FIFA Street 3 Xbox 360 Review
It’s not usual to tell a story when writing a review, but after the experience I had why trying to play, understand, and rate FIFA Street 3 I think painting a picture of my time with the game is the only way to give a fair view of why I gave it the slightly high score which you may now have already skipped to at the bottom of the page. Oh, and if you think that score is still low I was very close to giving it a 4, so you see an explanation is sorely needed
It was a dark January morning when I first got to play FIFA Street 3, when EA released a demo on the Live Marketplace. It was a small file, so I was able to start it, run of to get a quick mug of coffee and a Jaffa Cake, then have them consumed by the time it was downloaded. I was not rushing though, as I can’t say I was too excited due to the less than spectacular previous attempts the series has graced us with. However, I was willing to give the series another try, if only to see what the move to more powerful platforms would do. However, that positive out look did not do me much good as once again I was greeted by the returning less than spectacular AI and somewhat awkward controls. To put it bluntly I did not like the demo in any shape or form, and deleted it before that day was out, not bothering to check if there was a two player option in there or not.
Then, as the weeks went by, and the lanky Peter Crouch ridden adverts starting hitting the TV, the game was finally released and found its way into my hands to write this review. I was not very happy, as I already knew what to expect. I left the game aside for almost a day not bothering to touch it, but sometime after midnight on Friday night I ended up removing COD4 from its almost squatter like position in the 360’s disc tray and decided to give it a go. I had to after all, otherwise you would not be reading this story that would give Harry Potter’s adventures a runs for its money.
But still, regardless of the time I chose to play, even my lack of sleep could not hide the games still highly evident shallowness. The single player modes were just about acceptable. Meddling about with the practice mode to try and get a feel for the controls helped a bit. Afterwards I then dug my feet into FIFA Street Challenge – which is the games main career mode. It entertained for about a while, but was not enough to keep me up to late hours. To be truthful, I could not find much to love. Sure, the game was nicely packaged, presented well with the caricaturist recreations of the real life footballing stars been mostly a success, and it even boasted a few decent suitable EA Trax. But still, everything else bordered on archaic. If I was to write a review based of this one play session it would have undoubtedly been 1000 words reiterating to EA to try harder.
However, just like all great stories there was a twist at the end. Saturday night, after struggling through as much of the game as I could over the course of the day, just as I was about to put the now metaphorical pen to paper (AKA sit in front computer) to write this review, a mate of mine made an appearance. The review would now have to take a back seat for a while, so we booted up the 360, which to our surprised still had FIFA Street 3 inside – I had blanked it from my mind at this point. Then for whatever reason we agreed to give the game a go. After a short while, and to my huge surprise we actually seemed to be having some fun playing. Sure, the flaws of the game were still evident but we laughed our way through a few modes of the game, and probably played it more that night than anything else. The ‘Gamebreakers’ seem to mean more now that two players were involved, as was the race to build them by performing tricks. Tactics, although still minimal, could be used to help you try and win a tight match. Even the convoluted, over elaborate tricks and twirls seemed like they fitted better as we both tired to make a fool out of each other by dashing up walls and doing copious amounts of backflips. From there we even tired the online options to see would they have similar appeal, but they were not as entertaining as playing when gathered around a TV in the same room, which now seemed to be the game’s one big draw.
So in the end, no, it’s not a great game, and in it current form it will never be no matter how many versions EA release. We wish the ball would not stick to players feet, we wish the freestyle aspect was extended more, and we really just wish the whole game was better overall. However, at the very least it is a mighty step up from the lows of FIFA Street 2, which aggravated in so many ways. Not least with Ronaldinho’s big stupid head on the box art glaring out, almost mocking everyone that unfortunately ended up buying it. So at least that change is something to be pleased about. Still, that in no way makes it something worth spending the £40 RRP on, that’s for sure, and quite frankly neither does the somewhat entertaining multiplayer options. However, FIFA Street 3 could easily end up impressing as one of those titles that you’d rent for a weekend, grab a mate or two, plonk them down in front of the TV, and mess about for a few hours. I am there are worse ways to spend a weekend, I certainly experienced worse that’s for sure, but that’s a story best left for another day.
Fun, but not one to be played alone.