At every launch of a console or a handheld, it would be impossible not to see a variation of sports titles. If it’s not a golf or a tennis game, then its most likely a soccer game. This is where EA releases FIFA Soccer for the launch of the PlayStation Vita. Over the years, the FIFA games have been one of the most prestigious soccer titles on home consoles, except on the handheld side. With the release of FIFA Soccer on the PlayStation Vita, EA implemented the HD graphics engine that they’ve been using on consoles and integrates the Vita touch controls to somehow make an ultimate FIFA experience right in the palm of your hands. Did they succeed?
Let’s take a look on what’s the HOTs and NOTs in our FIFA Soccer review.
The Console Experience is Right Here
Over the years that I’ve been playing FIFA on consoles, I must say that the graphics have been improving for every game that they’ve been releasing. In EA’s attempt to put such a popular sports title right into the handheld, you must be thinking of some quality loss in its visuals. Well, you’re wrong! Just as they promised to bring the HD visuals right on the bright OLED screen, FIFA Soccer’s visuals are on par to the ones seen on consoles. The designs, the presentation, the side commentaries of the announcer and character models are all preserved right into the small portable handheld with no downgrades to its quality. There might be some slow down at some points but its minimal and you will most likely not notice it.
The career mode in a FIFA game is what everyone plays and spends their time at. With the game now on a portable device, many are wondering, does it have the full teams, features and rosters? If you’ve been playing FIFA 12, you will be pleased to hear that teams from the console games and majority of the features/modes are present in FIFA soccer. Most of the features and little things that are on the consoles can be be found in FIFA Soccer such as the transfers, formation and the ability to create the pro’s stats. The basic pass, dribble, and shoot remains intact, so pretty much, what you play and experience on the PS3 version will be right on the Vita waiting for you.
While the EA Football Club from FIFA 12 is missing, the online portion of the game somewhat adds replay value to the game, but it’s not the same quality as the console counterpart. In the online mode, you can choose to join a ranked or unranked match. A global leaderboards are there for you to check your progress. When it comes to the performance of the server, there are times there are slight lag but most of the time, they are smooth. If you wish to challenge a real person instead of the AI in FIFA Soccer, the only portion will be the one you’re looking to play.
While not every feature is implemented in FIFA soccer, the are things that are missing in this version that FIFA 12 fans might notice. The precision of dribbling has been scrapped in this version and the absences of the Ultimate Team, the dynamic AI offers during transfer windows and EA Sports Football club online. To me, not adding the Ultimate Team makes the game somewhat shallow to me as it’s one of the things that fans and I were hoping for. Since it’s impossible to put everything the console has into FIFA Soccer, one thing for sure that FIFA fans will like is that all of the favorites stayed intact within the game.
Vita Controls Work/Doesn’t Work for this Game
If you’ve been accustomed with the controls of FIFA from the console version, there’s a controller layout dedicated for it. However, if you wish to try out the touch controls, you will end up having mixed thoughts about using it. Instead of using the analog stick to move the players in the soccer field, you are now free to touch them whenever you want to pass the ball or reach the goalie. The response of the touch screen is precise and using it at the heat of a match might not be a good idea as it can get in the way. Although the ability to use the rear touch pad is somewhat intuitive as you can shoot the ball to the goal by using it. These touch controls works for the basic soccer gameplay but when it comes to doing an impossible maneuvering moves, you might want to stick with the controls as it’s not that good.
Those who are looking for a true FIFA experience right on a portable device, FIFA Soccer delivers it. The classic FIFA gameplay that we all come to love and adore are right on FIFA Soccer but the absences of the modes and features from the hit FIFA 12 are something to be disappointed about. On the other hand, everything from the visuals to the gameplay that FIFA Soccer delivers, fans of the series who wants to have a console experience on the PlayStation Vita will certainly get it here.
[Editor’s Note: FIFA Soccer was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]FIFA Soccer (PS Vita) Review,