A WiiNintendo game review by hattrick.
Game – FIFA 11
Version – Wii
Obtained – From EA Sports
EA Sports has once again brought the popular game of soccer to a video game. This year, they add a few new modes, improved the AI, and included even more teams and players, but the main idea is still the same. Will these additions warrant purchasing the 2011 version of FIFA?
From the menu system to the pitch, FIFA 11 keeps it simple. Instead of going with a cartoon-like approach (similar to Madden), EA decided to keep the “realistic” look. Each player looks similar to his real-life counterpart, and even behaves somewhat similar. Because it would be nearly impossible to code different personality traits in for every player in the game, it is obvious why many players share similar reactions and celebrations. In addition, teams can be altered via online updates, securing that the teams in the game are the same as the actual teams. The street locations are also a welcome addition, as they add to the locations you can play. Sure, it would have been better to see the game in high-definition, allowing the individual blades of grass, but that is just not possible on the Wii. In lieu of this limitation, though, FIFA 11 looks great and never experiences dropped frame rate or slow-down.
EA Trax brings a great selection of tunes once again. Linkin Park, Gorillaz, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, and many others enter the lineup of menu songs. They all have a soccer-feel to them, if that is even possible. The sounds on the pitch sound realistic, and they definitely do a great job of drawing you into the game. Never once did I feel that a sound effect did not match or fit. The announcers do a decent job of keeping up with the play. They seemed to only get hung up a few times, usually when several things happened at once.
There are seven modes of play in FIFA 11. “Hit the Pitch” is your basic 11v11 friendly exhibition match. Nothing much is changed from previous versions. Similarly, “Battle for Glory” returns, which allows you to take control as a team’s manager. You have the ability to sign, drop, and trade players within the season. In addition, you have the option to play each game or simulate it. This is a nice addition, as it allows you to simulate an entire season in under an hour. Tournament mode is exactly what it seems like. The new additions for Wii in FIFA 11 are in “Hit the Streets” and “Streets to Stadiums.” The former is all about 5v5 street soccer, similar to FIFA Street, which has been discontinued. Added in the mix are powerups, which allow for curved shots and much more. This is a fun mode, and it creates an environment for fast-paced play, especially when 4 players join in for local multiplayer. The latter allows you to create your own player and move up through street soccer to getting signed by a major team. During this career mode, you will control only your player, which has the ability to make you feel like you are really trying to make it. If you feel like you need some practice, head to Training mode. The final play mode is online, which allows for up to two players from one Wii console. Participate in 1v1 unranked, 1v1 ranked, and 2v2 unranked matches against friends or strangers. The online system uses EA Online instead of Nintendo’s WiFi, which allows for a username instead of a Friend Code. Online games are usually started within a few minutes, and there was very little, if any, lag found.
FIFA 11 permits three different control styles. “All Play” returns with Wii Remote-only control. The computer AI will control player movement while the player controls passing, shooting, tackling, and fundamentals. If you feel up for taking more control, you can attach a Nunchuk or Classic Controller. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk option opts to not use movement for shooting this time around. Instead, it has been mapped to a button, which feels much better. Shaking the Wii Remote initiates a slide tackle (11v11), knock on (11v11), or wall pass (streets); shaking the Nunchuk makes your player perform a self-volley. The Classic Controller is fairly equal in its abilities. However, it is recommended to use the Classic Controller Pro, as it is somewhat difficult to hit the ZL or ZR buttons, which are used often in “Hit the Streets” mode. The only thing I see missing is the ability to completely customize your controls, as you must stick with the preset configurations.
Concluding Overall Impressions
While FIFA 11 can be referred to as just another update in EA Sports’ annual soccer game, they added many features this time around. Improving AI, mapping shooting to a button press, including street soccer, and keeping all the great aspects of past games makes this a strong title for soccer fans. However, it would have been nice if the Wii version included the “Be a Goalkeeper” mode or Creation Center (online). In the end, though, FIFA 11 is a solid game for soccer fans who own a Wii.
FINAL SCORE – 4 out of 5
While they may not have perfected it, EA Sports seems to be moving in the right direction with the FIFA franchise. If you have FIFA 10, you may not feel the need to get 11; but if you have not “upgraded” in a few years, this is the year to do it.