FIFA 2008

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 1:28 | Filed in Gaming

For the Wii. Now. Buy it. If you need more information than that, read on…

I love football games. I always have. But the problem I’ve had with football games over the last ten years or so is that they are all somehow tainted. Basically, because they aren’t Sensi Soccer, they aren’t as good.

I don’t really want a game that’s going to take me a week and a half to figure out how to make the player step forward without leaving the ball behind, even if the graphics are so good that you can make out every pore on Wayne Rooney’s nose. What I want is a game that I can just pick up and play.

Ideally, it ought to be better than Sensi Soccer because it ought to have different skill levels that range from absolute beginner through to expert so that I’m not getting thumped five nil in my first three games (thank you very much Kick Off 2) until I get the hang of it, but also so that it doesn’t reach a stage where I can regularly win the European Cup with Distillery (a small Northern Irish football team who I managed to repeatedly take to European Success in “World of Sensible Soccer”).

So there were a lot of expectations resting on FIFA 2008 for the Wii. Did it deliver?


After about five hours of consecutive gameplay I can now pass (not through balls, mind you), shoot “with finesse” or “power shots”, and I can take throw ins and penalties. I can also make sliding tackles with a reasonable degree of success (I win the ball more often than I get sent off). What I can’t do yet is take free kicks or corners well, or do any of the fancy stuff like flicks, crosses and lobs.

Although to be honest I’m having so much fun playing with the basics, I don’t need to get to the fancy dan stuff yet. I’m eleven games into a Premiership season and already Newcastle are sitting top of the league with twenty nine points (having drawn with both Manchester clubs and beaten everyone else), including a 6-2 victory over Sunderland after being 2-1 down at half-time.

I’ve also progressed from the “family” control method (suitable for uncles, aunties and not-very-often players) where you just wave the Wiimote around and the computer moves your players automatically) to the Wiimote-and-nunchuk method where you are — theoretically at least — im full control of your players.

I’ve been playing it so much, I’ve given myself a sore thumb. (Basically, you use the nunchuck controller for making your players run around, and aiming on set pieces, and you wave the Wiimote around and/or press buttons on it to pass, shoot, tackle etc. It’s all tremendous fun, and while the graphics aren’t great, they’re still pretty good. And let’s face it, if it was graphics you were after, you would have bought a Playstation 3. You want entertaining football gameplay at a level of playability not seen since the days of Sensible Soccer.

And, while that might be a bold claim now (let’s see whether it’s a game I’m still playing in six months, first), it strikes me as being the first football playing game that I’ve encountered since then that might be able to challenge Sensi for my personal title as best football (playing) game ever.

I do have a couple of minor quibbles though: my wingers seem to swap sides every now and again, and similarly if I change anything about my team, my formation tends to revert to 4-3-3 for some unknown reason — although either of these could quite possibly be caused by me. But it’s great fun, you can play all sorts of leagues and competitions, build your own custom competitions, there’s a table football simulation you can play with the Wiimote (yes, really) and there’s even some sort of online stuff, although I’ve not looked into that yet.

So don’t wait any longer. Go and buy it now.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 Comment to FIFA 2008

  1. Darren Taylor says:

    October 2nd, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Jack interesting to read your thoughts as I bought Fifa08 on Friday, played it for an hour and a half and was still struggling to remember the moves! I could pass the ball, shoot and the rest was me waving frantically without much success. No doubt I need to spend more time going through the training and having not played since the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned.

Leave a comment