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Genre: Football :: Players: 3+ :: Released: 16/5/06

2006 FIFA World Cup Review

Developer: EA Mobile

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

All the teams, all the players
Video replays

Cons

Too many buttons
Isometric view is not the best

Sound
Help
Save Option
Suspend/Resume
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets

79

Graphics

90

Sound

80

Controls

70

Playability

78

Lastability

75

Review Details
Handset Nokia 6600

Costas Stephanides ’s Review

Review Date: 17/5/06

The first World Cup outing for Fifa mobile.


We've said it before, and we'll say it again, we are big fans of Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven and we are not that exposed to the world of Fifa on the PS2. Seeing as Pro Evo is not available on the mobile, we'll have to settle for the next best thing :)

The Fifa mobile games have always been dogged by trying to imitate its console big brother. The graphics and the attention to detail are great, its just the control system that keeps letting this title down. EA have promised to re-think their approach to Fifa mobile to provide a more suitable control system. Until then, we will just have to get our heads round the current system.

The game has 8 way movement which is great if you have an 8 way joystick (as seen on the Sony W600). Getting the most out of the game using only the number pad is tough. The game is played in isometric view, so to move straight up/down the pitch you have to press 3/7. Once you have the ball, you can use the number pad to create some cool jinking runs and the 8 possible directions give you plenty of freedom. The trouble comes when you have to pass and shoot. # is pass and * is shoot, moving your fingers around to these keys can be tricky and more often than not you will migrate to using the joystick/D-pad. Unfortunately, using a standard 4 way D-pad, pressing up causes the player to move diagonally up the pitch and not directly towards goal. If they could configure the D-pad so that up was 3, down was 7, etc the game would be a lot easier to play in this isometric view. Just for completeness, when in defensive mode, * is a sliding tackle and # is switch player. Just to confuse things a little more... 5 and the right shoulder key perform the same function as # (except on Sundays). Anyway that's enough bitching about the controls, it's all due for a revamp by the time Fifa 2007 comes out.

The game itself is very in-depth. All the qualified teams are present with all the correct names and each player has plenty of stats for you to peruse. It's a shame they didn't wait to release this until the final squads were submitted as there's no opportunity of playing with Theo Walcott. It's probably a good thing as how would anyone know what stats to give him. You can also select from several common formations and even apply basic strategies. In-game substitutions and tactics combine to give a very realistic feel to the game.

The graphics are very good with pretty large sprites. There is a nice little intro tune and what sounds like Ally McCoist giving some occasional commentary, so at least Scotland did make it to the World Cup in some small way. Obviously, the commentary is very brief but a much added bonus.

Aside from the controls, the gameplay is pretty good. Once you have the ball, there are loads of options available. Long/short passes, through balls and crosses are all determined by the flashing symbols on screen. Be careful, although the through ball symbol may be flashing, a defender might be standing in exactly the right place. All the options can get confusing and you may tend to try and dribble round everyone and shoot rather than setting up any intricate plays. They have tried to keep some things simple, whenever the goalkeeper has the ball, it essentially becomes a goal kick with no players allowed to crowd him. Corners, freekicks and throw-ins are all simple to perform and are just glorified passes.

There are three difficulty settings and variable game lengths. The opponent??s AI is good, with the easy setting giving you enough breathing space to get to grips with the game. Your own team does have a very naff defensive AI, I spent most of the time trying to control every man on the pitch as they proceeded to run away from the ball and the goalkeeper is easily fooled.

With enough practice, and I mean a lot of practice, this could be a great game. The only question is whether people want this experience on their mobiles just yet.