|System: X360, PS3, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA SPORTS BIG||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts, Inc.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: X360 1-4 Offline, 2-8 Online; PS3 1-7 Offline, 2-8 Online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
It's been a few years since EA SPORTS BIG has given us a FIFA Street title. The old series needed quite a bit of work, and thankfully a lot more attention was lavished upon this next-gen version. However, the title still needs a lot of work and is about as deep as Hannah Montana's set list. Having said that, the presentation is wonderful! I was truly impressed with the environments, player caricatures, and music selection. The simple controls are also great for a genuine pickup-and-play experience, but after a few hours you'll wish there was more of a challenge. If you're looking for a goal-filled giggle and a humorous take on the world's game, then FIFA Street 3 should provide you at least a handful of hours of lighthearted fun.
FIFA Street 3 will quickly immerse you in a world of over-the-top football. The inclusion of a new Game Breaker mechanic makes your entire team a collection of acrobatic soccer gods capable of pulling off wall flips, volleys, bikes, and upper 90 crackers with ease. There are 250 of your favorite stars crammed into eighteen international selections and a bunch of unlockable, developer-created sides. The new single player Street Challenge mode has a good deal of content that should occupy you for three to five hours. The unlockable content and diverse makeup of the teams you'll challenge should be enough to provide you with the impetus to complete the entire mode. However, the gameplay does become quite repetitive not long into the experience.
There are several reasons for this. First, the game's victory conditions such as first to five goals, no Gamebreaker goals, score using only headers and volleys, etc. are ever-changing, but not substantively different. Sure, a goal may be taken away from you because you scored the wrong way, but all in all it is difficult to distinguish between different scenarios. Second, the Game Breaker feature makes playing the game just too easy against the computer. Once activated, any member of your team can score from almost anywhere within the offensive half and beyond. Third, teams that you challenge will be categorized as Enforcers, Youth Stars, Speedsters, etc. though you can pretty much beat any team without changing your tactics one iota. Fourth, the A.I. defense is pathetic. Once the controls become second nature to you, you'll be able to go the length of the court by simply juggling your way into the opposing net. For some reason this move is unstoppable, much like the fade away Hail Mary in Tecmo Bowl. Finally, beating teams in mini-tournaments and opening up unlockables should only be part of the experience. A more expansive career mode that gets gamers into the action would be far more compelling.
Fortunately, the multiplayer modes both off and online are pretty fun. Human opposition provides a steep challenge that all but the savviest should find demanding. Of course one-on-one matches are the most fun, but you can also play with two to eight players in online co-op play. The inclusion of the Online World Challenge is a neat feature that allows you to pick your favorite international squad and then challenge other teams in the World Challenge Tournament. All of the results are tallied in order to see which country has got the best collection of street-ballers. I also really liked the Playground Picks mode that has you and the opposition select five players from one team just like on the playground. This makes for very even teams talent-wise unless the team is Portugal and you pick second; in that case, Cristiano Ronaldo will most likely shred you apart.