52 Weeks of Canadian Gaming - Week 8
FIFA Street 3
Release Date: February 18, 2008
Developer: EA Canada
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Reviewed by: Brian Wray
Week 8 and renovations are winding down, but time is also winding down as I am leaving for Florida in less than 2 weeks. So this shall be my shortest write-up to date, good thing there is little to say about this game.
FIFA Street 3 is an arcade version of soccer (I so wanted to call it football like the rest of the world, but I cannot for it's soccer). Now I have to admit that I find soccer quite boring. Well regular soccer is boring, but over-the-top arcadish soccer is actually quite fun.
I often like to start off these write-ups talking about the game's graphics and will do so here. The entire presentation looks quite nice. The game fields are very cool and look great. There is no grass anywhere to be seen in this "street" title. Rather matches take place on the beach, on oil rigs, on rooftops and other similar interesting locations. Each location looks amazing, but with only 8 locations, the novelty of the graphics will wear off quickly. The players are supposed to be based on actual players, but in this game they all appear to have more in common with the old NES game, Ice Hockey. All players appear to adhere to 1 of 3 body types; the skinny, regular and husky players.
(Click for larger image)
Gameplay in FIFA Street 3 is very fun. Gone are all the whistles and flags and flopping players that make soccer so boring to watch. Unlike the army of players on a regular soccer field, FIFA Street 3 allows for 5 players on each team, but since the game "fields" are quite small, the game field still fells quite crowded. In this game, the only thing that can stop play is scoring or kicking the ball out of bounds. Players are controlled by using just about every button on the Xbox 360 controller and both analog sticks. While on offence, using the right analog stick will allow for some fancy footwork to outplay the opponent allowing you clean access to the goal. Given that this is a "Street" game, scoring is not your only objective, performing fancy tricks is also very important. Not only are the tricks fun to watch, but performing tricks will fill out the "gamebreaker" meter. Once this meter has been filled, you may unleash "gamebreaker" mode, a mode that enhances the skills of your players dramatically for a set amount of time. Of course this time can be extended by performing more tricks. When choosing to play a game, you will need to select the type of game you want to play. Game matches included timed, score, score difference, headers and volleys, gamebreakers and five-a-side matches.
One thing I noticed is that unlike NFL Tour and NBA Street, there is no career mode in this game. Indeed beyond the basic game, there is only challenges to occupy players. Good thing there are plenty of challenges, but these challenges do get boring and repetitive very quickly. heck I got bored with the challenges after my first 4. There is a good reason to completing the challenges as this will unlock new teams and players. It's a shame that for a game developed in Canada, there is not even a Canadian team present in the game and there are only a few low level Canadian players present in the game. Also completing challenges will unlock achievements.
(Click for larger image)
Another cool game mode is "playground picks". In this game type, you first select a team and then you and your opponent take turns picking players from that team. The brought back memories of being selected last during my grade school years (I was very small for my age back then). This game mode is only available if you have two players either present in the same room or over Live.
Since we are now on the topic of Xbox Live. Like most of these arcade version of sports titles, FIFA Street 3 is most fun when enjoyed other gamers. If you are hoping to challenge the world elite at FIFA 3 then you will be sad to hear that the online portion of FIFA Street 3 is non-existent. In the entire week, I could not find a single game to play. I did host a few games with no one joining any games.
Overall the game offers very little and will server best as an afternoon distraction and some very easy achievements points.