"Back to the Streets"
FIFA Street is a reboot of the stylized series of early consoles. While previous FIFA Street games emphasized over-the-top antics and hyper-stylized gameplay, this reboot takes a more realistic approach to the formula while still retaining fun elements not found in a traditional FIFA experience.
FIFA Street minimizes the team sizes and emphasizes the styling and tricks you can pull off. Running at an opponent with the ball and executing a trick successfully nets you points based on how difficult the entire maneuver was and this goes toward an experience pool if you're playing with a created character. The issue is, unlike past games, some of the tricks in FIFA Street 2012 send the ball astray and you have to run it down once your player has sent it around his opponent. It wouldn't have been much of an issue if the pitches weren't so small, but some of the tricks seemed a little extravagant and lacking in control for the size of the playing field. Once everything was said and done, I found myself sticking to the most basic of tricks and only using the grandiose maneuvers when I was inches from the goal anyway.
All that aside, the controls are very intuitive once you understand them, and moving the ball where I wanted it to be (outside of a few tricks of course) was never an issue. The tight spaces of FIFA Street often meant that I found myself crashing into opponents and those tight spaces appear to have taken a toll on the A.I. My goalie leaves the goal exposed more often than not and, despite the fact that this isn't in a professional atmosphere, you still need some defense in order to succeed. Beyond that, when the ball ended up in the corner, the player would sometimes stare at it blankly, even if I was hammering the pass button. Shortly thereafter, multiple players would come to contest for the ball and we'd all end up sitting there staring at the ball as if waiting for a revelation from it. The issue never arises as long as the ball bounces out, but if you're pressured into a corner, be prepared to stay there for a few moments while the A.I. sorts out how to approach the situation.
The atmosphere of FIFA Street 2012 is another big change versus regular FIFA. There aren't announcers in every arena, and where they are present, they're overshadowed by the player's voices on the pitch. The change is logical, but it still leaves a minor void that I'd to have seen filled by some of the larger than life announcers in FIFA 12. Beyond that though, the atmosphere change is positive. There's an electric vibe in every match, like every small move matters, and it really draws you in. Every little move sends your teammates scrambling about, calling for a pass or begging you to shoot, and it really helps to draw you into the experience.
FIFA Street 2012's menu presentation is a little bland, but the in-game graphics have lost their cartoony, cel-shaded look in favor or a more realistic approach, and the change pays off. Everything in the game is very approachable visually and, for the most part, the crowds look realistic and believable. The music selection is also very fitting, with upbeat, energetic music making up the majority of the music presented.
FIFA Street 2012 is a successful reboot of a series which had lost its focus. While the original games aimed for completely over-the-top gameplay not found in the more strict core games of the FIFA franchise, FIFA Street 2012 shows that you can reign in on ridiculous antics and still deliver a genuinely different FIFA experience, which requires a different mentality to approach.
GameDynamo's Score for FIFA Street 2012 (X360)
|Joey Blackwell II
Avid gamer who's more passionate about writing. Hopes to be a renowned writing voice in the world someday, while still being addicted to games.
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