FIFA Street (PlayStation 3)

By Wayne Webb

FIFA Street (2012) has ditched the numbers and opted for a clean name and approach with the 4th generation of EA’s street football franchise. In one way they have succeeded magnificently and in another way failed miserably.

FIFA Street is based around the street football concept, and some other variations that are nowhere near as rule oriented and dull as a full game of regulation football. Pick up a ball, get four mates and go for broke ignoring offside, outlines and strategy to play a fast and fun game of kicking a ball with your feet towards a goal. There are a few variations to be found; true street ball, Futsal (aka Futbal Sala), last man standing and Panna. If you’re playing with friends each has their own appeal and quirks, and are all a lot of fun. Each version can change with the venue selected as well, as some venues have walls and no “outs” and some have partial walls. A favourite for my game friends and I was Last Man Standing, where if you scored a goal you lost a man and played one less than your opponent until the last man standing scores.

This is where the game shines, whooping it up with your mates and rubbing in every victorious goal, fancy footwork tricks (you get extra points for style) and sheer luck that comes your way. I can heartily recommend this game over previous versions if you are going to play with people you know. I was ready to give this game a near perfect score until I played the single player campaign.

The menus are irritating and detailed, selecting your squad man by man and kitting them out is laborious and time consuming and once you have started you cannot back out of it to change to a casual game again. There’s a ladder and tournaments and you can’t play the final until you have completed all the minor games first and therefore can’t progress. The problem there is that you have to play a game of Panna – which you need to do a Panna and then score a goal to earn points. Problem is I could not find a description of what that is or how it’s done. Fortunately there’s a manual on the disc you can refer to. Unfortunately it doesn’t tell you what a Panna is. There may well have been some instructions in there somewhere but it lost me completely before I could care enough to dig around to find them.

So I took it back to work and played multiplayer with two and four players and went back to loving the game for multiplayer only. I suspect that this was always going to be a problem though, Street Football is fast and loose and fun, confining this to any kind of career mode or controlled progression is counterintuitive. On top of this there’s also a great pumping soundtrack including Local Heroes the Hilltop Hoods. It’s nice to see a good Aussie band getting in on a big name brand game.

Pros: Fantastic with friends, easy to learn and play, fun, good soundtrack.
Cons: Single player campaign is out of place, annoying menus and fiddly options, AI occasionally screws up

3.9 Shacks Out Of 5

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