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Sunday | August 19, 2018
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FIFA09 (X360 & PS3)

FIFA09 (X360 & PS3)

Yep it is that time again, the time for FIFA to be updated with the release of the 09 Edition. With the constant battle for the Number 1 football game, does this year’s Electronic Arts title kick Pro Evolution Soccer into oblivion?

Electronic Arts are not shy in discussing the 250 improvements made to the engine from last year and many of the improvements in 09 should already be familiar to those who played the European Championships during the summer.

The footballers now have extremely realistic motion capabilities and when they collide there is a plethora of realistic animations which bring the game to a new level. Not only this but the off ball antics are incredibly well polished, players run into free space and will make calls for the ball while defenders will try to notify the linesmen of offside players by waving their arms and motioning. These may sound like small additions, however in the grand scheme of things they bring a more realistic atmosphere to the environment.

The matches are extremely well paced and unlike many they reward the skilled and patient player … the best way to score goals is with measured build up play and skilful use of free space.

This year the individual players have more pronounced skill sets so spending some time getting used to the individual strengths and weaknesses is a great way to enhance your game play. FIFA has a unique trick system which is operated by the right analog stick and this enhances the depth of game play for those willing to invest the time to learn the methodology.

Those of you used to playing PES might find the jump to FIFA09 rather difficult because this is definitely more simulation oriented than the quick play style that PES brings to the table. This means the goals and tasks at hand are not so immediately accessible and while this might seem a negative aspect, in reality the game flows much better and makes the end result much more satisfying.

Other enhancements over the 08 edition include better ball movement, meaning the game looks more graceful and the team works better as a cohesive unit.

This added realism may not appeal to everyone however if you like your football games strictly arcade style with one or two button presses then this might seem like overkill. There are quite a few settings to alter the game speed and how much the computer will aid you during play … it would be safe to say in fact that regardless of which options you want to alter, the game will allow for it.

As always FIFA is loaded with content and the presentation is of the highest standard I have seen. All the leagues are faithfully represented which is sure to appeal to football fanatics across the globe. Last year there were some complaints about the FA cup and this time it is accurately depicted in the spanking new Wembley Stadium. Everything seems to be really accurate, right throughout all the European Leagues. Commentary is supplied this year by Sky Sports Andy Gray and Martin Tyler and for the most part it is a success, there are occasional errors in the dialogue but the voices work well and add a great deal of immersion to the proceedings.

Manager mode is worth a mention and although it is not quite as good as the PES Master League it is a nice diversion as you work your way through various clubs boardrooms. Be A Pro is also a fun game mode as you take a newbie from the reserve ranks right up to the upper echelons of club and international game play.

The graphics are very well designed and considerable time has gone into the detail, each of the major teams are accurately rendered with the individual players mirroring their real life counterparts very closely.

The audio is equally as impressive and each of the clubs has their own audio scripting for the fans, for example if you are playing at the Manchester United ground you will hear "Glory, Glory, Man United" echoing across the terraces.

Online support has also been improved on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with the new Adidas Live Season, a feature which gets statistics from the real life football matches on a weekly basis to keep everything exciting and fresh. There is also a great new mode which allows for 10v10 online play, quite why no one ever thought of this before baffles me! It is hugely addictive.

It is fair to say that FIFA09 is a return to form on a variety of levels, both with single player and multiplayer game modes. EA have done a great job of creating one of the most immersive and indepth football games ever. I actually think they have managed to knock Pro Evolution Soccer off the top spot and that alone is a huge achievement. If you like football at all then this is not just highly recommended, it is a must have.



Amazingly realistic with months and months of potential game play from both single player and multiplayer modes.


Slightly improved from last year and very realistic.


Sky Sports commentators, realistic crowd sounds. Very immersive.

A wealth of options with great online support sure to keep you busy for a solid year.
(not an average)

The most sophisticated and comprehensive football game I have had the pleasure to play.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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