GS AU: FIFA 10 Preview: A-League in the spotlight

We've had several hands-on sessions with the latest in EA's long-running FIFA series--FIFA 10--in recent months, with our last look unveiling the Virtual Pro feature. This time around, we thought we'd examine in closer detail something close to most Aussie football fans--just how does our local...

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We've had several hands-on sessions with the latest in EA's long-running FIFA series--FIFA 10--in recent months, with our last look unveiling the Virtual Pro feature. This time around, we thought we'd examine in closer detail something close to most Aussie football fans--just how does our local A-League fare this time around?

No Caption Provided
It's snowing here. So yeah, this is not an A-League screenshot.

Here's the bottom line Aussie fans: as you'd expect, the A-League is (once again) no La Liga. The highest star rating awarded to any A-League side this year is 1.5, which is the same as in FIFA 09. Several team rankings have also shifted in the 10 version, but the game has added the two new clubs which have debuted in this year's local competition--Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury.

Newbies Gold Coast has received a more favourable welcome to the football franchise, with the Queensland team scoring an overall 1.5 star rating. Unsurprisingly, Socceroo Jason Culina is the team's highest-rated player at a ranking of 71, while in-form striker Shane Smeltz is rated at 65. North Queensland Fury is a one-star rated team, with glamour import and former Liverpool great Robbie Fowler only scoring a 68 rating.

As for the A-League's eight other teams, there has been some movement on the ranking front. Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory both remain as 1.5 star squads, while the Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners retain their 09 rating of 1 star. The big movers in FIFA 10 are the Queensland Roar and Perth Glory, which have been both bumped up from 1 to 1.5 star ratings. The same can't be said for Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets, however. Both teams have seen a downgrade from 1.5 stars in 09 to 1 star each in 10.

But despite the wide gulf in quality between our Aussie league and some of the European club giants, the game play changes made to this year's FIFA offering means A-League matches can still be as interesting and challenging as a Barca versus Man U match. Full 360-degree dribbling adds a lot more control, and the game generally seems to move at a faster rate than last year's offering. FIFA 10 is out on a variety of platforms in October. Keep checking GameSpot for more coverage and a full review soon.

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