|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, 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. 20, 2009||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|
Interestingly, a single heading called Tournament encompasses the rest of the local game modes. Within Tournament you can choose to play through an entire season and take control of the fate of 1-20 different teams, or you can play through league-specific cups. If you tire of playing alone and have no one else around, FIFA Soccer 10 lets you head online. Naturally, you can play against friends who also own the game, but the EA servers will let you hook up with unknown gamers to play competitively, too. If you do have a buddy next to you, you can head online and play in 2 vs. 2 matches. You can even set up online tournaments. Online play this year is very complete.
What's more, I really enjoyed the incredibly easy-to-use online interface. Setting up your online persona is a snap, and from then on you will have your stats tracked on the leaderboard. Statistics such goals for and against, lifetime results, your personal rank, the average rank of your competition, current win streaks and longest win streaks, as well as connection drops are all featured. The leaderboard is very complete, adding a nice competitive edge to the game. There's even a leaderboard that tracks the overall skill of various countries - making healthy competition an international affair. Outside of the play options and leaderboards, the online play is technically very proficient. If you are hooked up with players with great connections, you'll have a virtually lag-free experience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Wii owners in the world that simply don't have very good broadband service. Nevertheless, finding games and connecting to players is never an issue.
Naturally, graphics pale in comparison on Wii. However, what's on offer is quite attractive. Players have a stylized, somewhat cartoonish look about them, but are still well-rendered. The bright green pitch helps the players to pop, and the action is nicely captured by the camera angles. Also, the fast-paced action never seems to dip due framerate issues. Disappointingly, stadium atmosphere is only decent - crowds are pixelated blurs and the stadiums often suffer from lots of jaggies. Sound is somewhat of a mixed bag, as well. While Clive Tilsley and Andy Grey do a great job commentating, the ambient effects aren't particularly crisp and the occasional sound bites that emanate from the Wii Remote are very garbled.
FIFA Soccer 10 for Wii is not in the same league as the footie experience found on the other consoles, but there is still an enjoyable and surprisingly deep arcade-sim hybrid to be uncovered. I liked how accessible and accommodating the various control schemes made the game for anyone (including core players). Additionally, the deep, well-implemented online offering gives this title some legs. If you are limited to just one console, or you plan on playing with youngsters, FIFA Soccer 10 for Wii is a quality game that does just enough to satisfy the majority of players' soccer lust.
CCC Editor / News Director