FIFA Soccer 09 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PSP | DS
FIFA Soccer 09 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 14, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Visually, EA soccer has never looked better. They’ve implemented a new animation system that has improved on the fluidity of the game and the way players interact with one another. While in-game animations are improved, they won’t drop the jaws of anyone familiar with the series. There are new animations of players celebrating a goal, complaining to the ref, becoming injured, and other incidents to give FIFA 09 an updated feel.

FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot

Still, this game is far too familiar to other FIFA games in the past. The menus look great as always, yet are completely unchanged. End-of-the- half replays look exactly the same as they have for years, with the same slow-motion montage of highlights from usual camera angles. Stadiums look pretty much the same as they have in recent years, with bright-lit fields and massive crowds that are blurred in the background. Ambience of the cheering spectators captures the atmosphere of a soccer match, though all sound effects are completely the same as they have been in the past. Player models are also seemingly identical to recent installments, with some athletes who look nothing like their actual self. Shadows on shorts and jerseys gives athletes a realistic appearance, especially on replays, as clothing has the illusion of flapping in the air and moving around. While EA has seemingly perfected their soccer simulation on the PSP and have changed some gameplay elements for the better in 09, visuals and other elements offer little reason to believe their latest installment is at all fresh.

The commentating is typical of past games, sounding much like a live soccer broadcast with a little too much repetition. The soundtrack is filled with enough Brit-pop and Euro dance music to make me want to turn off most of the songs in my playlist (the option is nice), obviously intended to appeal more to gamers on the other side of the pond.

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For the football fanatic and the casual sports gamer, FIFA Soccer 09 continues the tradition of offering a great handheld experience on the PSP. It may very well be their best offering to date, and while less enthusiastic fans of the sport may not feel the need to update their yearly collection, if there is one PSP soccer title to purchase, this is it.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.6
Graphics
Stadiums, crowds, and character models are typical of FIFA titles. Updated animations make in-game action slightly more fluid than in the past.
3.7
Control
Control scheme works well on the PSP, while not offering much different from previous installments but a few new moves.
3.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Decent commentating is matched by a huge, worldly soundtrack. Stadium ambience is as expected, though in-game play lacks any new sound effects from past FIFA games.
3.8
Play Value
Though it may lack enough new features and modes to entice the casual gamer, FIFA 09 may be the best title of the series to date.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New animation sequences deliver more responsive, intelligent, and realistic physical action and adds depth to gameplay. Players move more fluidly around the pitch. Smaller, nimble players possess quicker first steps and have the advantage in sprints. Skillful players have the ability to fake the first touch before the ball reaches the pass receiver.
  • With 360 degree coverage, players behave according to their physical attributes. Stronger players now possess the strength to knock down smaller players during collisions or use their body and arms to shield the ball in challenges.
  • Be A Pro: Seasons: Pick a professional player and test your ability at one position over four seasons. Master positioning, improve your attributes, and develop into an elite player.
  • The unique player-focused Be A Pro camera debuts on the PSP system to immerse you into the action. The new camera tracks your player, re-creating the excitement as if you were on the pitch yourself.
  • Over 500 licensed teams and 30 leagues accurately represented with correct kits and badges.


  • Screenshots / Images
    FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge FIFA Soccer 09 screenshot - click to enlarge

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