Mobile, Mo Problems: FIFA Street 3
A few months ago, IchLugeBullets was doing around twenty hours of commuting a week, and as such read every copy of Edge, Games TM and Retro Gamer that were put onto the market for around four months. Whilst not giving us any real insight into how to review video games, it did at least let us know that the bar for gaming journalism is embarrassingly low, and so we couldn’t really be hurting ourselves by knocking out a 300 word critique every now and then. Therefore, we at ILB proudly present to you the first in an irregular series of “reviews of mobile phone games we spent £5 in a moment of boredom because the Victoria Line didn’t run after 10pm for five months”.
Word around the campfire is that, after a mere 12 years of trailing behind drastically, FIFA has wrested the football video game crown from Pro Evolution Soccer. We’re unable to weigh in on this debate, though, as we’re not going to get a next generation console until we claim one as a free gift with our mobile phone contract (and even then it’ll be a PS3 solely because we want to be able to build up a 1,000 song SingStar catalogue).
However, we can talk about the least important runt of the FIFA Franchise, and how it adapts to the always fantastically playable world of mobile phone video games. Some previous history we have with EA Sports goodies on our Sony Ericsson W880i: FIFA Soccer Manager (game vastly underrated Eugenio Corini as a player and tactics had no impact on scores, deleted after 20 minutes despite being on a five hour train journey) and Tiger Woods Golf 2008 (game had no instructions, spent around five minutes trying to tee off with the putter before deleting it). Good work all round.
The concept of FIFA Street itself, as far as I can make out, is that professional footballers from around the world have taken a short break from gang raping glamour models to engage in a freestyle skills competition, as if they were American or something. Your character isn’t a footballer, but is for some reason allowed to play in the tournament. Except his car’s broken down. Oh no, nightmare. However, if you play some of the selected superstars at a series of mini-games, they’ll give you parts for your car. So you can then go and play them later on at the tournament with a car that works. Instead of, I dunno, asking them for a lift.
What this basically results in is a long string of button bashing mini-games that you’d probably waste 90 seconds on if they were sent round in flash form in an office e-mail round robin, but all feel massively inconsequential when you’ve coughed up £5 for the privilege of “chip the ball into the dustbin from 20 yards, win an exhaust pipe”. Especially when after the end of each game you’re given a top ten list of footballers who have, theoretically, also played the same mini-games as you, so you can see how you stand up against them. Landon Donovan is more skilled at curling free kicks around street signs than you; Stephen Pressley is infinitely superior at tackling lamp posts from behind. That sort of stuff. I have no idea what happens after the first level because I have ADHD.
Also, the fuck is up with that image at the top? Nobody appears in cartoon form in the game itself, which is a shame for “dude from Police Squad” Peter Crouch or the one on the left who appears to be a product of them being unable to decide whether to put Gattuso or Rooney on the cover, so just combining them into one. Although good work on realising Ronaldinho already looks like a cartoon character so there’s no need to exaggerate his features. And, anyway, isn’t this entire review just an excuse to post this?: