|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: EA Canada|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: March 13, 2012|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Ryan Rigney
It's been almost four years since the last FIFA Street, and apparently that's just enough time for EA to decide it's time to completely reboot the series and forgo adding a number to what would otherwise be known as FIFA Street 4.
One of the key differences between FIFA Street and its big brother FIFA 12 has to do with the number of players on the field at once. You won't encounter games with more than six to a side (including goalies). This is in keeping with traditional games with the "Street" tag, but also ensures that FIFA Street will play like a totally unique game. Just because you're awesome at FIFA 12 doesn't mean that your skills will carry over to FIFA Street, where the name of the game is tricks.
The game will also include a variety of fun modes that are almost minigame-like in nature. One such example is Panna, a one-on-one game in which players try to get a nutmeg on their opponent. It's expected that FIFA Street will also include some sort of variation of Futsal (a smaller, indoor version of the sport that requires tighter movement and ball control).
Like in previous games with the "Street" label, players will make heavy use of walls when dribbling down the urban pitches in FIFA Street. You'll be able to bounce your ball off the wall as a part of tricks, meaning that throw-ins and out-of-bounds will be far less important in this game than in traditional soccer simulators.
Graphically, FIFA Street won't have much in common with its cartoony predecessors. Also still technically stylized, Street's presentation will go for more grit than goof, and that philosophy will also be reflected in the gameplay, which EA promises will be a closer reflection of actual street soccer rather than the over-the-top arcadey madness prevalent in previous Street titles.
Other various features that will doubtlessly be slapped on the back of FIFA Street's box include the new "ATTACK" dribbling system and dozens of new tricks—allegedly twice as many as in FIFA 12. On top of that, Street will features hundreds of real-life FIFA stars from as many teams as playable.
In what seems like a strange PR move, the developers of this edition of FIFA Street are talking a whole lot of smack about how much better this game is than previous Street games. Speaking to Gamespot, producer Sid Misra said, "what you know of FIFA Street 1, 2 and 3, you can forget about it. What we really wanted to do is come out with the first truly great street football experience. There hasn't been one yet. FIFA Street 1, 2 and 3 barely tried, they came out kinda good and then a little bit into the experience, people kinda lost interest."
FIFA Street's development is being led by Gary Paterson, who is often credited with breathing new life into the once-ailing mainline FIFA franchise. He also recently directed FIFA 12, and since FIFA Street will run on FIFA 12's engine, there's probably no one better qualified to see this through.
Fun fact: I was somewhat decent at soccer back in my high school days. I even won my team's "best defender" award my senior year, but we were a high school team from southern Mississippi, so that's sort of like winning a beauty pageant in Antarctica. Regardless, I'm the type of guy that might actually buy FIFA Street instead of FIFA 12––half of my time playing soccer in my high school days was spent trying in vain to "rainbow" the ball anyway, so it'd be nice to actually be able to pull off the trick for once.
Date: January 25, 2012