|System: X360, PS3, PC, 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. 9, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as game organization is concerned, it is very easy to navigate through the menus. EA has a very user-friendly interface. The infrared component allows the Wii remote to cruise easily around the screen while you make your selections. The rumble feature buzzes perfectly in your hand, clearly distinguishing the various options at your disposal. The clear menu design and accessibility of the game extends to the online interface as well. You will connect to the EA servers, as you do with other EA Sports titles, and have to login or create a gamer account. Online matching, ranking and leagues are nicely done. Regrettably, there is a spot of lag at times. There are also a few too many lost connections that will frustrate a close match. All in all, it is a pleasurable multiplayer online experience that is a good sign of things to come for the Wii.
Online play is just one of the game modes available to you. If you want to fully manage a club, you'll have to turn to the other systems. However, the addition of the Footii Party and Challenge modes are nice touches. Footii Party is a set of three mini-games sponsored by a cute, little, bucked-toothed, Ronaldinho Mii. The games included are Table Football, Juggling, and Boot It. Table Football is a Foosball game controlled by twisting the Wii remote as you would on a real table. The controls are a bit touchy, but the game is fun. I especially liked the ability to select the kind of table setup you favor. For example, do you play with angled corners and goalie, or do you do you prefer a three man back line? I grew up with the former setup and was delighted to have the choice. The juggling mini-game is simple but addictive. You'll have to time the juggling by pressing buttons, swinging the remote, or a combination of the two. The frequency and difficulty of the button combinations increase the longer you last. The competition is broken up into rounds with the player that lasts the longest being crowned the winner. The Boot It game is the weakest of the three. It's a penalty shootout where the player with the most points at the end of each round stays as the shooter. You get points for scoring goals, stopping shots as the goalie, or by hitting point targets in specific areas of the goal. This game is fun, but the controls are inaccurate, especially while minding the net. All in all, the mini-games are fun, but the number of games should be expanded upon and the existing ones should be refined in the future. The Challenge mode is a very cool scenario-based set of challenges that has you try and best a multitude of difficult, historical situations. The challenges increase in difficulty and are widely varied across a number of different leagues. Challenge mode is the best way to improve your skills in difficult situations in order to prepare yourself for online competition. EA also included a Soccer Academy mode that is a well constructed tutorial. This mode teaches you the ins and outs of the motion controls. Completing the Academy is a must for all gamers to control the game proficiently and get the most fun out of the title.
FIFA Soccer 08 on the Wii is not for everyone. In fact, there are a lot of people who will find this title quite dull. The good thing is that these people probably aren't interested in picking up the title for their Wii anyway. If you are looking for a new take on an old theme, have children that long to play like their parents do, or simply need a soccer title and only own a Wii, the FIFA Soccer 08 experience is a good one. EA has a lot to work on in the coming years, but the base game they have created is a solid one.
CCC Freelance Writer