The Away Goals Rule Football Blog

A blog from the Members of http://www.AwayGoalsrule.com

Fifa 10 Review

Posted by Jarv on November 6, 2009

This is a review of FIFA 10 written by Devil_spawn from Away Goals Rule football forum. This review was undertake using an Xbox 360

GRAPHICS:

An easy one to start with, the graphics in FIFA 10 are pretty special, but they’re not perfect.  Player likenesses are not quite there, but during the game you won’t have time to stop and look at the fine details.  The kits are superb, and the overall definition of the graphics is very impressive indeed.

There are a lot more animations in this year’s entry into the long running series, and this gives an even more lifelike rendition of the beautiful game.  Player collisions are much improved over those seen in FIFA 09, adding further realism.

CONTROLS:

Familiar to anyone who has played a FIFA game before, the control mapping for the face buttons is the same as every 360 version to date.  The major difference in the controls this season is the new 360 degree dribbling, meaning you’re no longer limited to 8 directions to run in.  How much difference this makes in the grand scheme of things is debatable, as there is only so much control that you can exert using an analogue stick, it feels more like a 16 direction choice than a true 360 degree one.

Controls for long shots feel slightly different, and you need to be far more accurate with your aim now if you don’t want to see your intended 30 yard wonder goal hit the corner flag instead.  Passing controls feel solid and responsive, meaning that you’ll seldom be frustrated, there will however be some occasions where you’re trying to pass to one team-mate but FIFA decides you should be passing to another, and it can be a little annoying if and when that happens.

SOUND:

Nothing too ground-breaking on the sound front, Martin Tyler and Andy Gray return to provide commentary for the matches, and some of the interactions between them are quite interesting.  Unfortunately if anything happens on the pitch while they’re discussing a topic (such as the pace of the modern game, or a specific player) then they will break from the topic and not return to it, I have found myself delaying getting a shot away so that I can hear the end of Andy Gray’s opinion on how much faster the game is now to in his playing days!!

The crowd sounds offer atmosphere without ever being spectacular, and the calls from team mates such as “man on” and “I’ll have it” seem like a nice touch at first, but when you’re in 10 clear yards of space and your Italian team-mate shouts in a very English voice “man on” it seems a little out of place.  It’s a nice touch though, and hopefully can be refined for future iterations of the game.

AI:

Another big step forward has seen the AI develop into a genuinely positive aspect of the game.  No longer will defenders stand idly by as you run past them, and likewise your team mates will no longer run 20 yards to close down an opposition player only to turn and run away again.  Even on the game’s easiest setting the improvement is very noticeable, and will make you feel more like you’re playing against a capable opponent.

The urgency shown by your team mates when attacking has also improved, now midfield players will look to make runs into the box and support attacks, trying to feed off of any scraps that may fall their way from parried or blocked shots.  It makes the game feel much more solid, and further builds on the impressive FIFA 09.

GAME MODES:

There are plenty of game modes available to players of FIFA 10, EA has attempted to beef up the manager mode to make it the centre piece of the game, and to an extent this has worked.  Now features such as a wage budget will help to keep you in control of your team, instead of wages being deducted from the general budget after each match.

There are still some glitches, when I hosted Manchester United at the Priestfield Stadium (home of Gillingham for those who don’t know) and beat them 4-0 in the league cup the board were unhappy that I wasn’t doing well enough, and my reputation actually decreased, yet getting a draw in League 1 away at Leeds United saw my reputation increase.

I also saw my second choice right back disappear from my squad, and later found that he was now playing in Scotland without my ever selling him, it would have been far more annoying had it been my star striker who had vanished, but it was still irritating.  I’ve also heard of someone having a player randomly appear in their squad for no reason.

These are things that can be ironed out with patches through Xbox Live, but they seem like issues which should have been picked up and resolved before the game was released.

There’s also the Virtual Pro mode, whereby you can create a player, and via a series of accomplishments your player will improve.  Some of these accomplishments can be done in the game’s arena, such as scoring a single curved shot, or lobbed penalty, while others must be earned in match situations.  This can be done in any of the games many modes, from single matches, to manager mode, be a pro, or even online matches, meaning that improving your virtual pro is more organic than the be a pro was in FIFA 09.  It’s worth noting that you must play in semi-pro difficulty or higher to improve your pro, playing on amateur difficulty will not unlock the accomplishments.

You can also unlock goal celebrations, skill moves, and attire for your Virtual Pro by completing various tasks.  To unlock each tier of skill moves you must complete each move in the previous tier, ranging from simple step-overs in tier 1, to rainbow flicks in tier 4.  To unlock under-shirts for your player you must play 25 matches in the rain, which is not difficult when you play in England!!

 

There are also a range of online modes, unfortunately I’ve not been able to try these yet, but I have read that the online community can have problems as many players will quit matches when they trail by 3 or more goals.

LONGEVITY:

With Manager mode running for up to 15 seasons, a Virtual Pro to nurture, and the online facilities there is a lot of life to be had from FIFA 10.  EA Sports are setting a very high standard for football games these days, and Konami have a lot of work to do to have the Pro Evolution Soccer series catch up.  Manager mode alone can become all consuming of your spare time, trying to take a club from the bottom of the footballing pyramid to continental glory will take a lot of your time, as you slowly raise your manager reputation, bringing in richer sponsors, improving staff, and attracting new players to the team in a bid to progress.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

 

FIFA 10 is not perfect, it has a number of flaws to it, but they’re flaws which you can overlook because the overall quality of the game is superb.  Menu navigation is slow and a little clumsy, and if you pick the wrong option then you have to go back to the arena instead of the previous screen, manager mode does some weird things and the player likenesses are not quite there for a lot of players, but it’s tremendously fun.  This is a game that makes you feel like you’re controlling an actual football match, if you’re a fan of the beautiful game then this is an absolute must, there’s something for everyone here, and that’s why I’m scoring it  an impressive…

OVERALL RATING:

9.2 / 10

Would you like to disagree? read the Fifa 10 discussion thread on the Away Goals Rule Football Forum

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