FIFA 08 - Impressions of the FULL version (PS3)

Miki23

Club Supporter
As with every year, here in Australia we get Fifa usually up to couple of weeks before the rest of the world... God knows why, every other game comes in late.

I have collected my copy this morning and had a good play through most of the modes and instead of doing a proper review, I'll do a reference back to the demo and briefly comment on new things.

Overall, if you liked the demo, you'll ABSOLUTELY LOVE the full version. If you disliked the demo, you should give a full game a try for sure.

There were two major things that I didn't really like in the demo... some slowdowns/stuttering during corners and whenever there were lot's of players on screen, and lack of responsiveness of players...

PRESENTATION:
Well, the full version plays as smooth as a silk. 60fps, 720p only (back of the box of Xbox 360 version says 720p/1080i). So even though the game is not in 1080p like UCL was, the game still looks incredible. Most importantly is that the game never skips a beat. Having said that, not all cutscenes run smoothly, and those that are choppy are not as bad as the demo. So from graphics perspective (if we exclude cut scenes) the game is an absolute stunner. It is slightly disappointing to see cutscenes still not on par, but I'm sure most people skip them anyway.
Nets seem to have been tweaked too. I haven;t seen a ball getting "stuck" to it like it was a spider web, and they also seem more springy... However, nets are still not as good as PES' or Football Kingdom for example.

Demo had only one stadium, FIWC stadium, and it gave an OK indication of lighting engine during day matches. Some other stadiums look incredible... Night maches look really good. Better than UCL in my opinion, more realistic. The atmosphere is exceptional.

Sound is as good as it has always been with Fifa. Martin Tyler and Andy Gray do best commentary job ever in any video game to date. It is simply outstanding.

GAMEPLAY:
Now to the important bits. Gameplay has been tweaked. Especially is noticeable the responsiveness of the players. It is still not perfect, but is bloody close. Seriously, the first impression I've got as soon as I kicked off the very first match was that controls are tighter, players more responsive and that the game was 'easier' to play. After a few games I went back and started the demo... and goodness me, it was really different and irresponsive.
I think that poeple will like the controls and responsiveness. Like I said, there is still room for improvement, and they are not as tight as PES, but much much much improved from before.

A word of wisdom - READ THE MANUAL as it has some excellent points on controls. For example, you need to position the left stick to the side in order to give a swerve to your free kicks/corners/shots. However, this MUST be done WHILE YOU ARE PRESSING THE SHOT BUTTON. If you do it after the power bar has stopped, the shot will be just normal shot.
Another good tip was that all players by default "chase the ball" (EA fancy way of saying that players are on "rails"). So, by pressing L2 and R2 after the pass/cross etc... you can move players freely. And it works better than in a demo.

There are some other good tips, so have a looksy in the manual, it's worth it.
Another one was that game should be played using jogging mainly, not sprinting or with pace control. This gives far more opportunities to change your pace suddenly/or execute a trick move which gives you the edge over opponent then if you sprint constantly.

There are 5 difficulty settings: Amateur, Semi-Pro, Professional, World Class and Legendary.

MODES:
Be a pro mode is REALLY awesome and addictive. I had reservations about it, but I found myself really enjoying it. Camera works very well. I can see huge potential for online matches!!!

Manager mode is pretty much the same, you pick a team, a sponsor etc... The only addition is 3 currencies: Euro, Pound and Dollar.

Cup Mode is really what you expect, plenty of real world cups.

Challenges - I haven't tried any nor have I checked which challenges are there... YET :)

I haven't been able to test the game online and try new online modes as EA servers are not up and running, but I have no doubt that game will play with no lag as was the case with 07.

Fan shop gives the opportunity to purchase new footballs, 3rd kits, New arenas and players to play in arena, and celebrations.

CONCERNS:
The game isn't perfect and there are things that could have been ironed out.
My biggest concern are referees. There are not enough fouls in the game, and it seems like Ref favours very physical game. Even after sliding tackles, you are not guaranteed a foul. (This is quite a paradox, as ad boards have Fifa Fair Play all over them).

However, the rest are minor things, nitpicking really, and don't destroy overall good impression. These are:
- There are some clipping issues when crossing the ball. Sometimes, the player's foot goes through the ball.
- GK A.I. made some really ackward decisions couple of times (out of 40 or so matches). Not a biggie but still noticable.
- There are only a few ad boards in the game. Three of Fifa (Fair Play, Anti Racism, and Fifa.com), rest are EA sports, Fifa08.com, Need for Speed and that's about it. More variety would have been nice, especially since traditionlly Fifa has lots of these.
- Choice of sponsors in manager mode is SHOCKING... Seriously, whoever made up the list of sponsors is a shocker. Luckily sponsors in the game are just a gimmick.
- There are some quite good international teams missing, like Serbia for example.


Overall conclusion is that this is by far the best Fifa ever. And not just best Fifa, I'd argue that this is one of the finest football games I ever played (and I'm hard to please). The pace of the game is perfect in my oppinion, controls are responsive and quite complex (more variety), gameplay very addictive and extremely enjoyable, incredible physics engine, there are plenty of modes to keep the game going for a while (new online/offline modes), challenges, fan shop, awesome audio visuals, licences... Not sure what else we can ask for from a football game...

In my world, this is a strong 9/10 without any hesitation.

Post any questions if you have them, in case you can't wait until you play the full game.

Cheers.
 

Relica

Club Supporter
Thanks Aussie friend! Please could you confirm if the game is easier on semi pro than the demo version.

Five difficulty levels and the demo was a good challenge on the second settings.
 

fitba

Youth Team
Thanks for taking the time to review your copy of the game, Miki23.

One question - when the ball goes out of play and you make a substitute, do your substitutes come on the field at that time or does the game wait for the next stoppage in play?

TIA.
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
nanny;2406849 said:
man WTF, i live in AUS and they told me i gotta wait till 27th! what city do you live in?

Melbourne.

I picked up mine at EB Games in Elizabeth St.
 

Genesis6891

Club Supporter
Soo as far as modes go, again you cant just play through a season with a team? Is there no way of playing this game through seasons without having to deal with the silly manager thing they insist on putting into it every year?
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
@ leafer01 and roberthan – I’ll let you guys know as soon as I get home (I’m at work now, it’s around 9am in Aussie)

@ fitba – You have to wait for a next stoppage in a play. At least I haven’t noticed “on the go” subs.

@ relica – Yes the game is easier on semi-pro than demo. Not sure if the reason is that I got used to playing demo and now with tweaked controls it feels easier or whether EA deliberately, “dumb”-ed it down. Professional feels like the demo to me. Haven’t tried WC or Legendary yet.


@ Genesis 6891 – Hmmm, that’s a good question. I’ll double check this tonight. I know there is new tournament mode where you can play Cups, but not sure if there are leagues in there too. I’ll let you know tonight.
 

Genesis6891

Club Supporter
Cheers buddy! I just hated the way that you couldnt just enjoy playing through seasons with the proper squads and players without getting stupid instructions to sell and buy players and get bonus points for this or that...just have a simple 'Progressive seasons' mode or somethin!
 

fitba

Youth Team
Thanks for the reply, Miki23.

I know it'a a minor gripe, but I think it sucks that FIFA 08 does not have "on-the-go" subs. EA had it on UEFA CL for next gen, why not for FIFA 08? Oh well...I'll still be buying the game.
 

cfdemarco

Reserve Team
So are the Cups only in "Cup Mode" or do you still get to play in cups in manager mode? And do we actually get Champion's League and UEFA Cup in manager mode or just generic European cups?
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
cfdemarco;2407190 said:
So are the Cups only in "Cup Mode" or do you still get to play in cups in manager mode? And do we actually get Champion's League and UEFA Cup in manager mode or just generic European cups?


"Cup mode" is called "Tournament mode". It consists of wide variety of real life tournaments. I'll flick through it tonight and write up a list of all that is there. P.S. If you read IGN review, they refer to UEFA Cup, so it must be in the game!!!

There are Cups in manager mode as well. One of my first games in manager mode was a cup game, so I'm positive they are in.


P.S. I'm not saying that "on the go" subs are not in the game, it's just that I haven't noticed them yet... I played mainly exhibition games to check out the stadiums, graphics, gameplay etc... I've only played 2 games in a manager mode, couple of games in be a pro, and Italian Cup game.

Two other things I forgot to mention are:
- There is a "creation zone", but I haven't had a chance to look through it.
- You can update squads from EA servers.
 

roberthan

Club Supporter
i heard only 24 real name stadiums and 4 generic?
is it true?
no white hart lane??
and whats those 4 generic stadium? UK what?
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
roberthan;2407233 said:
i heard only 24 real name stadiums and 4 generic?
is it true?
no white hart lane??
and whats those 4 generic stadium? UK what?

You are right mate, no White Hart Lane...

Here's the full list in alphabetical order:
1. Allianz Arena
2. Anfield
3. Bay Arena
4. Camp Nou
5. Delle Alpi
6. Div One - Euro (generic)
7. Div One - UK (generic)
8. Div Two - Euro (generic)
9. Div Two - UK (generic)
10. Emirates
11. Estadio Azteca
12. Eastaio de Las Artes
13. Eastaio Mestalla
14. Eastaio Vicente Calderon
15. FIWC Stadium
16. HSH Nordbank Arena
17. Millenium Stadium
18. Old Trafford
19. Olympiastadion
20. Parc des Princes
21. San Siro
22. St. Jame's Park
23. Stade Gerland
24. Stade Velodrome
25. Stadio Olimpico
26. Stamford Bridge
27. Veltins Arena
28. Wembley Stadium
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
Genesis6891;2407066 said:
Soo as far as modes go, again you cant just play through a season with a team? Is there no way of playing this game through seasons without having to deal with the silly manager thing they insist on putting into it every year?

There are no official leagues outside Manager mode, however within tournaments menu you can set up a knockout or league type of tournament... potentially, this way you can set up a whole season without manager mode.
 

Biebrich 02

Senior Squad
you can also play manager mode without doing anything else than just playing. that's what i usually do, i'm also not interested in buying players, scouting, sponsoring etc.
 

Miki23

Club Supporter
leafer01;2406859 said:
can you tell me what teams are in "rest of the world" please?

Here's the list mate:
1. AC Lugano
2. AEK Athens
3. ARKA Gdynia
4. Boca Juniors
5. Chaux-de-Fonds
6. FC Lausanne
7. Fortaleza
8. Gornik Leczna
9. Kaizer Chiefs
10. Mamelodi FC
11. Olympiacos CFP
12. Orlando Pirates
13. PAOK
14. Pogon Szczecin
15. Polonia Waszawa
16. Ponte Preta
17. River Plate
18. Santa Cruz
19. SAO Caetano
20. Wisla Plock
21. Classic XI
22. World XI
 


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