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FiFa 2011 is the latest and recent edition of EA Sports football game, EA Sports releases a newer version of FiFa series every year along with their other sports game series. The prettiest thing is that it was also released for the PS2 platform despite the fact that PS3 and Xbox 360 have already taken over the gaming world. I bought this game within the first few weeks of its release and started playing it immediately along with brother. There were many improvements in this version when compared to its previous 2010 release.
The controls are pretty much the same; nothing new is implemented here except for a few additional tricks to perform. An extra set of controls is added for the goalkeeper since there is a new mode in this version called “Be a Keeper” where we can control the goalkeeper. There are separate controls for dive, punch or catch, anticipation save, charge, slide and so on. Or you can also use the right stick for a quick attempt to save the ball.
There are slight improvements in graphics from its previous edition starting with the audience; there are few improvements in the graphic details of the audience. Then the graphic of some popular players like Ronaldo, Messi have been improved to make them look more unique. Of course it’s impossible to bring out the exact facial for all the players. The In game graphics is also improved, now the ball can be seen very clearly, tackles made are very much visible and the players dribbling, kicking & heading the ball is also very clear now.
This is part where this edition has shown a lot of improvement. They have added a new feature called personality+ which means special players like Messi, Ronaldo, Van Persie, etc have incredible control over the ball when compared to other players. I was able to experience this clearly when I was controlling the ball with Messi, it was at such ease to dribble the ball with Messi. The secondary attributes also plays an important role in this edition, it works for real in this edition whereas in the previous edition it was quite hard to feel it. For example, when comparing secondary attribute “short passing ” between Messi and Ronaldo, Messi has the highest and its easily felt when we make a short pass with both the players, Messi makes and receives a short pass with much more accuracy when compared to Ronaldo whereas Ronaldo has more shot power and his shots fly like a rocket whereas Messi mostly scores only with first touches since he has less shot power. The same apply for all types of passes, the pass accuracy of higher attribute players are way better than the rest of the other players. In the same way defenders like Terry, Puyol are very aggressive compared to other since their “Strength” attribute is high, they can just make another player fall and roll over with a slight block itself. Injury chances are high whey these kinds of players mistime a tackle. Also it’s hard to score against goalkeepers with high “Reflexes” attribute. Goalkeepers are very intelligent in this edition; they are very agile and capable of making unbelievable saves when their positioning and momentum is high. These smaller improvements just make the game more interesting to play.
Tricks play an important role in every football game according me. I believe if one can master all the tricks then it becomes so easy to score goals. There are a couple of tricks included in this edition but the main difference is that there are a few tricks that can be performed by only highly attributed players. Such tricks are usually an advanced version of a simple basic trick but require high skill attributed to perform it on the field. The main thing of using the tricks is the timing at which I perform a trick, if I time a trick exactly the chances of beating the defender and scoring are very high.
There is a new mode added in this edition which the “Be a Goalkeeper“where we can play as a goalkeeper. Our only work will be to correctly position the keeper according to where the ball keeps moving, and then we can attempt saves, charge against players, and anticipate shots and much more. But I feel this new mode is not needed at all, since you get only 4 to 5 chances to defend your goal but the rest of the time you have to idle. This will be good during online play, but definitely an unwanted inclusion according to me.
Then there are some new features included in the career mode, I can play as pro where I can control only a single player. The rest of the team plays automatically but I can request a short pass, cross, through pass anytime when the ball is with my teammates, I can even force my teammates to take a shot at the goal when they are in the right position to do so. I must carry out the season in this fashion, I will gain fame slowly among the fans as I keep winning and performing well for my team. If I perform badly I will warm the bench sometimes and if I perform really well I can get a place in the national side. These things give an edge to the Pro career and make it interesting to play.
The Coach career is a bit different where I have to take up the role of coaching my team and make them perform well. I have to look into injuries, improve certain skills of certain players and much more. I do not prefer this career mode much because I think it’s sort of boring to play.
This the best part of the career, the Manager mode. It has lot of things to do; first I should sign up a contract with a team from a list of offers. Then prepare the team with the best playing 11, subs and reserves. I should then sign a contract with a sponsor of my choice and set up a few friendly matches before the start of the season to test out my team. The team bosses will put up some requests which I should achieve with my team. I will have full control over the team; I can give a chance for some unknown fresh players from the youth academy or scout for fresh players around the world. I will have a budget, with which I should manage my team salaries, staff developments, scouting, and stadium extension and so on. I get a bonus for every win from the team’s sponsors. My fame level will increase if I keep winning matches, tournaments, cups and so on. I will be asked some questions by the media at the end of some matches; I will come up with some team issues which of those I should handle carefully without any damage, for the team, bosses and my job. I can even make transfer deals during transfer season and sign new players to the team, sell some payers from my team and even hire a player to another team for a few matches. These things make the manager mode my favorite career mode.
To conclude, this game is a must for every PS2 owners. Up to 6 players can play at a time which makes this game ideal to spend some time gaming with some of our friends, it’s so much fun when playing multiplayer but online multiplayer is a different scenario. Overall I love this game and hope EA release its next edition in PS2 platform also.