Follow the four-on-four footy action that offers a dash of urban style as we hit the pavement with FIFA Street.
The first installment in EA Sports Big's "street" series, NBA Street, seemed like a natural. After all, there's a vibrant street basketball scene in cities throughout the US, where flashy players and slick moves are as big a part of the game as the final score. Street basketball begged for a video game translation. The two NFL Street games, on the other hand, seemed a bit forced, as if they were shoehorning the NFL into the showy style of the games. You might think the same could be said about soccer, a sport that has a staid reputation here in America. As the most popular sport in the world, however, soccer is admired whether played on or off the pitch. EA Sports Big's latest effort, FIFA Street, looks to combine the international appeal of the beautiful sport with the hip urban vibe of its Street series. We recently hit the pavement with FIFA Street to see how it was progressing toward its late February release.
As in other Street series titles, the rules are thrown out the door in FIFA Street. Offsides penalties are impossible, tackling is encouraged, and showboating is required. The four-on-four format means you'll need to choose your squad carefully before entering a match. All player positions are accounted for in FIFA Street, from defender to midfielder to forward, and each player has different attributes for you to choose from. Defenders and midfielders, for example, are generally strong tacklers, while forwards naturally tend to favor speed and shot accuracy. You can mix and match your players as you see fit, but focus too much on one particular attribute and you'll give up capabilities elsewhere.
FIFA Street's main modes include quick game, friendly match (which, unlike the quick game mode, uses team ratings to differentiate between powerhouses like Brazil and England and mediocre squads like the US and Australia), rule the street, and star team option, where you build a four-man dream team of real-life footy all-stars from around the globe. Looking to unite Thierry Henry with David Beckham and Wayne Rooney? Now you can.
Most players will take directly to the rule-the-street mode, as this is where the game's real meat lies. Essentially a career mode, rule the street allows you to create a player and team from scratch so you can work your way up the ranks by playing a number of pickup and tournament games on the 10 global street venues found in the game, from New York City, to Amsterdam, to Rio de Janeiro. Creating a character is easy and intuitive, though doing so here is not as deep or involving as doing so in titles like Fight Night Round 2 or last year's Tiger Woods.
Once you've created your virtual soccer identity, you'll need to fill out the rest of your roster with a goalie, defenders, midfielders, and forwards from a number of preset players. Each available player has an overall numerical rating associated with him that's based on his combination of attributes, which include speed, tackling, shot power, and accuracy. Which players you choose to take to the field will affect your team's overall rating. In many of the early games found in FIFA Street's rule-the-street mode, you'll find yourself outmatched from a talent standpoint and will need to rely on your gameplay skills to prevail. Luckily, you'll be able to upgrade your team's roster after just a few wins.
There are several match types in the rule-the-street mode: "kick abouts," which are pickup games against rival teams; upgrade squad matches, where you play against an opponent to steal his star talent for your roster; and the actual rule-the-street games, which are tournament matches where you prove your championship worth at each location found in the game. Only by winning these tourneys can you unlock alternate venues. Each match win in this mode, however, will earn you credits, known as "skill bills," that you can use to upgrade the attributes of your created player, purchase entry into tournaments, or unlock chances at new upgrade squad matches. Wins will also earn you rep points, which gauge your progress through the mode. As your reputation increases, so too will the level of talent you face, always ensuring you have a challenge on your hands. Finally, as you make your way through the game, you'll also unlock new items for your kit, such as hats, sunglasses, jerseys, shorts, and more, all of which can be used to customize any player on your squad.
- Release Date: Feb 22, 2005 (US)