FIFA Soccer 10 - PSP - Review
For every Pele there is a Diego Maradona or even a David Beckham that makes us realize that just when we thought we saw the best there comes the next greatest thing to prove that the game can always get better. The same can be said about sports games, particularly EA Sports’ FIFA Soccer franchise that has seen some excellent titles even on the PSP but it isn’t until FIFA 10 that we realize that we haven’t seen great until now.
FIFA 10 doesn’t take the game into a new direction in terms of the difference between this one and FIFA 09 and it doesn’t offer brand new game modes but what it does is improve on almost every gameplay element from the previous game. Even on the PSP, the controls make for a fluid game with enough new little touches that make for a very polished soccer game.
Like the 09 edition, there’s a wealth of leagues that range from just about every European, Mexican and MLS clubs to play as well as all the major international teams that qualify for the next World Cup in South Africa. You can jump immediately into a match using any of the available teams so if you ever fantasized about seeing a team like Mexico’s Cruz Azul go up against the lads of Manchester United then you are in luck.
The familiar game modes are back and there’s even an updated quiz mode that offers quiz challenges about national MLS teams to international questions that will earn you points you can use to purchase unlockable extras in the FIFA Shop. The Season Mode is back again with a full season to play through with your favorite team. Tournament Mode is back as well with a number of tournament cups such as Copa do Brazil or Italy’s Coppa Nazionale. Even Manager Mode makes a comeback with some improvements that makes this one of the best yet.
For those who like a more specific taste, Challenge mode offers a number of scenarios that have you changing soccer history. The challenges have you winning games by changing the outcome so in 2009 Morelia’s game versus Atlas you must change history by winning against Atlas by two points. Be A Pro: Club and Country is the main mode of playing the game and offers the ability to select your favorite club and pick your favorite player to take him and your club through various tournaments and games. This is by far one of the most interesting and deep game modes that will have you playing for a long time.
Aside from the great game modes, the real improvements come from the gameplay itself. The controls are easy to get into and in no time you will be performing bicycle kicks and making hard stops near the goal. Dribbling has improved greatly in this year’s game and the AI teammates and opponents make for a more challenging game even on the PSP. Fans will also love the fact that the online game, via Infrastructure mode, runs at a steady framerate although - at the time of this writing - the challengers aren’t plentiful.
FIFA 10 also looks quite good on the PSP with some sharp graphics and a slick menu screen. The animation has certainly improved but the famous players really don’t look quite right on the PSP version. At least the stadiums look quite accurate and it really drives home the feeling that you’re playing in a packed place.
As far as the sound is concerned, the commentary team of Clive Tilsley and Andy Gray are great and make great observations during a match. The problem, however, is that the occasional dip in the framerate makes for some delayed comments that don’t match the action. The soundtrack is a nice mix with songs from artists like the Los Fabulosos Cadillacs just to name a few. You can always add your own soundtrack via tunes you saved on your memory stick.
One of the strongest entries in the series, FIFA 10 for the PSP is EA Sports’ best portable soccer game that’s a vast improvement over past games in the series. With tighter controls and great game modes, this one certainly will not disappoint the most dedicated soccer fan or the more casual one. Do yourself a favor, sports fan, and pick this one up.
Everything from dribbling to passing feels a lot smoother in this game than last year’s PSP offering. You can change your team style but the best change is that the AI goalkeeper is a lot smarter. The game modes have much to offer so you’ll be playing this game for quite awhile, soccer fans.
The visuals are actually easy on the eyes so even on the PSP widescreen you can keep track of your teammates. The animations are solid but the star plays don’t look anything like them real deal.
The game’s soundtrack is an eclectic mix that is actually really good and the arena stadium sounds are quite detailed. Then there’s the two-man commentary team that is lively but not often on the spot.
Depending on the difficulty setting you pick, the opponent AI will keep you on your toes. The top-ranking teams play the way you would expect them to play so expect to keep formation and defense in mind when playing against teams like Spain or Arsenal.
All of last year’s game modes are back but they’re improved in ways that makes Be A Pro all the more enjoyable. The game has more than enough leagues to satisfy every soccer fan out there including clubs like Aberdeen and even Boca Junior. The online multiplayer community is back and better than ever.
A few framerate issues aside, the game’s online experience is the reason you will continue to play this one long into the wee hours of the night … if you could find an opponent online. The community experience of last year’s game is back and it still works beautifully.
Quite possibly one of the best portable soccer games so far, FIFA 10 for the PSP is simply one of those sports games you will not want to put down. With more than enough teams, game modes and a solid multiplayer experience, this year’s game is the one you don’t have to buy but rather this is the game you need to buy.