FIFA Street 3 is a video game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. It is the third game in the FIFA Street series. Electronic Arts confirmed that a third FIFA Street game was being developed for next-generation consoles to be released in 2008. The game will be using the same engine from NBA Street Homecourt, while the AI from FIFA 08 is being brought across. They also promised improved control over its predecessors. Rather than lifelike simulation, the game’s emphasis will be on arcade-style fun. The cover features Brazilian star Ronaldinho, English star Peter Crouch, and Italian star Gennaro Gattuso.
Before the release of FIFA Street 3, Electronic Arts already had two strikes against its attempt to turn its FIFA franchise into an arcade-style soccer title. The exception was the Nintendo DS version, where FIFA Street 2 was the series premiere on the handheld. Whether it was due to a limited development cycle, simply a flawed design, or a combination of the two, FIFA Street 2 didn’t turn out all that hot on the dual-screen portable. Apparently it still had the right stuff to justify a sequel, and FIFA Street 3 for the Nintendo DS was born. This follow-up is definitely a significantly improved experience, but even with the tighter production FIFA Street 3 still ends up too limp to recommend.
FIFA Street is EA’s way of taking the sport of soccer and exaggerating it for those who might not have the tastes for nil-nil scores at the end of a match. Not really, but you get the point: soccer’s got a lot going for it, but it’s not a bad idea to take the concept and bring it down to a point where it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The result is FIFA Street where flair is king and the goals are plentiful. The concept is a sound one, but the execution doesn’t meet the expectations: FIFA Street 3 for the Nintendo DS has some cool concepts, especially when it comes to stylus-exclusive control for a sports game, but it just doesn’t have that addictive fun factor to keep players’ interests. A handful of matches and boredom slowly starts to creep in.
Last year’s game was pretty bad: awkward visual and gameplay glitches caused some serious issues in the game’s enjoyment, and the core mechanics really weren’t balanced all that well. Nintendo DS developer Exient’s usually rocks pretty well in its handheld games like Madden, FIFA, and Tiger Woods, but FIFA Street 2 was clearly the team’s darkest hour at that point. The same studio’s been given a second chance at the franchise and a lot of the problems have been cleaned up: the game definitely looks better and plays tighter, and incorporates much more thought out touchscreen controls. But that pesky core mechanic is still a problem: the tightened up production can’t save the fact that FIFA Street just isn’t that fun to play.
The stylus control was clearly where much of the DS game got its focus. Using the D-pad (or the buttons, for the lefties), you maneuver your chosen athlete in the 3D arena. But all of the actions – passes, kicks, and tricks – are handled by taps and flicks of the stylus on the touch screen. Passing to a player is a simple tap in the relative “zone” of the touch screen to where the player is in relation to your character, and shooting is a upwards stroke in the direction you’re aiming on the goal.
The game camera, by default, is a forward moving perspective where you’re always looking at your goal, almost like playing a hockey game on a console system. Since handheld gamers have their own view of the action, this works well since the game never has to switch the camera to the other goal in order to be fair to the other player. As a result, the contextual strokes on the touch screen are fixed and never change…even when you might decide to change the camera to match the side-on perspective of the console game. So it’s not recommended to change it.
|FIFA Street 3|
|Release date(s)||February 18, 2008
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer|
PEGI : 3+
|Media||Blu-ray Disc, DVD|
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