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FIFA Soccer 10 (Xbox 360) artwork

FIFA Soccer 10 (Xbox 360) review


"The referee will even miss fouls, be inconsistent with bookings and red cards, and make incorrect calls of offside from time to time and, while that annoys the hell out of me when it doesn’t go my way, I can’t help but hugely appreciate the way EA have shoehorned an element of human error into computer-controlled official. "



It would be easy to tell you, my adoring public, that FIFA 10 is essentially FIFA 09 dressed up in a new layer of finery and with updated team rosters, and, to be fair, it wouldn’t be completely untrue. It would also be like telling the most informed of you that the sky is blue and the majority of people in a SquareEnix game have a horrific, tragic past. Is there a world of difference between this year’s title and the lasts? No. Has that stopped me from playing the game on an almost nightly basis? No.

After years of fiddling around with their formula, EA Sports have finally managed to make a football game so open to interpretation that it’s more like a grass-covered blank canvas for the player to do with as he pleases. There’s no limit to the styles of play or interlinking tactic to be learnt, abused and mastered, from playing boring early-90’s Wimbledon route-one long balls, to early 2000 Arsenal chain passing, the game will lend itself perfectly to your style of play. Strangle the midfield with an extra player and leave a lone striker; throw in a sweeper to protect your defence; steal a defender away to give you an extra player up front -- these are not new options in the grand scheme of football games, but they’ve never been executed better.

The above not only describes this year’s FIFA, but last year’s effort also. The changes are subtle, not overly obvious, but vital in rounding FIFA ‘10 out as being top of the pile. Players put under pressure don’t always pull out the perfect shot, pass or cross like they were wont to do in last year’s rendition, meaning that a beaten defender doggedly chasing a striker has some worth, while, last year, as soon as he was passed, he was obsolete. It’s a small change, but a significant one; last year, I scored a lot of goals by running down the flank and looping perfect crosses into the box that I could then head in at ease. This year, I need to work harder for such chances; it’s no longer a given that my cross won’t be hooked out of play or into the goalkeeper’s waiting gloves. Other aspects such as player collision have been reworked too. Not only can free kicks be given away for barging players off the ball now, but the ball behaves more realistically, bobbling between shins and able to end up anywhere instead of just sticking to the defending player’s foot. An unlucky defender can see an unfortunate bounce change a well-timed tackle into a more advantageous attacking option for the player he was trying to halt.

Updated, too, are the showboat options that allow you to pull off a number of fancy tricks should you feel like rubbing your opposition's nose in it. Which is something I quite enjoy. Ask the guy whose ‘keeper I beat last week by flicking the ball up over both our heads with my heel then tapped it nonchalantly into the net if I’m ever going to let him forget it. The ability to drag the ball away, fake a pass or a shot or just plain show off may not always work in your favour, but they’re there to abuse.

Not content to just update the core of their title, EA have also added more meat to many of the extra options, such as the management mode and the thoroughly enjoyable “Be a Pro” mode, that lets you create a player from scratch, include him in any team of your liking with woeful stats, then start his long climb up the ladder to competency and, eventually, superstardom. My own character now sits on the subs bench of Manchester United where a dejected Michael Carrick has to wear the no. 32 shirt since I pinched 16 off him. This year, completing set goals such as scoring a hat-trick or making a number of assists sit side by side with other tasks like covering so much ground in a single game or tackling a player who has previously fouled you three times to not only bolster your statistics, but add to a checklist of challenges ticked off with a virtual recreation of an old-school sticker album.

Everything from the already stellar FIFA ‘09 foundation has been built up and improved for the new title. Everything from the already commendable size of the commentary’s database of phrases and comments (complete with new moans about how hard Drogba finds it to stay on his feet and why Scholes even bothers trying to tackle people anymore or look surprised when he’s booked shortly thereafter) to the vastly shortened load times. The action on pitch is faster, the tactics more viable and very little is left unexplored. The referee will even miss fouls, be inconsistent with bookings and red cards, and make incorrect calls of offside from time to time and, while that annoys the hell out of me when it doesn’t go my way, I can’t help but hugely appreciate the way EA have shoehorned an element of human error into their computer-controlled official.

Rating: 9/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (February 03, 2010)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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wolfqueen001 posted February 04, 2010:

XD Man, I wish Masters hadn't deleted this topic. I was going to post something amusing, but now I'll only post something slightly amusing.

What I was going to say was something along the lines of "har har. EmP's perfectly capable of writing a review without many errors without me to preen it for him *gasp*". But once I finally got a chance to look at it...

So I guess the point is moot. xP (Of course, if I had looked at it beforehand, you wouldn't have found the who/how error to begin with - if it existed in the first place - because I'm just that good. =P)

To be fair, though, there really isn't a whole lot wrong with this at all. Also, kudos for writing a football soccer review I actually understood for the most part. I even found myself becoming surprisingly interested in the game. And I loathe sports titles.

Frankly, though, I'm just glad you wrote a review and that it turned out well. Even if that sentiment should probably apply more to me... hahahaha. Man, I'm terrible...y busy.
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Masters posted February 05, 2010:

You people simply take too long to post replies.

The first long sentence you highlight doesn't strike me as needing to be two sentences really. Different writers have different flows...

The second one probably needs a dash before the last bit; the last comma is admittedly a bit weak.

Why not stop ripping Emp's work for long enough to write something of your own? =D
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EmP posted February 05, 2010:

I reworked the second, but shall ignore you on the first! I use long sentences at times, and THE MAN will not keep me down.

Thanks for both of your feedback. Even if only one of you felt the need to share it with the world.

The next review I write will be for FIFA '11.
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Masters posted February 05, 2010:

XD Man, I wish Mas ers...

Well done, Mrs. Proofreader! ^_^

And I did share my thoughts with the world. Not my fault the recipient IGNORED it. =D
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wolfqueen001 posted February 05, 2010:

Bahahaha. How'd I do that?

Anyway, anything I point out is entirely for reference and input. It's entirely EmP's decision whether he listens to me or not. Usually I don't argue with him if it's a stylistic thing; though, admittedly, I will try to push my case on occasion if it's something I find reaaally awkward. heheh.
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EmP posted February 05, 2010:

Somethng, eh?

I need a new proofer.
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wolfqueen001 posted February 05, 2010:

XD It's your fualt. All your poor spelling habits are rubbing off on me. =O

EDIT: See? "fualt" - there's proof right there! xP
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EmP posted February 05, 2010:

I just speed-wrote a 1234 word review with nary an error in it. Proof that I remain blameless.

Let's get back to fawning over my work now, please.
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zigfried posted February 05, 2010:

EmP gets to make decisions? This is news to me!

//Zig
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wolfqueen001 posted February 05, 2010:

Haha. Nah. It's a simple matter of exchange. As my spelling habits have decreased, yours have improved. :P

But haha, ok:
Wow! You wrote such a good review without any errors in just 15 minutes?! How'd you do that? You're such an amazing writer. You should win an award or something! <3333333333
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aschultz posted February 05, 2010:

I just speed-wrote a 1234 word review with nary an error in it. Proof that I remain blameless.

I speed-counted 1111, TOPS. Quit puffing yourself out.

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