The FeverBy: Sneakers O'Toole | May 17th, 2010
So, when I went into GameStop to reserve the world cup game, the man behind the desk looked at me like “What the hell?” I might have been the first person to even mention the game on store property. I looked at him like, “just humor me.” I show up two days later and pick up my reserved copy of the game no one else knew was coming out, freshly purchased Italy jersey blowing in the wind. I pranced out to my car with the GameStop bag in my hand, not to play the game for a few weeks.
I got slammed by work and other things that sadly come before video games, but eventually, I got around to playing the game.
In a nutshell, it is a refined version of FIFA 10. The players move a little more smoothly, passes are a little more crisp, and chaos ensues if someone shoots into a crowd in front of goal. This idea was something I didn’t like about FIFA 10 and the games prior. PES would crush FIFA in terms of matching the unpredictable nature of the bounce of the ball and deflection goals. The world cup game closes that gap.
All of these factors add up to me probably not touching FIFA 10 again. That’s strong; I will probably play FIFA 10 once the world cup fever has worn off. The gameplay of the world cup game is good, but that’s never what these games are about. The tournament-specific games are meant to take advantage of the excitement around the tournament. World cup music, confetti, and heavy doses of cinematics flow through these types of games. The music is good, as usual, the confetti is bountiful, and the game has no shortage of fans hopping in the stands or managers staring blankly out onto the field.
I would almost call the game great, but all of the superficial fluff isn’t my reasoning. When EA half-assed the new gen versions of FIFA 07, I was able to overlook the absolute crap gameplay for one reason: the challenges. The satisfaction of accomplishing some minute goal seemed to overwhelm the fact that there were no dribbling moves, and the only way to break a team down was the long ball. The World Cup game brings the challenge mode back, and they use it wonderfully. The game mode is called the story of qualifying, and the player gets the opportunity to right some of the wrongs that occurred in qualifying. The fabled Ireland game is included, but I wasn’t weeping over that one. I was weeping over the world having to watch Slovenia instead of Russia. U.S. fans certainly aren’t crying over that swap, but star power is always nice.
The challenges, the gameplay, and the atmosphere of the world cup make this game do what it is meant to do: give you the fever. However, there is one thing about the game that annoys me a great deal. That sore is the Captain Your Country mode which is Be A Pro in world cup fashion. Be A Pro was always hindered by the special needs A.I. FIFA managed to conjure up year after year. As you stand out there as a forward, you watch all of your teammates make the most idiotic challenges and get themselves into card trouble. Occasionally, the defense will whack the ball forward and, if you’re fast enough, you can make something of it despite your lack of support. This was always a problem with Be a Pro, but you had the option to play as the whole team, which made things so much better. The World Cup game does not give you that option.
Ignore the Captain Your Country mode, and your experience will be as wonderful as mine. I give it an A, considering no gameplay improvements were expected. If the A.I. saw more improvement, it would be the best thing since the last game I said was the best thing ever.
Enjoy winning the trophy for your country!
Brilliant video by wepeeler of the YouTube community.