The 2009 installment in the top soccer playing franchise
Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
Released in 2008, FIFA 09--entitled FIFA Soccer 09 in the North American market--is the 16th installment of Electronic Arts' FIFA series of soccer video games. Apart from the Windows-based PC, the game was made available for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, and Zeebo. It is also available as a handheld game for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, N-Gage 2.0, and mobile phones.
FIFA 09 contains several improvements over previous iterations. Chief among them is the improved responsiveness of the controls. Players can release the ball quicker and display greater urgency in off-the-ball running. There's also a new jostle and collision system, which factors in the strength of each player involved in a head-to-head or shoulder-to-shoulder scenario. The goalkeeper AI is also revamped for better positioning, reactions to saves, and faster recovery after the performance of a save.
An online ten-versus-ten feature is included in FIFA 09's "Be a Pro" mode. This means that up to 20 players--10 on each team--can link up to play online.
Like previous versions, this FIFA entry gets an incremental improvement in its graphics and animation as well as the sound effects and crowd noises.
Gameplay can be occasionally monotonous, especially for gamers who are not die-hard soccer fans. Also, the AI can be spotty. This is best evidenced by sideline negotiation in which the opposition either lets passes they could easily stop cross the sideline or dribble it out of bounds. Such scenarios are unbecoming of players that are billed as professionals.
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