Reason i looked at fifa in the first place was because after playing the new pro evo 08 demo it had became clear Konami had done what fifa used to do, just release the same game as the previous year with a few updates.
It was the faults of the new pro evo that made me see it had gone into the realms of arcade, it was no longer about ball control, it was no longer about working spaces and looking for weaknesses, it was no longer real!
Pro evo had done what fifa had done for so long, forget why people like football games.
With this horrible truth i downloaded the fifa demo, expecting for it to be as horrible as ever and if anything make pro evo look a little better!
Boy was i wrong!
Soon as the game loaded i saw what must be the best presentation ever! A neat little game were you play as Ronaldiniho and you have a goal to shoot at! I was hooked!
Playing the game for the first time i have to admit at first i didnt like it, i was stuck in my old pro evo ways, not accepting it, hating simply because it was the enemy! But a few games into it i realised something...
Id been playing real football! I was passing the ball around the defenders looking for a gap to get it to the midfielders, then with the midfielders passing and moving until i could get it to a striker. It wasent a 3 button press combo that took all os 2 secconds like on pro evo, then it dawned on me!
Football is hard! The game isnt about how many goals you can score, most games finish in a draw or maybe 1-0 or 2-0, football is end to end but not end to end and GOAL like in pro evo. There are so many battles on the pitch to fight, wether that be the winger trying to run the flanks, the defensive midfielder moving into space to help give a player options and so on.
The thing you notice about fifa is its hard to score, you cant replicate the same goal as before and you cant run from your own penalty box to your opponents and score, Which again made me realise i can do that on pro evo but not here!
After about 7 games i became obsessed with trying to score a goal, the computer AI is excellent, you can see it adapting to your style of play, if your a cross from the wings type they will pick up on it and double up on your winger, if your a burst through from midfield type player the midfield and defence close up on you to restrict you going forward. Its the little things like that which make me appreciate the game.
Finally i recieved the ball from Ronaldo just outside the 18yrd box and with a thunderous shot in off the top of the bar i had scored my first goal!! It was a paul scholes special! It was a great feeling, it was the first time in my entire history of playing football games from the early kick off to the classic sensible soccer that i had felt like that, i earnt that goal as i had to work for it.
Fifa08 is a troubled genius of a game, it pushes the control aspects of the ball to amazing heights, EA have listened to what people want and thats a replication of the game we call football. It delivers that with extras. All round fifa 08 is by far the most realistic, exciting, difficult, skillful football game ive played.
After playing fifa i then had a look again at pes08 and felt angry at it, i felt angry its the same game, angry it plays so unrealistic and that you can run from one end to the other as your goak keeper and pretty much score at will, angry that ronaldinhio was on the bench for brazil, angry the defence dont even move, angry the shoot system is dumb, the game is just a rip off of last year which wasent even good. Angry the features and presentation are so old and havent been updated in a long time. Its just old, and the thing that angered me the most is people will still say its great!
Like lemmings to the cliff they will follow the leader, they will slate fifa because its too hard, so fifa will be slated for being too realistic when it used to be slated for being too arcadey. Where as pro evo can release the same game but sped up to be the most arcade game in history but be applauded but fifa cant?
And that there my friends is the problem, weve become biased, weve not given fifa a chance.
Ea have come back with more features then ever introducing for the first time Be a Pro. This by far is the next best thing for football fans. You play a game as one person on the pitch, you play the game as that player should play his role wether defender,midfielder or striker, your given instructions from the manager, its very realistic, and the best thing of all is you can do it ONLINE! Thats right you and your buddies can pick a player each and play online games/tournaments as one player each!
There are so many great features in fifa 08 that you need to play it to see them, its a game that needs time to grow on you and you need to see what pro evo really is this year.
Fifa is pushing the bar and trying to make the game real, i applaud ea on this years fifa and though im sure reviews for it will be lowish they are from people who dont know football at all.
Fifa 08 is for real fans who love the game and appreciate the skillfulness of it!