Back in 2005 EA released Fifa Street a game that let you play as your favourite football stars but instead of stepping out onto a nice green pitch surrounded by thousands of fans, you played in abandoned car parks, floating pitches in venice and down the local park. The release of this game gave football fans a way to play football how they do down the park with their mates. But when EA sports released to third instalment in 2008 it seemed that they lost the realism and everything went "cartoony", Peter Crouch seemed to be the same size as a giraffe and Rooney could set the walls around the pitch on fire with one shot of the ball. So, with the disaster of Fifa Street 3 it looked like EA had dumped the game altogether but fast-forward four years and they are trying again with Fifa Street, surprising not named four which could mean they have started the series all again. So have EA brought the beautiful game back to its roots on the streets?
Thankfully, Fifa Street looks and feels exactly like it should, and, to be honest, it ought to seeing as EA have used the game engine and player psychics used in Fifa 12, so every bit of contact you can see thought the players movements. So why should you buy Fifa Street if you already have its "big brother" Fifa 12?
There are many reasons why you should. Firstly you can see that EA have spent time to give you the most authentic experience of street football as possible. This firstly means that this instalment has more than just your normal 5 a side matches that was on the previous versions; new game modes include panna, last man standing and futsal, as well as the obvious 5 a side and 6 a side.
Last man standing is a quite challenging game mode where both teams start with 5 men and every time you score a goal the goal scorer goes off the pitch until you are left with no players, thus winning. So it's a game where you have to use skill and try and leave your best player on the pitch until the end so you can take on however many players your opponent has got left, and if you thinking that you can just shoot from your own box when there are only 2 people left on the pitch, you'll be wrong because the nets are tiny and even with no goalkeeper in this game mode you will find yourself hitting the wall more then scoring.
Panna is the game mode that you want to play if you want to show off your skills. Played on small pitches with small nets, your team consists of only two players, neither of which are goalkeepers. The aim of the game is like every other football game, to score more than the other team, but you can't just run past and score because the aim of the game is to get points in your bank by getting past your opponents with skill. Then when you score you will get the goal and whatever points you and your opponents have in the bank.
Futsal is just your normal 5 a side games but instead of playing on an enclosed pitch you play indoors with no walls the ball can go out of play just like in real football.
Because the game of street football revolves around tricks and skill to get past and embarrass your opponent, thankfully EA have thought about this and there are plenty of tricks that can be performed by the players. Because of the amount of tricks available remembering some combos does prove quite difficult. Also, don't expect to be able to run rings around your opponents with your "pro" because as you level up you will gain points to buy and unlock tricks so at the start you will not be able to do a great deal.
Again like every Fifa there are the same game modes like Quick games, online and career modes. In quick play mode you can choose real teams from around the world to take to the streets and play with your favourite players like never before. In career you will start by playing a friendly in the park with a few "mates", whether you win or lose you will then get an email to play in a street tournament where you can then make your team from the player in the friendly from which you just played or download players made by your friends. After you have made your team you will have to tell the computer where in the world that you are from. This may sound a bit pointless but this adds a little more realism into the game, because when I chose the north west the first round for games included playing in Blackpool, Burnley and Carlisle.
Online mode is just the same as Fifa 12 where you can play against anyone from around the world with a full team or play just as your 'pro'. When you play with the full teams it's just like playing for real in the park because of the close play and the way that you know that, unlike playing the computer, your opponent can make a mistake quite easily when trying that get past you and that can open the door open for an attack. Unfortunately the "be a pro" section is a slight disappointment because if you aren't playing will people you know you may find yourself standing about for most of the game, because most people will try and take the whole of the other team on.
The soundtracks in Fifa games are also quite important to the game because most of the songs that are in the game are the songs that you here in the stands, and Fifa Street is no different apart from this isn't the music you hear at the grounds but the music you here on the streets. With the songs playing throughout the games as well as in the menus you get no commentary during the games which is good because with a playlist that includes, Wretch 32, Fatboy Slim and The Big Pink, who wants to listen to a commentator? These songs playing over the game that's going on gives you a real sense that EA have gone around the streets and found out what songs are being played at the time.
Overall Fifa Street goes back to the roots of football and let's you express yourself against the best in the world, and thankfully leaves the stupidly over the top animations of Fifa street three behind. The online modes are fun but "be a pro" is slightly disappointing due to the amount of people thinking they can take on the world. I hope that EA carry on and improve the game but not lose the realism over the next couple of years.
- Realistic street football
- different game modes other then 5 a side
- Huge list of tricks and skills
- Online mode quite frustrating
- Career mode can get quite repetitive