Fifa 10

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FIFA Soccer 10 USA PSN PSP-PLAYASiA
English | Platform: PSP | Release: February 7, 2012 | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: EA Canada | 985 MB
Genre: Sports

Innovation is a subject that the general gaming public loves to harp on whenever EA Sports launches one of its yearly sports titles. FIFA Soccer 10 on consoles such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was home to changes that will alter the way other soccer games are judged. On Wii the series took an interesting turn with a more arcade-style feel. The PSP has likely seen the smallest number of innovations and changes to the core formula, and while that doesn’t dampen the enjoyment of the soccer, I still would’ve liked to see more effort put into creating new handheld-specific modes.
With FIFA 09 the big addition to the feature list was Be A Pro mode which allowed you to select a player and develop them into a superstar. FIFA 10′s Be A Pro: Club And Country presents a similar scenario. You select a current soccer star (or up and comer) from one of the many clubs of the world and try to develop him into a worthy addition for your national team. You build attributes by completing various tasks on the field. Earning experience points unlocks new abilities on the field like calling for a thru ball or a cross.

The on-field action in Be A Pro performs well and has nice touches to differentiate it from standard gameplay. The ball is highlighted in yellow and players you should mark have red circles under them. My one big complaint with the user interface is that the field radar sits on the right side of the screen and can occasionally obstruct your player from view. Be A Pro also suffers from the shaky cam problem that plagued the PC version of FIFA. Whenever you get close to the goal with the ball, the camera lowers and starts to shake making it tough to make an effective cross if you’re streaking up one side of the field. It isn’t quite as debilitating as on PC, but the fact that it’s there at all is disappointing.

Aside from the meaty Be A Pro mode you’ll also find the traditional Manager Mode, a new, slightly more casual Season Mode and Challenge Mode. Season Mode is much like Manager Mode but without the crazy amount of depth. You just hop in, check out a few stats and then take to the pitch without worrying about the finer points of your club. Challenge Mode is a wonderful offering of ? you guessed it ? challenges that charge you with altering the course of history and winning games by a certain margin. Some are easier than others but it’s a great opportunity to play as clubs that you wouldn’t select on your own. Even better, the challenges are short and fun; perfect for a car ride with those annoying parents.

When you venture online the list of modes is slightly less appealing than it was in last year’s game. The online leagues have been completely removed and have been replaced by standard infrastructure and ad-hoc play. Both work fairly well with infrastructure suffering from a bit more lag than I found on other versions. I also had a crash bug force me to power down my system on one occasion.

When you’re actually on the pitch everything feels very similar to last year’s effort. Players are still confined to eight directions of movement and the same passing inaccuracies that I had trouble with in FIFA 09 are present here. For whatever reason every so often a standard pass won’t go to the intended target and thru balls won’t be at the right distance.

Physical interactions are a bit more prevalent in FIFA 10 than they have been in past years. You’ll see cool moments like players realistically toppling over after a slide tackle, they’ll occasionally hop over passes that aren’t intended for them and players will jostle with one another as they fight for an errant ball. Obviously none are as intricate as what’s seen on consoles, but they’re cool nonetheless.

One notable addition to the gameplay is scouting reports. Before a game you’ll get a quick breakdown of how your opponents are going to attack your weaknesses and it’s fun to see if their play follows the predictions. There’s also a practice arena for the hardcore who feel they really need to tune their game for an all-important matchup.

Visually the soccer hasn’t changed all that much from last year. Player models look relatively crisp on close-ups but details aren’t very apparent from the standard gameplay camera. There are slight framerate hitches here and there ? especially online ? but thankfully they usually stay contained to instant replays.

On the sound side FIFA 10 on PSP does an admirable job of dealing with the limitations of a UMD. The commentary is quick and insightful for the most part, only faltering every so often when the game jumps to deal with a quick load time. The soundtrack is also solid, though doesn’t deviate from standards set by past EA Sports efforts.

FIFA 10 is a solid game of soccer on PSP, even if it doesn?t reinvent the wheel in the same way as its console brethren. The gameplay is solid and there are enough fun little distractions (Soccer IQ and Challenge Mode) to keep things fresh for quite some time. I?m a little disappointed that they weren?t able to switch up the core modes and gameplay all that much, but the small additions here and there are still appreciated. If you didn?t pick up FIFA 09, you owe it to your handheld to fork over the cash for FIFA 10.

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OS: Windows XP/Vista
Processor: Pentium 4 @ 2.4 GHz
Memory: 512 MB (XP) or 1GB (Vista)
Hard Drive: 5.5 GB Free
Video Memory: 128 MB with Shader 2.0 support (NVIDIA GeForce 6600/ATI Radeon 9800 Pro)
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
DirectX: 9.0c
Keyboard and Mouse
DVD Rom Drive or Via Download

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