|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|
The game's presentation is about as good as it can be. Besides the fact that it outputs at 1080p and at 60 fps, the engaging locations, hilarious player likenesses, and content appropriate music are near perfect. Whether playing on the beach, an oil rig, or in the Mediterranean sun, you'll be transported to a very believable world.
Moreover, the hand drawn caricatures of the players are so well done that you will be laughing out loud at the strikingly funny resemblances. Raul's nose looks like the Wicked Witch of the West's; Rooney's got a face only a bulldog could love; and Donovan's forehead is about as shiny and bulbous as a brass doorknob! There is one glaring mistake though: where are Ronaldinho's bucked teeth? I mean come on, that guy should look like a beaver. Regardless, it's safe to say you'll want to beat the Street Challenge if for no other reason than to acquire all of the unlockable players. The music is also very good. I don't enjoy Euro-beat music, but considering the setting it fades appropriately into the background and adds a lot to the overall feel. Thankfully, there are no annoying announcers to drive you crazy as there was in NFL Tour. The lack of repetitive commentary really works in the title's favor.
The controls are very simple to use. This makes FIFA Street 3 a very noob-friendly title. Crazy moves, feints, and tricks are executed by simply rolling around the analog stick. The trick controls are definitely an improvement over previous iterations, but the simplicity of the system combined with the haphazard defending makes the game feel shallow and unrewarding after a while. Only dribbling will fill up your Game Breaker meter which is just not right. I would love to see more emphasis placed on defending and quick one-touch passing. As it stands right now, gameplay is pretty much one-dimensional.
So how does this game stack up overall? It's got to be the best FIFA Street to date. The presentation is exactly where it needs to be and deserves high marks. Gamers will be pleasantly surprised to find such a smooth and attractive game. Disappointingly, the gameplay feels only moderately better than the title's predecessors. There's definitely a lot of tweaking that still needs to be done before the game can be considered truly fun. The controls are too simple for any true depth, and while I like the attack-minded gameplay, I wish it wasn't attack-centric. I suppose it will due for a few laughs though. Thankfully, the game sells at the reduced, if not bargain, price of $49.99. World football fanatics should enjoy the title, but they will definitely be wishing for a lot more.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director