Fifa 09 Takes The Beautiful Game To a Level Never Seen Before In Video Games. It Raises The Bar And Still Scores a Goal!
I have to be brutally honest here i used to hate the Fifa series. Up until 08 i considered it anything but a replication of football. More of a joke then anything.
I would play PES until the sun rises. But after 4&5 the game started to go downhill. Each new year would be worse then before. It is this downward trend of the PES series that made me re-look at Fifa 08. Like before ISS i played Fifa but i left the series as it had become an arcade game based on scoring as many goals as you can without any skill, it was EA releasing the same game every year. Then came along PES 4&5 and it re-invented football. It was more realistic then anything i had played before and like most i was hooked.
But roll on over 5 years and nothing Konami have produced since has touched those heights. As the years rolled by it looked like the football games on the market for this generation were destined to be mediocore at best. Both Fifa and PES had there time in the sun. They had stopped compeating and had been out just for the money. The poor reviews and opinions were deserved.
But in 2008 we had a change in one of the franchises. EA went back to the drawing board which they had to do. They came back with a new vision of football for this generation. They wanted to create a game that wasen't a run at full pelt past everyone without any tackles game, they didn't want a game where you can score the same goal over and over. They wanted a game that was more like modern football, the main sport of the world.
So they came up with 2008. A new game that was excellent but had little annoyances that held it back from being great. Little things that to the normal people who don't follow football wouldn't care but to those who do they were some mortal sins. Such as having the FA Cup final played not at Wembley. These little things brought the game down a bit.
So we now go a year and we have the new 2009 games.
Fifa 2009 is the game true football fans have been waiting for. If it had the tital Metal Gear Solid it would get a 10/10 score, if it was Half Life 2 it would get a 10/10 score etc.. But it isn't, it is Fifa. A sports game. A annual sports game. Naturally reviews for these types of games don't tend to be "amazing", maybe the reviewers lack knowledge of the sport they are reviewing? But in this instance Fifa 09 deserves at minimum a 9/10 score. Reason for this is it is the work of 4 years all rolled into one. They took away their old game and changed it for the better. Rather then do what Konami have done they actually listened to the fans of football. They took note of our concerns and they changed it. That has to be a first!
Fifa 09 is a hard hard game. It is not a game you will pick up and play and be as good as Pele on your first try. This isn't a care bears game people. It has a very steep learning curve but one that mirrors real football. Unlike PES it isnt about the action in the final third. It is about everything on the pitch. How you move from your goalie up to your strikers. It isn't a simple 2 button presses and your in the opponents 16 yard box ready to shoot. That is PES, that is not realistic. In 09 you have to take your time with the ball, but your not given time by the opponent, they hustle and jostle you trying to get the ball off you. You are under pressure and you need to make a choice. Do you pass the ball back to a team mate, or try and be clever and see if you can get a through ball? Or because you have thought about it so much you actually balloon it and it ends up going out.
And this is what makes Fifa 09 the best football game on the planet. You. You are in control of everything. The direction of the ball, the pass weight, the shot angles etc.. you have so much to take into account you start to understand the real game a bit more. You realise football is hard. If it was easy you and i would be out there playing for Chelsea/Barcelona etc.. were not we are inside playing it on our tv's. But this is as close as we will get to being in those teams!
Which brings me onto one of the the new features for 2009. Be a Pro Seasons. Like last year BE A Pro is back. This time it has been given a revamp. You now can play this mode as a career. You create yourself in create a player. The customisation is emense and quite spookily i made my char very life like. Then after you have done this you are awarded experience points. With these points you use them to make your player better. You have attributes which you must increase if you want to get better.
As you start the game you are a nobody for your club. You have to play in reserve games and do well in those before you might get picked for the first team. In these games you are assigned targets. If you complete these targets you are given bonus experience points which again you spend on increasing your talents. As you progree you might start getting noticed by bigger teams, they might come in for a transfer for you! Then you might get called up to the national team and could end up playing in the world cup!
This mode is not just single player oh no. You can play it with 3 other friends which just makes it even more fun.
Which then brings us to another new addition. Multi-player squads. In 2009 you can now play Be a Pro 10 vs 10. That is right, every single outfield player is a human controlled player. You can do like last year and just join a game, or you can do something new. Create a club! This club is a landmark for video games. It is sports version of a clan or a guild. In this club you can hire your friends or even ask people you have seen play a few times to join. With this club you can enter leagues/cups and so on. It takes playing football to a whole new level.
There are many more new features in Fifa 09 but those are some of the main ones.
When you play this game then play Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 you can't help but feel angry at Konami. They have ruined what was once a great franchise and turned it into a joke. There is now no longer a "what is better" debate anymore. Fifa now blows PES out of the water in every single area. EA have done what they promised and that was to create the most realisitc but fun football game ever created. Where as Konami have released what they released last year, just with a 9 instead of a 8 in the name title.
Fifa 09 is the best football game i have ever played, and i have played them all. As i mentioned average reviewers will give the game probably an 8/10 rating but that is because they don't play football games, they don't know the past. They don't know the rivarly through the ages and they don't know how the football minded think or what they want.
This game is a close 10 because it gets everything right. It is a game about skill, patience, lethalness, frustration when you make a human error, jubilation when a move works etc.. the beautiful game just got more beautiful!