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FIFA Street 3 Package Art
GENRE
Extreme Sports
DEVELOPER
EA Sports BIG
PUBLISHER
Electronic Arts
LOCAL WIRELESS
MULTI-PLAY
Yes
Wi-Fi/GLOBAL ONLINE
MULTI-PLAY
Yes
MICROPHONE
No
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FIFA Street 3

Ever since the introduction of NBA Jam, almost every sport has driven up the arcade aspects and extreme factors while neglecting the slower parts of the game. FIFA Street 3 strips the amount of players per team to four and bumps the tricks up to include off-the-wall passes and vortex spins. Players will choose their favorite superstar, whether it’s Freddy Adu or Ronaldinho, and compete in specific challenges to up their street credibility. Packed with insane moves and Game Breakers -- super moves that essentially guarantee goals -- the title hopes to meet hardcore and casual soccer fans alike.

visuals

FIFA Street 3 breaks from a realistic approach to visuals and aims for a more simplistic and almost carton style, which works well because of solid character design and a steady 60 frames per second framerate. In general, character animations were smooth, except for some strange goalie movements. While shooting, the goalie appears to dive and block your shot, but then he magically disappears and the ball hits the back of the nets. On a positive note, the fields sport touches of graphical polish, from the dirt in Africa kicking up during shots to the cracking concrete in Miami beach.

Even with the smooth framerate and detailed fields, the presentation seems unpolished. The title attempts to present an urban aesthetic, but fails during the Game Breaker sequences and Kick Up mini-game. For Game Breakers, players will tap the lower screen to pull off their super move, while the slow-motion, stylish action appears on the top screen. Unfortunately, players will be too focused on the dull, boring bottom screen to notice what's going on up top. Both Game Breakers and the Kick Up mini-game zooms in on your superstar’s character, which displays the imperfections and pixels of the polygonal character. Why not change up the presentation for this side task, offering a more stylish appeal and different graphical option, such as cutscenes? Overall, the game runs well, especially for a portable, yet more enthusiasm in the design could have potentially made this title stand out.

audio

EA Trax returns for this third iteration, but lacks the diversity and assortment of music presented in the console editions. Players will hear six different tracks for the title, which will become extremely repetitive after only an hour. This fails miserably in representing its console brethren, which consist of close to 40 songs. In addition, the music is basically the only thing going for the title, which obviously is not saying too much. Where is the announcer that screams “GOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL” after I head a ball in during the final seconds? Obviously, the audio depth on this title is severely lacking with these omissions.

gameplay

This soccer title encourages gamers to break away from traditional buttons and embrace stylus controls. Instead of button combinations, players will draw up and down or side to side for characters to perform specialty tricks, such as the bacon and eggs. These stylus controls work in conjunction with the d-pad and left shoulder button, and for the most part, will be competent enough for most matches with about an hour learning curve. However, you may become overly frustrated trying to volley or head in shots, as timing becomes difficult and the strokes take longer than simple presses of the A or B button. These moves are not integral to most of the game, but one of the later challenges requires mastery of the aforementioned shots. This will lead to much yelling and shaking, as the skills will be there, but the controls will not.

These stylus controls are put through their paces during the Street Challenge mode, which is the predominant feature of the title. Players will be given certain tasks, such as beat an opponent by at least 5 goals or win a tournament by scoring 60,000 trick points in each match, to gain more reputation points to unlock new missions. The assignments start off with good variety, but after about the two-hour mark, the overall mode becomes more boring and less fun. There are a ton of these challenges that will keep gamers kicking for over ten hours, but the length of playtime is unnecessary when it becomes more of a chore than actual entertainment. You may find yourself beating most contests with a simple formula of trick, pass and trick, to build up your Game Breaker. Once your Game Breaker meter is filled, you must tap to an onscreen display to score the goal. While maybe a good idea in theory, the actual execution, once again, is yawn-inducing and leaves more to be desired. These special moves should bring excitement out of the player and leave us feeling like we really accomplished a goal (no pun intended), yet instead become monotonous in each match.

Along with the main mode, players can embark in a Kick Up side game, which harkens back to the Elite Beat Agents gameplay. Gamers will tap points onscreen to the music that will keep your superstar juggling. This is an entertaining short diversion, but doesn't last because of the small play list. It is, however, something that should be explored further in future sequels. Even with this hidden gem, the game leaves too many questions unanswered. Why are the main incentives to keep playing items, such as new Adidas-branded outfits and colored soccer balls, when the graphics lack detail to decipher the details? Why can’t gamers create his or her own superstar instead of having to pick a current player? Why aren't the controls better? Hopefully, these issues will be addressed in the future editions.

multiplayer

Players are able to venture onto Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to battle online or through local play using single-card and multi-card matches. All play well enough, with the large list of teams and fields readily available; but unfortunately, for single-card downloads, the smooth framerates found in the solo game hiccup. The single-card download is a pleasant addition, but players are recommended to find someone else with the game or test their skills online.

overall

FIFA Street 3 should encompass a wider audience of soccer fans because of its over-the-top antics and high-scoring matches. The stylus controls should differentiate the title from its console counterparts. The nature of the title should allow for players to create their superstar in ruling the streets. However, the title comes up short in every department or ignores them completely. Hardcore soccer fans may appreciate the slick moves or smooth framerate, but for most gamers out there, there’s a slew of more engaging titles to juggle.

final score 5.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Evan Campbell
Staff Profile | Email
"Real men don't fight — they sing!"


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