Hidden Gems of the Gaming World : FIFA Street

Hidden Gems of the Gaming World is a post series here on J Station X that talks about the games that you should buy (though will most likely overlook).

FIFA Street Screenshot 1

When you’re in the market for a football game, your choices are between the annually-released FIFA or PES games. It’s a choice between realism or sub-par realism, authentic licensed football or ‘playing as ‘Manchester Red’ and having to breach copyright just to type in the proper team name. As difficult as that choice may be for FIFA-heads and PES-nuts alike, EA are throwing another warrior into the footie sim fighting ring with FIFA Street.

FIFA Street has been dead for a few years but thankfully, EA are deciding to pull it out of the vault to dust it off and revamp it for the new generation of gamers, making football games a choice between serious true to life gameplay or pure unadulterated fun.
However, I know that a lot of you will be sceptical about buying into this skills-focused style of football that you’re not used to, which is exactly why FIFA Street is the latest addition to my list of ‘Hidden Gems of the Gaming World’.

Click ‘Read More’ to find out why FIFA Street is worth your time and money.

FIFA Street Screenshot 2

While the core gameplay is effectively the polar opposite of FIFA 12, with Street trading in referees and throw-ins for no-rules and kick ups, the games are still cut from the same cloth and they both use the same engine. This means that all of the fantastic visual upgrades that FIFA 12 received this year will be featured in FIFA Street, which is scrapping the other FIFA Street games’ splashes of colour, akin to a mishap in the paint aisle of B&Q in favour for a style that won’t make you nostalgic for your arcade game playing days.  The ‘game-changing’ Impact Engine is one of the reason why FIFA 12 is so great as it vastly improved how players fell over and sustained injuries and if you’ve ever played any of the previous incarnations of FIFA Street you’ll know that there is a lot of falling over!

FIFA Street Screenshot 3

Also important to commend is how both games feature a myriad of places to play. You’ve got your Old Trafford, your Bernabeu and of course, the beautiful behemoth that is Wembley Stadium but FIFA Street trades those in for (according to the game’s official website) “parking lots and parks to gyms and rooftop arenas” which will be in a host of over 35 places, including Brazil, England, Spain and The Netherlands which gives you a more places to claim bragging rights about ‘that time you taunted Lionel Messi by standing on the ball, proceeding to bounce it off a wall, sprint past him and score in the most incredible fashion ever’, I mean, provided that your friends are impressed by your in-game football prowess of course.

FIFA Street Screenshot 4

Though for the few similarities that the two games contain, there are a million and one differences. For example, staying true to the real life activity of the unofficial ‘jumpers for goalposts’ way of playing football, FIFA Street consists of teams of 5 or 6 players as opposed to full teams of eleven, which again, isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you are now able to focus on a smaller group of players’ ball skills as opposed to that of a whole squad which of course makes it easier for you to nutmeg the ball through an opposing players’ legs, chip the ball over the goalie’s head and thwack it into the goal for a slick finish without having to worry about one of your smarmy cheating team mates diving in the penalty box trying to get a spot kick because your squad are too goal hungry to pull it together and actually score.

I think that even if you are used to realism, EA has done well to steer the FIFA Street ship away from the in your face graphics and sheer unbelievability of the previous FS games and are heading into the direction of the perfect mix of silliness and realism, especially as the tons of ball tricks (nutmeg/Panna , kick ups, wall play etc.) are all things that you would see in the proper game of league football, if only the players were skilled or brave enough to pull them off and even if you are worried about how peculiar the game will be, put it aside because it will be a tremendous amount of fun when it’s released next year.

FIFA Street |  EA SPORTS Gets Messi video via EAsportsfootball on YouTube

 FIFA Street is released on Xbox 360 and PS3 in March 2012.

Looking forward to FIFA Street? – Leave a comment!