IGN Review of FIFA Soccer 10
Bringing the complexities of a sport like soccer to a relatively simplistic system such as the Nintendo DS has to be a real headache for developers. Given the total lack of analog sticks and more than two shoulder buttons, supplying the same experience as you'll find on consoles is impossible. Thankfully Exient is once again at the helm of an EA Sports game making its way to the DS and they're able to retain the high level of quality that we've seen in other sports outings.
FIFA 10 on DS takes a very similar approach to last year's game. Everything still runs at a very smooth 60 frames per second and they pack about as much visual fidelity as you can on the limited DS hardware. They've also wisely kept the stylus out of the core gameplay and instead stick to the d-pad, face buttons and shoulder buttons for all of the actions. There's no doubting that the list of moves is slightly less than on other systems, but you can still do things like lob a thru ball and do a chip shot if you desire. My biggest problem with the control scheme is the lack of fancy dribbles that are possible.
The modes in FIFA 10 are as plentiful as you could expect from a DS iteration. You get Manager Mode, Quick Play, Be A Pro, Season Mode and a wonderfully feature-filled multiplayer experience that allows you to play single-card, multi-card or over a Wi-Fi connection. DS players can also enjoy creating their own club with a custom crest and designing custom set pieces – a feature that was previously exclusive to consoles. To do this you simply pick up your stylus and move players around certain parts of the field, directing them where to go once the ball is struck on a free kick. The custom set pieces and slightly new approach to Be A Pro are really the only new modes in the game, so if you purchased last year's title your love for the sport might determine if this is worth the money. Sadly there's no custom chant feature this year as was in past games, but we'll have to take what we can get.
The weakest of the available modes is sadly Be A Pro which presents the soccer in such a restricted viewpoint that it can be tough to see what's going on. Most of the time you're running around following an arrow beneath your feet frantically calling for the ball in order to get some action. I would've preferred to play with a pulled back camera perspective that lessened the detail on your player but showed more of the field as in other versions of FIFA.
DS gamers also get to enjoy a mini-game penalty shootout that represents the only gameplay element that makes use of the stylus. Thankfully it avoids annoyances thanks to the simplicity of the penalty kick. All you have to do is swipe the ball towards the goal which determines the velocity and aim of your shot. To block a shot, simply move a pair of hands to a spot on the goal and your goalie will move appropriately. It's fun and it's easy.
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