seen it as cheap as 75p. And you really can't argue with that.
© Copyright SWSt 2014
It may take some getting used to but this years Fifa is most definitely the best one in recent years. The new defending system may take some learning and getting used to but it most certainly is more realistic than just holding down x and waiting for the ball, its called tactical defending for a reason. Although there is not much improvement in the graphical department [ it looks exactly the same as Fifa 11] there are some new animations, which when you pull off you will know that this is a step above last years. Another new feature is online seasons which has replaced head to head. This year you progress through seasons which consist of 10 games, playing against people in the same division as you. When the season finishes you are either promoted if you got enough points to be, relegated if you didn't get enough or stay in the same division as before. This is a great feature and brings some extra meaning to playing online. Ultimate team this year remains much the same, the only change being if you win some tournaments you can win packs. New coloured player cards are also in ultimate team, distinguishing players from normal, to team of the week, to man of the match etc.
There is no other game that comes close to FIFA. I used to love Pro Evo but due to its no proper licenses and the fact it was going more and more into the arcade format it lost my love and reluctantly went back to FIFA after an 8 year absence and that started with FIFA10 which was average two years on though and FIFA12 is hands down the best football game out there, the graphics are possibly the best in any sports game. The game features are enough to keep you going for at least a couple months with "Be a Pro" keeping me entertained for weeks. The career mode is loved by many, in my opinion I find it tedious as being a massive Football Manager fan I cant help but compare the signing of players etc to that format and it leaves me feeling like there is something missing so I avoid it. Taking the game online is where you get the most fun taking on people across the country and winning/losing is what keeps you playing for alot longer than you had intended.
So the next Fifa game has been released with a string of new features, included an entirely new tackling system and the introduction of the impact engine to simulate real life injuries. The new tackling system is a good addition as it takes much for skill to defend well than it did in the previous game as now you have to time your tackles like you would in real life. However the impact engine isn't quite as successful. It is flawed in the fact it can make plays just fall over at random in important possitions and often plays collide and fly accross the screen for no reason! However it does work well for the injury simulation aspect. Career mode has also been revamped for a much more enjoyable experience. I enjoyed this fifa and it is an improvement on the previous title, but nothing groundbreaking special to set itself apart from other titles. Yet again I would place ths title above its rivals though, due to the unique features it has to offer. One of these is pro clubs. This enables you to play as your own virtual pro which you can create on the game with your own identity. You are then able to play with your virtual pro in club games, under the pro clubs menu. This can involve games of up to 11vs11 and is thoroughly entertaining. A word of warning however about the whole online community on FIFA 12 is that all the games are hosted on EA game servers and these are known to crash frequently meaning sometimes these online features are available. On the topic of online features, the game now requires the use of an online pass to play online. It is a unique code that can be entered on one console or computer and allows use of the online features. This means the game cannot be shared among players if they wish to play online which will deter some people. My favourite feature of FIFA 12 though has to be the addition of a game mode called "Head to head seasons". In this game mode you play as any team of your choice and play a league type system in which you can earn promotion by achieving a certain number of points. You start in division 10, and work your way up to division 1 which can provide literally hours upon hours of challenging fun. I really enjoyed the title FIFA 12 but it does have its flaws, notably the impact engines failings.
I have been a huge fan of FIFA games for a long time now. They are definitely the best football games on the market. Every year they keep on getting better and better. I'm not sure how they do it. In this review I will give a quick over view on the game
The graphics on this game are second to none. It is so realistic, you forget it's just a game sometimes because it is just so good! The players look so real. Being a chelsea fan myself, I can quite happily say that all of the players look almost identical to there real looks. Which is quite an achievement. Going back a few yEars now when the players all looked the same! Ea have worked really hard on making this game believe able. The crowd and the stadiums look out of the world. It could almost be a live game being showed on sky! Also the fans chants are brilliant and entertaining.
The gameplay has been changed to become much more realistic, defending has become harder because you actually have to control the defenders this year. You will find to begin with you will let in lots of goals, but if you get the hang Of it them you will be conceding less than you did last year. The game shows how good you actually are, the aids have been turned down so it is real football. You have to be accurate when shooting. Gone is the day when you could take a pop from 45 yards and it ends up In the net most times! If you want to score from far out, it has to be special ( just like in real life). Goal keepers i believe are better and make less mistakes.
The commentary is much better because they have more things to say now. It makes the game more interesting. Also without andy gray ( get in!! :) ) ha. You will find that you hear the same stories over and over again though which can get on your nerves wen your losing and you just want them to shut up!
Most of the players are as good as they are in real life. The frustrating thing is that Torres in this game is outstanding. In real life he just isn't. I suppose they go on past form and potential. Not everything can be perfect.
Passing is really good and If you master it well, you can do defence splitting passes very well. Also free kicks are harder than ever, they take a lot of practice which like most things on the game can be mastered after a few hours.
The online modes are better than ever, you can really enjoy an interactive experience and play matches against people on the other side of the world to you. Online competitions are great and if your not careful can take up hours of your life. It can be a very addictive game indeed.
Referees can give very dubious decisions, but is all just a bit of fun. Handballs in the box are the most frustrating, it's impossible to stop them!
There are all the normal features and a few more, it really is worth a try! The only issue is the price! It is so expensive! I can't believe how much these games cost nowadays. It's not fair on the consumer because hard earned cash is wasted buying games that we used to buy for much less. I can't see this changing in the near future :(
I would recommend this game to anyone, most of my friends already have this game :!
Thanks for reading :)
Fifa has for a number of years been the market leader in the video games arena when it comes down to football but have they done enough with their latest offering to stay ahead of the competition and remain as a deserving maker leader?
- Fifa has always worked hard on improving the standard of graphics in each game and thankfully this is the case with this version too. The graphics standard is very impressive and it is now easier than ever for you to see who the players in the game are representing (eg Wayne Rooney looks like Wayne Rooney).
- An improved control system allows for a more intuitive feel to the game with big improvements to the dribbling with a new precision dribbling control system implemented. The improvements are simple yet vast and really do enable you to have a much better control over the play and enable you to build up attacks the way you really want to.
- The introduction of Player Impact Engine means that you have a much stronger feel of things with your players now feeling resilient and like they want to maintain possession when they run with the ball. The Player Impact Engine also leads to more realistic results from tackles and in turn this produces more realism in terms of the resulting injuries to your players.
- Quick throws are one of my favourite introductions to the new game as they allow for a much quicker flow to the gameplay when you need it.
- More intelligent computer based opponents leads to a more challenging game thanks to developments in how they work in both attack and defence based on a new self-awareness system called Pro Player Intelligence. This new system works by players being able to make decisions on what to do based on their skills and the strengths & skills of their opponents. For me this is a hugely obvious improvement in the game and may lead to you needing to change the difficulty settings you were used to as this will make the game a bigger challenge than in previous years.
- Improved presentation to allow for you to be more immersed in the game than ever before.
- Great licensing as we have all grown used to with Fifa games and thankfully this year is not a let down with the big leagues all still in game like the English Premier League, Scottish Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and more.
- Previous versions of the game had commentary from Andy Gray but in this version he is no more and in his place they have now given us Alan Smith who in my opinion does not seem to have anything worth saying and leads to a much more boring commentary standard than previous years. I do acknowledge you need to give this time to get used to as you have had so many years with Andy Gray that the change is not going to be instantly accepted by many but give it time and you will be more focussed on the game than the commentary.
- If you enjoy a game you can pick up and play without it being too much of a challenge then this game is maybe not going to be for you as you need to work harder than ever to get results due to the Pro Player Intelligence. For many people out there the fact the game makes you work for results will be a good thing but for some it takes away the fun element of this game.
Overall for me this is a very improved game from last years offering thanks to the much improved player intelligence and the new impact engine making for a more challenging and realistic feel to the play. New commentary from Alan Smith lets things down slightly and the fact it is such a challenging game now does detract somewhat from the fun factor the game offers so for me these do mark things down a bit.
Please note I have not offered comments on the online side to the game as I don't make use of these so don't feel it right to say if the new things are improvements or not.
I'd never been much of a football fan until I moved to Norwich. With Norwich City FC getting promoted after 2 great seasons, its became pretty much compulsory to be a Norwich fan - and via that I have slowly got into football. When I was younger, I distinctly remember playing Fifa 97 and also at some point 'Sensible Soccer' - but up until Fifa 12 that I picked up a couple of months ago, I had played not really delved into the world of virtual sports.
So, a couple of months ago my newish found love for football and my spanking new PS3 reached a natural conclusion when I shelled out £35 for a second hand copy of Fifa 12 - raring to get stuck into the football game that, from what I read was the best in the series and had outstanding reviews.
That was a couple of months ago, and I've only just started to score half decent goals, so what happened?
I am pretty new to sports, both in and out of the virtual world. Apart from a brief stint at the gym and the occasional game of badminton, I have in the past stayed pretty far from sports. Recently however, maybe its because I got older but I've got more interested in sports generally and specifically football. Having not played a football game for years I knew I had a lot of catching up to do but I assumed I would just be able to pick up and play FIFA 12. I couldn't have been more wrong, the learning curve of this game is almost vertical - a warning to gamers like me new to FIFA, expect to spend the first month or so extremely frustrated with this game. To be honest, after the first week I was ready to trade it in, its very tough to get to grips with - but thankfully I stuck it out and after a few intense day long sessions I wen't from very bad to just bad - a few weeks later and I've only just managed to win a game on easy. Its that hard. I'm no newbie to gaming, I've played been the proud owner of many gaming console and plowed many hours into them, but so far, I've not come across a learning curve as steep as FIFA 12, and - conversely, I've rarely had such rewarding gaming experience.
This is also a timely place to interject with a heads up for new players on buying this game old Vs second hand.
------New Vs Second Hand-------
Games publishers, and most notibily EA the makers of FIFA 12, are trying to push gamers into buying games new rather than second hand. I can see the logic, but as a consumer its a little frustrating - especially as its a trend really taking off. To do this, many games come with a printed code in the box for DLC (downloadable content) that has a one time use. Buy the game new and get the code, put the code in and get some extras. Sometimes the extras are just fun, but EA take it one step further by having this online code being the gateway to online play. So, if you want to play online you must buy the game new - as if you buy it used chances are the previous owner has used the code and it will no longer work. I wan't to say this is a despicable practice and it for the most part is. The only saving grace being you can buy the code via PSN or Xbox live for about £5 - so players who bought it used can play online. I bought it used and had to buy a code, and considering I paid £35 then £5 to play online it was out of pocket by a few quid as to buy it new is £37. Its worth noting you will struggle to get this game cheap, search online and in second hand shops and you might be lucky and get it for £25, but usually its about £30 at the time of writing, so to be honest its worth getting this new and coughing up the full £37 - so as despicable as EA hold on its customers is, its working. If only the music industry could figure out how to do something similar. As well as this EA encourage heavily being connected with your friends and having an EA account that tracks your play through all FIFA games - so being keen on customer loyalty is something EA make clear from the start.
But anyway, back to the game.
To a new player like me, the options when you start are not only vast but a little confusing. As when I first got it I couldn't go online not all options of play would work, and digging further some options required a further purchase - something I haven't made but friends who play it recommend coughing up the £7.99 to play as part of live seasons. This is a feature EA somewhat shouted about in previous games from what I can gather and rightly so - its a great, if a cheeky idea - in that you can play as part of leagues as they are happening in reality complete with actual transfers and injuries. I have to be honest, I was tempted to buy this when I first got it, but considering I was so bad I decided it would be a bit of a waste - I'm glad I did but its something I'll do in the future.
'Live season' aside, there is a whole host of game modes from the straightforward - 'Tournament' and 'Exhibition' to 'Virtual Pro' and 'Career Mode' - from the off this game should extensive playtime, seeming so opened ended you could play this forever without really reaching a conclusion. There are enough games modes here to keep a varied range of players happy - if you just want a quick one off match, then you can jump right in or if you want to have a full play through of the Barcleys Premiership then that is here too. In fact, lots of tournaments are available to play from here from all the major ones that are household names to the more obscure leagues from around the world. Once you have decided on a game type, its time to pick your teams from the huge selection of teams from around the world - it is in fact a bit mind boggling just how much effort has been put into ensuring the roster is comprehensive. As well as it being comprehensive, they its also very true to life with most of the players looking realistic enough, real life sponsors and very realist skills alocated to the players to match whats happening in reality. FIFA really doing their homework has paid off, if the depth of game types and teams wasn't immersive enough, the realism the lay on take you to that next level.
This is where for new players the fun takes a break and the work starts. The first thing new players will notice is just how complex the controls are, and that they don't always do what you want them to. EA have done this intentionally, for example a shot on goal will not always work out has you plan - with the speed you running, the angle and the player all being deciding factors on how well the kick performs, but also sometimes you just scuff it with no real reason - just like in real life. This idea runs through all the controls and way the gamers interacts with his players - you need to spend a lot of time learning the many, many controls as well as their quirks, what works and what doesn't and how to really nail them - this is weeks and weeks of practice and many frustrating games until you start getting things anything like spot on.
As well as the regular controls, such as shoot, tackle, pass etc, you can do a wide range of more interesting things - and most of these are known as 'skill moves' A skill move is done by pressing the left trigger and then another button of combination of buttons. Again, how well these work and how much use they will be will depend on you learning to do them well, the play being right and the player being suitably skilled - for example a major league star will pull off tricks easier and better than a less skilled lower league player. On top of the 'skill moves', as a player you are provided with more tools to assist you that can be used in a variety of situations - jockeying for example, or tactical defending - again, require learning a combination of moves and what situation these best work in.
All these varied moves and controls add up to make even the simplest game play a challange for a new player, and as I've also read FIFA 12 is a change up control wise from previous FIFA games - older players will have a lot to learn too.
On one hand, having so much to learn and such a steep learning curve is a big turn off - it takes real persistence to get to grips with how this game works. On the other hand, once you do its a real pay off and you see what they are trying to do.
They are trying to make the game as realistic as they can, and it seems they have done that. Once you do get to grips with how this game plays and how to treat the players in certain situations, its very rewarding - I guarantee the first goal you score that actually took you skill and patience rather than just luck you will remember.
As well as the score lines seeming much more realistic (although I have heard of people getting 100's of goals) with scores that wouldn't seem odd in real life, they have nailed the energy and excitement of real football. A recent example, I was playing as Norwich a few weeks after I first got the game and I was starting to really get to grips with it - and although I was losing most games 5-0, I felt I was getting better. A game against an evenly matched Sunderland and I manged two goals in the first half - so the pressure to keep the lead up during the second half was immense. This lead to a great gaming experience where I had to use everything I learned to not concede - and when the whistle went and I won 2-0, my best win to date at the time it was exhilarating. This trend has continued with every game being just as exciting as getting a win is in no way easy, let alone goals with any kind of flair, so when you do get either of those things its great.
I applaud EA for making something realistic, but also balancing that with great game play (once you master it) as this really makes you feel there is always more and more to learn with this game. Rather than feel like a just a computer game you learn to play, it feels like a sport that over time you master - but there will always be someone better out there.
Whilst you play the game something else is also made apparent, the effort they have put into paying as much attention to detail as they can. You'll first get this hearing the commentary, with a really wide variation but they'll also talk about the teams in a realistic way - form of players and even the referee, but as a real nice touch they will talk about your teams previous efforts. So, for example you playing in a league and you lost last week - that might crop up in the commentary. On top of this, the players fall and tumble in a way that sometimes looks too realistic that from a distance it could look like Match Of The Day - and the CPU doesn't play flawlessly, often also making mistake and committing fouls.
After my first couple of hours with this game, I was ready to take it back as I considered it a waste of £35 - I assumed it just wasn't for me and EA have made a game presuming people are not coming to the franchise new - which is true, you get the feel they assume you know what you are doing. The biggest tell of this is how the tutorials only cover the things new to FIFA 12, rather than the basics that would be handy to newcomers to series.
That said, I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Its become one of those games that while I'm at work not playing it, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into a game when I get home - surely the sign of a great game.
If I could have things my way, then no lock for online play and a beginners tutorial would have made this game flawless.
Fifa 12 a yearly release just like the other Fifas this year once has not failed certainly! The game's graphics are simply amazing and the change of game play has been amazing it totally has changed the game around!
The only one slight issue for people buying the game preowned is you need a special code to play online!This only comes when you buy the game brand new and buying it pre owned you would have to get the online access code elsewhere and they are pricey at around 4.00 on Ebay alone!
Moving on to the game play its just simply awesome in the game! When playing the CPU for example against Barcelona they will pass the ball around likes theres no tomorrow! Its just so realistic! Playing against Real Madrid you will notice attacking football against you! These factors make the game much more realistic!
Be warned the level of the CPU in the game is tough and for those who think the CPU is easy to beat be warned even at professional level its hard to beat the CPU.
The best modes in the games are the online mode which have been improved! Now you can play head to head seasons and move up divisions in the online ranking world. This feature really keeps me addicted to the game and playing it more than usual!
There are 10 divisions and you have to try and the reach the number one ranking! It really is awesome and is the best mode in the game for me as I am addicted to playing this.
Far as the game play goes there are no glitches for once in Fifa 12 the makers got it right! The new game play is dynamic you can really play football the way you want it.The additions of new tactics also help playing the game.
I've noticed gone are the days where people can beat you 9-0 or 11-2 online as the game play has been tightened up! Goalkeepers are much tougher to beat overall makes the game feel much more realistic!
One disadvantage of the game is the penalty kicks! They have ruined this! Penalties are so hard to take with a moving sensor bar at the bottom! It makes them so difficult to take and around 80 percent of the time I miss mine!
Other than that Fifa 12 is always the first game I switch on for my PS3! You just can not get tired of playing it!
In my opinion this is one of the best FIFA games. Graphically it is one of the best games on the PlayStation, the game faces are realistic and everything is smooth. The cut scenes are good but can get a bit tiresome after a few games.
I enjoy playing the career mode where you can be a manager, player or both. Personally I go for the player manager so I can make all of the decisions and also play as my virtual pro. Virtual pro has not changed from the previous version but it is still fun to improve your player by unlocking achievements. However this can be repetitive so I generally mix it up and play multiplayer after a week or two.
Online is great but make sure you have a good internet connection (if you lose connection the game records as a loss). I play 11 vs. 11 friendlies which is a great laugh but for me you can't beat a night in with your mates screaming at each other to 'pass it'!!
The new defending system is most peoples issue with this game. I quite like the way they have made it harder to stop someone running at you, however when you try the same runs against the CPU it easily breaks up your play and rarely makes a mistake. In previous versions it used to be a case of holding down X and the game would defend for you, now you have to time the challenge or show them down the line so keep practicing. This can take a while to get used to but it makes playing your friends a lot more fun when you walk the ball through a leaky defence!
I have read reviews where people moan about mistakes the CPU makes for example a goal keeping error, this happens to real players so get over it, it adds to the realism and the drama.
I play this game all the time and really enjoy it, however I do understand that the defending part can ruin it for people who only play the game occasionally. This is why I gave it four stars but if you play a lot I really recommend it.
When Fifa 12 was released there were huge queues of people queuing to get their hands on a copy. The games cover looked similar to last year . Rooney was on the front cover celebrating so I assumed that it was going to be a similar game.
Having looked around I found out that sainsburys did the best deal where fifa 12 was £25.
I bought the game and it even loaded in the same way. For those of use familiar with fifa games. "EA sports its in the game". At this point I thought I had wasted my money on this copy of fifa 11. But how wrong I was....
The main change that I noticed was the tackle way. Instead of slamming a attack the player must be patient in order to tackle the opponent. Also the attacking has been changed since fifa 11. Instead of the player being able to shoot from the half way line and score; the player must now control the ball. At first I was annoyed with the changed as I found it hard to adapt but it does make the game more realistic.
The Offline Play.
The offline modes includes several modes where the player can choose to play against the computer in a friendly match. You could also play 2 players where each player battles head to head to be crowned the best footballer. There is also a mid called pro mode where a player creates a in game avatar and controls him and should he play good he will gain experience and hopefully his rating would rise. There is also penalty shoot out mode where players can play penalties against a computer. And last but not least my favorite mode known as manager mode where you manage a club to glory by winning trophies.
My favorite mode is Ultimate team where players build up a team and go head to head with other players hoping to win coins in order to sign better players etc.
This has to be my second favorite game after COD.
So the new football season can only mean one thing. No not controversial football players splashing the ridiculous wages doing things they shouldn't be doing. It's the introduction of the new games console versions of the real life action.
For years and years there has been an ever raging war between Pro Evolution soccer and EA's Fifa franchises with both games assigning an army of games on both sides to go toe to toe in deciding which was better for that season. In recent years Pro evolution seemed to have been creeping ahead of Fifa as EA fell asleep and fell stagnant in their progress. However in the last 3 years someone poked EA games with a stick and they went into a crazy techno fury and simply flew past Pro Evo to become the Daddy once again of footballing games.
But how does it differ from previous years? I'm forever hearing from my Mum 'Surely it's just the same as the last one'. Anyone who plays these games will understand how wrong she is!!
The game play for Fifa 12 only has a few differences from its previous brother; however they are big differences which make gameplay so much more realistic. The tackling is the most noticeable difference. In games of old, you would just have to hold down the circle button whilst running near a player with the ball and eventually you would tackle a player fair and square. But not this year. There is a tutorial the first time you put the disk in the console which takes you through what and where the major differences are. You can no longer lazily hold down one button until you regain possession, it is now all about having an eye for timing and skill of when to tackle. Each time you press the circle button now the player you are will just tackle in whatever part of the pitch they were in at the time; which when you start out is frustrating but a little bit funny at the same time. You also need to time your slide tackles well as the refs on the game of having an annoying habit of judging a very fine line between a clean and dirty tackle.
But one useful new feature of the new tackling system I have found is the jockeying feature. It is all explained in the tutorial at the start of the game (I highly recommend you do not skip this!!). Basically by holding down L2 and controlling your player, you can delay a pass or cross by positioning the player in a certain way. This can become very useful if you are under the cosh and want to run the clock down.
The career mode has changed for the better too. It has the same format as all of the Fifa games however has some interesting and much better perks and features than ever before. A welcome return to the ability to speak to the press before a game to motivate your team or have a dig at your opposition. A little quirk that emulates real life is what happens during the transfer window and more specifically, DEADLINE DAY. A sky sports style countdown clock and totalizer appear as you make your deals hour by hour to ensure you get the signing you want.
As for online features it's pretty much business as usual as EA has continued their impressive format from the last title.
As is a trend with the Fifa brand the graphics have improved once again and they have inserted little clips of players reactions after a run of play to make it seem like you are watching it on TV. This has been made in an attempt to make the title seem the most realistic football game ever made.
One aspect that is annoyingly real, annoyingly good but generally annoying is players can get struck down my injury all the time. I was playing the other day and was one nil down, put a through ball to my striker in the dying embers of the game and was sure to gain a point, until my striker pulled up and went down with a hamstring injury. Again realistic but annoying.
But all in all you have to take your hats off to EA for creating a near perfect game, and if you buy it you must have patience with the new tackling system. It is frustrating to start with, however you can grasp it very quickly and will be able to feel its full benefit very quickly indeed.
Hands down the best computer football game I have ever played! FIFA 12 at first was a big shock compared to EA's previously released titles over the years. The is principally because of the big changes to the way that tackling is performed in game play. The days of button bashing for tackling are over and it is the dawn of the educated defender as you now require a considerably greater deal of skill to be an astute defender. Attacking seems to have been brought in to a more realistic nature too. Build up play during the game is also more realistic as more patience and passing play is required with better timing for your long balls essential. So with this latest upgrade comes a requirement to upgrade your own skills! At first you will struggle more than usual but after a week or two you will fall in love with this latest release and won't look back in anger. Highly recommended over any other football title out there right now.
Another year and football season brings another Fifa game. The PS3 version this year on the surface remains pretty much the same as the past few years but there are some quite major changes in terms of how the game is played. Fifa has been crowned king of the football gaming arena for the past few years with the competition from Pro Evolution soccer not really having a big impact on its dominance. Will this continue this year?
The game itself: not many changes to game modes
On the surface the game remains the same. You have all the authenticity of previous versions with the wide range of teams and kits. There are all the same modes from last year with a few new extra online and offline modes. There is also the ultimate team online game mode which comes with the game already installed unlike previous versions. The ultimate team mode harks back to the old days of collecting football stickers or cards as you try to build a top team from scratch and swap and trade to get that team.
The offline modes include the usual which are to play a single exhibition match between any two teams. There is also be a pro mode where you take control of one player and develop them gaining experience. There is also the be a goalkeeper mode like last year's version. There is also the career mode where you can go through a career as a player or manager. You can also play a number of tournaments and cup competitions such as the FA Cup.
There are a range of online modes also which include a new way of playing the game. The new mode is where you play a set of 10 matches which are a season and then if you get above a certain number of points you get promoted to the league above. You start at league 10 and the aim is to get to 1. There is also relegation as well as promotion just like in leagues in real life. As you move through the leagues, the standard of play will obviously be higher. There is also a new challenge mode which aims to recreate recent games happening in real life and you can try to change the result. There are the usual online gaming modes also including ultimate team.
Playing all these game modes gets you xps or experience points and increases the level of your play.
What are the changes?
On the surface there are not many changes which you could notice but there a number of key new features which have been developed and makes the game play totally differently. These include the player impact engine which puts the physicality of playing the game into context with the fight for possession and the ball being incorporated into the game. Pro player intelligence means the ability of some players is illustrated more clearly with top midfield players for example being more able to pick out more difficult passes.
The main difference though is the new tactical defending system which means defending in the game is very different to previous versions. Previously you just pretty much pressed one button to press the opposition and then use the tackle buttons. Now positioning is more important and intercepting passes and tackling at the right moment are the main aim. Tactics and timing are more important than in previous versions. It is quite hard to get used to as it is something quite new but it seems to make the game more realistic. Unless you are playing football at a very amateur level or when you are really young, everyone doesn't always go and chase after the the ball when defending and this is the concept this new feature has. I did find this hard at first and still do but more practice may be required to get used to this new concept. The idea is more into containing the attacking player and not always going in for the tackles. You now have the option of jostling where you can pull on the opposition players shirt or use your player's arm to hold the opposition player back. This adds to the realism in the game also.
Precision dribbling is another new feature which allows better close control of the ball especially with wingers and wide players.
The presentation of the game also seems slicker and more pleasing to the eye. It has a broadcast feel to it with the cut sequences and various player animations. This all adds to the realism also.
This is a top game but at first it is very difficult to get used to the new defending system. This is what has been discussed as a problem for many. It is hard but it is a better game if you can get used to it. There is though the option to go back to the old defending system if you so choose if things are a bit too hard but I believe you have to play with the new system if playing online. I have tried to persevere with it and have been improving so practice may be needed with this. The online game modes are also good but there are some server issues at times which are a slight problem. Overall though this is a top game and seems deserving of 5 stars. I think this is the best football game out there and captures the realism of the game itself really well.
As with every year the annual instalment of EA Sport's monster Fifa series is with us and this years Fifa 12 has been garnering rave reviews and clocking up record sales. The football franchise has long since surpassed its competitors and the number one sports title in the UK and has had avid gamers queuing outside freezing shop doors at midnight to get their hands on the latest release. Fifa has often been criticised in the past for releasing essentially the same game, with minor tweaks each year, but this years edition boats massive improvements and is much more of a complete game than in years gone by.
Fifa has in the past few years has moved away from its arcade roots in attempts to make realistic football titles. It certainly took a few years in getting there and some of the games in the transitional period were poor, but in the past few editions the series has earned the respect of gamers across the world as is close as it ever has been to an accurate simulation of the beautiful game.
The one major gameplay change this year has been the improvements in the defensive play. When you have the ball at your feet the game feels very similar, involving the same passing system, styles of play and skills moves as last years game. The deadly through ball is as efficient as ever, a short passing game is easy to achieve with practice and judging the long ball takes time and precision.
But in terms of defensive play everything has changed, gone are the days when you can merely hold down the X button and have your man hound the ball of opponents making it impossible to play against a solid defence. This year the focus is on so much more. Jockeying has been brought in making timing of tackles essential, X doesn't now mean your play hounds the ball off the opponent instead it takes a well timed tap of the circle button to get the ball. Time it wrong though and you are in trouble. The slide tackle is still controlled by the square button but again more timing is needed. Factor in the new systems on controlling the offside trap and making team mates go and jockey and what EA have provided is a much more well rounded defensive system that requires skill to execute meaning that no longer can you merely shut teams out without using skill. It does take time to master but its worth it in the end! In essence the new defensive system adds a whole new dimension to the game and ensures in a more in depth, all round footballing experience.
When you do load in the game very little has changed from the previous title with the menu's being almost identical. The arena controlling the player in a one on one situation is still present, the clunky loading systems on menus is still there also so you would be forgiven for thinking it's the same game at first glance but so much more lies beneath.
One new factor which pleased me and I am sure will please others is the fact that this year the much loved Ultimate Team mode is included from the off. With the ultimate edition you will get a monthly dose of packs to feed your needs but the standard edition still has the mode included. This mode involves you earning points to buy cards to build your ultimate team. Playing online or offline matches, winning tournaments and playing well results in credits which you use to buy packs of cards which you collect and use to add to your team (new players, managers, strips etc). It all harks back to the days of collecting football cards as kids and is a fun, addictive mode!
The Virtual Pro also returns and is as popular as ever. You create your own player and play with him for any team you like raising his stats as you achieve the varied accomplishments, raising his rating and making him more useful in matches. You can use your pro offline in any of the modes and online in the Clubs mode where you play with friends organised in clubs in leagues and tournaments. It is far better when you use your pro with friends as you only control him and when playing online in be a pro with randoms getting the ball can be hard and seemingly everyone plays up front! All in all though building your pro offline is equally as fun and because offline you can control the whole team you can have much more fun and diversity in raising your pro.
All the standard modes return including a more in depth, story based manager mode, player manager mode and all the big tournaments are there. A new mode to earn XP is the challenge mode where you play out recent scenarios and try and "change history". Add to this the return of live season, offline multiplayer and as many friendlies as you can manage and there is plenty to do.
Online play returns also with a new head-to-head-season mode. Your online play consists of batches of 10 matches in which you must earn a set number of points to work your way through the divisions meaning as you play longer your level irons out and you get more competitive games. This is a great idea and adds the feel of promotion/relegation to proceedings which is far better than the old systems of win/loss tallies. Works a treat! Also the fact that now it only matches you in this mode to teams with the same star rating means you get much fairer games. The games of Brentford v Barcelona are long gone! The EA servers on the PS3 have been working smoothly too with only about 2 of my games out of the 76 I have had suffering from lag.
One of the big appeals of Fifa, dating back to the early years on the old Mega Drive consoles, is the licenses it holds. Everything about the game is aimed at giving nothing but an authentic footballing experience and inherent to the games success has been the use of official players, stadiums and teams. From the minute you pick up the box with its usual array of cover stars to the minute you kick off your first match the game shines with realism and creating a true-to-life experience. The presentation is spot on with great graphics, stunning HD visuals, top notch commentary and the usual trendy soundtrack.
All in all EA sports have delivered a realistic, in depth and stunning football title that will have gamers hooked from the moment its placed in the console until next years instalment.
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