FIFA World Cup in Review – International ball sport for Palmela

EA really is and always has been one of the best game developers out there. I’ve waxed poetic before about their overwhelming success across virtually every platform available and they show no signs of slowing down yet. Their latest title that came across my iDevice is FIFA World Cup. I had seen this title at the top of the charts at launch and instantly added it to my “must have” list. Read on to see if EA finally dropped the ball, or if they were able to get another Gooooooooooooaaaaaaaaalll!!.

If you’ve played EA games before (and I would honestly be shocked if you haven’t), then you will know that when it comes to eye candy, EA has you covered. They put a lot of work into design and it shows. With  World Cup, they took their cue from the themes and colors used for the actual event. Lots of rich browns, oranges and yellows everywhere. The silhouette scenery and stencil art pops right out and makes the UI look beautiful. Everything about the design makes you think soccer and Africa (the location of World Cup 2010 is South Africa in case you weren’t aware).

When it comes to in game graphics, the stadiums and fields look perfect, players are clean and even details like player or ball shadows are spot on. Definitely a pleasure to look at.

As far as game play is concerned, EA went with the standard floating d-pad on the left and a pair of buttons on the right. Sticking with the standard allows people to feel comfortable before they’ve even played. Kudos to EA for not feeling a need to re-invent the wheel. There are lots of special moves and/or combo moves you can do (i.e. double passing) by pressing specific button combinations. It took a little bit of work at first but after awhile it was no problem at all. Controls are one of the biggest cripplers when it comes to games and I’m glad EA did it right.

Another aspect of game play that I thought was amazing was the “realism” factor. While playing you have your standard kicks to move the ball but by pressing button combos and/or by being in the right places at the right times, you’ll see your player doing some pretty crazy shots, including getting huge air to head butt the ball. Fun stuff.

Added to that, is the game commentary. Normally with sports games the commentary is a bit dry with samples duplicated too often. In FIFA  it sounds and feels just like a real game. People are excited and the action just feels so much more real than in other games.

There are 5 different types of game play available. Kick Off, World Cup, Shoot Out, Captain Your Country and multi-player (local only). Kick off is the equivalent to a play now button. Important to have, however it still takes a handful of taps and some waiting to get into the game. In my opinion play now should mean now. A minor thing, but still important. World cup is exactly that. You can either play full qualifications and playoffs or just the playoffs. Shoot out is just you taking and blocking penalty kicks. The last one though really peaked my interest. Captain Your Country allows you to play as captain of a world team. You control your character but can direct other players to pass or shoot as well. Think of it like when you play arcade basketball. You can pass to a computer controlled player on your team who will play the game, but if you want it back or want them to pass/shoot you can make them. I liked the idea of being able to represent your country (as long as they are a part of the World Cup) the chance to be patriotic adds a different level of fun to a game (unless you’re Canadian). The multi-player is local via wifi or bluetooth. Although it is fun to play against friends or family. I would have liked to see some online multi-player here.

If you are leary of brushing up against the greats, there is a training section available from the main screen. There you’ll learn all you need to know. It’s a quick, painless but thorough group of how to’s that I actually enjoyed playing through.

Similar to their other game franchise’s, there are stats, ratings and info on all teams in the game. While playing, you even get stats throughout the game (e.g. image showing the percentage of the game that the ball spent time in different zones, visuals of shots on net, etc). A lot of great extra content that is relevant to the game and useful. One omission though is online ranking or leader boards. It may not be a necessary feature, but its fun sometimes to see how you stack up against the world, and in a World Cup game, it feels like it should be there.

In the end EA has once again proven that they are one of the best developer groups out there.  FIFA World Cup is a solid game that is easy on the eyes, a joy to play and has just the right amount of content. Whether you are a soccer fan or not I would recommend FIFA World Cup to you. It’s a great game that will keep you busy for quite awhile.

App Summary
Title: FIFA World Cup™Developer: Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver:1.0.2Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$6.99App Size:39.4 MB
  • Beautiful design
  • Lots of play options
  • Plenty of stats and info
  • Great realism
  • No online presence (play or leader boards)
  • Not all countries represented (may disappoint some users)

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