It was a bold move on EAâ€™s part to simply title this game FIFA Street, considering it is technically the fourth game in the franchise. But upon learning how far removed this game is to the original FIFA Street series, taking the line of the â€˜rebootâ€™ and forgetting the previous ones becomes logical.
While FIFA Street 3 (released early 2008) featured insane physics and grotesque caricatures of famous players, this latest rendition is based more firmly on reality. The ball isnâ€™t cemented to your boot-laces anymore and Peter Crouch almost looks like a human. This is all thanks to FIFA Street coming from the same studios who delivered us the near-perfect footballer, FIFA â€˜12. Their tiresome work in character animations, ball physics, and deft controls have all come together beautifully in FIFA Street.
Imagine the beautiful game as we know it, shrunk down to suit a pint-sized pitch and set in urban playgrounds. As kids, knocking a ball around the backyard or down a dark alleyway (we all did this right?), with half a dozen mates was football at its rawest. No referees, small goals made out of cans, and a bunch of kids trying to pull off moves they just saw in a Nike advertisement. FIFA Street brings all of this innocent, twinkle-toes magic together, while combining the actual sport of Futsal to give it a professional edge.
Because of the condensed playing surface and smaller team sizes, FIFA â€˜12 and FIFA Street play in a completely different manner. While passing and through passes remain intact, lobbing and shooting the ball have been tweaked to suit the reduced pitches. Veterans of its bigger, older sibling FIFA â€˜12 will need to adjust their usual playing style significantly.
Just like with normal Futsal, playing the ball along the ground direct to feet is key to quick and effective attacking play. Attempting to lob the ball, or even crossing it in front of goal, will often end up with lost possession and a quick counter attack.
The same goes for shooting, where accurate and light touches are more effective than attempting long range power shots. Especially due to the small goal sizes, which are a quarter (and sometimes even smaller again) than that of your traditional full-sized goal.
The changes in gameplay even filter down to the â€˜trick mechanicsâ€™, which are obviously a large part of FIFA Street. Although it still revolves around the right analogue stick and trigger, many players will find themselves having to adjust to the more complicated and much larger array of tricks available in FIFA Street.
As you would expect, most of the tricks in this game have no real place on a proper football field either. Weâ€™re talking double heel kicks, standing on the ball and rolling the ball between your shoulder blades. But unlike the previous Street title, all of these tricks are grounded in reality. There are no flaming power balls here. In fact, chances are half the population of Brazilâ€™s street kids can probably pull them off with ease.
While FIFA Street lacks the depth of FIFA â€˜12, it still packs in a decent amount of gameplay. The Freeplay Mode is broken down into four game types; 5 a Side, Panna Rules, Futsal, and Last Man Standing. The 5 a Side is self-explanatory, except the courts you play on are usually walled off, meaning there are no out-of-plays except for big deflections. The end result is frantic non-stop end to end football.
Panna Rules requires a serious amount of flair to your game as players are rewarded for pulling off tricks to pass opponents, with special bonus points for knocking the ball through their legs or using the walls to your advantage. The more opponents you successfully blitz past before scoring a goal amplifies how many points you score. As soon as a goal is scored, both teams have their trick count reduced to zero and the process starts again.
Futsal is the official sport of indoor (or half) football and takes place in proper arenas, with two five-man sides including a dedicated goalkeeper. In Futsal, positioning is more important with defending and attacking players keeping some light formations. Because of the keepers, the goal sizes are larger and wider, but still a quarter of the size of normal football goal mouths. There are also side lines where the ball can go out that restrict mad runs down the wings.
The last preset mode, Last Man Standing is probably one of the more interesting ways to play FIFA Street. Each side starts off with four players (no goalie) and, upon scoring a goal, the goal-scoring team loses a player. The game ends when all of YOUR OWN team have been eliminated, or thusly have scored 4 goals. As you can imagine, losing players gives your side a handicap so the end result is nail-bitingly close scrambles as you eventually get down to one on one showdowns.
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