FIFA Street 2
key review info
- Game: FIFA Street 2
- Platform: PSP
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Men like football! It's a well-known fact, it's one of the general truths of the universe. It's what we feed on, what we worship and NOT what women want. So, we need something to provide us this experience. EA has developed a habit of giving us the candy we want at the exact time we start drooling. I barely thought "What about a new street football game?" and there it was, shiny and new: FIFA Street 2. Let's play ball!
Football was invented in Great Britain by some people that were getting bored. Legends surround famous sports all the time, but how about a legend about a PSP game? Why don't we hear the kids saying something like "You've heard about the battle of Hastings? That was all about the bugs in the latest PSP Shooter." or "Do you know why Elvis died? He found out that there are no cheats for FIFA".
320 superstars thought that they were not cut for razorblade commercials anymore and said to themselves: "let's star in a video game!". Minigames are maxi fun. I saw others criticize the minigames calling them too short or not entertaining enough. I bet that they couldn't score at the sharpshooting minigame or they couldn't go for the goal from any of the colored tiles in the other minigames. You can gather SB points through an RPG system that allows you to increase your player's attributes, ranging from speed to accuracy or power. SB points also work like cash and allow you to "buy" glasses, hats, new cool outfits, or unlock venues and tournaments.
Customization was brought to the extreme. I never understood why there is such a need to mess around with my player's chin, lips, forehead or belly. My first character was almost an orc: a fat dude with thin feet, red hair and beard and huge ears. Imagine that guy with a hat or a pair of orange glasses. The circus is in town! If you're not familiar with the whole ball-playing phenomenon, there's a trick book for noobs that don't know how to perform a footroll, a pot of gold, a nutmeg or an inside out. Although these might sound like Irish dishes or something, they are very cool acrobatic moves that award you SB points and usually get the player past their adversaries.
Complete all the tricks in the trick book to unlock cool new playable venues. That won't be an easy task as I'm talking about 42 pages of tricks. Winter is coming, anyway, so there's plenty of time to deal with all of the unlockables.
Setup will provide modifications for the difficulty, the ball color, a little bit of head start for those that are either too good or too bad for their opponents. The event that will end the game is also a choice, as it may be the number of goals or time depletion.
When choosing a team, you'll view each country's flag and ratings next to them. Brazil and England surprised me with their 80 points. Are they that poor in street soccer? Leaving these two aside you'll be able to play ball with squads from France, Mexico, Nigeria, Germany, Greece or South Korea. It sums up to 20 countries to be more specific. If the tournaments or the strict gameplay got you tired and wanting more, there are minigames to be played. In Striker Mode you'll pick Beckham or whomever you fancy to score as many goals as possible in 2 minutes. The task changes in Sharpshooter mode where the goal (funny isn't it?) is to score goals from each of the 6 zones of the area that hosts your one-on-one play with the keeper. A remarkable aspect of the game is that it has no referee or the notion of fouling. It's street football after all and the street is you daddy now mister!
Gameplay is very fluid in FIFA Street 2 and the passes are usually accurate. The game brought me a certain arcade fighting game feeling. It might just have been the combos that are available when your player has the ball. Different combinations of buttons appear on the screen and you'll press those buttons because combos mean points and points mean unlocking new stuff and player abilities. When the player gets the ball, a red star (communism anyone?) appears at his feet signaling that he has the possession.
You'll be able to change the player by pressing the X button, tackle with the square or shoot with the circle. Oh, and I forgot to mention the triangle for the dribbles. L button plus the circle button equals a very strong bullet-time-like shot that has nice visuals and adds some strength to the whole footballing experience. Play in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Mexico City, Rome, Marseille, Rio de Janeiro, New York City or Berlin, or unlock more towns with the aid of the SB points. I created a player and I named him Kuku, similar name to the famous Brazilian player Kaka, but not nearly as good as that young fellow. The player will progress through the game starting with a junior reputation and reaching world fame and an almost Ronaldinho status.
Everyone wants to be a star, but you'll have to create your star in this game by modifying the body, head or kit of the player. Toy around with the skin color, height, tattoos, lips, nose, eyes, eyebrows or ears. You'll also be able to customize your team, by choosing its members or symbols. During the match, you'll see two combo bars under each team's flag and above the flag the number of SB points you got will be visible. Also, keep an eye out for the gauges that show how a combo is coming along, as they suggest the next move in order to achieve SB-s or score a beautiful goal.
You won't have much control over the keeper, and each ball kept will have a cool name: "one timer", "two timer" and you can pretty much guess the rest. You'll get the cool vibe of the game when you'll see players asking for passes or yelling at each other. A goal is worth 1000 points and a one-timer is 200 points, and this is just an example of point distribution in a regular match.
The game looks and feels good. Lots of licenses must have been bought as there are even many types of football gear. The gamer can change virtually any aspect of his player paying lots of attention to small details like lips or the length of the chin. The ball moves around in a funny way, as it jumps a bit too much and it's kind of small compared to the players. The setting is urban, and some cities are unlockables, as you play ball in the greatest cities of the world. The menu is user-friendly, covered in gray and with a pretty neat aspect. The ground where the match is played on has an urban setting, it's practically a metallic compound and you can see the cars around the area and the metallic bars.
Wondered about the soundtrack? It's basically house or trance music combined with lots of latino vibes, Brazilian, Spanish and other mariachis. When the opponent or you perform a slow-motion stunt that usually ends with a spectacular goal, you'll hear a cannon-shooting-like sound. The players' shouts can be heard as well as the actual sound made by a 500 dollar football shoe hitting a 1000 dollar ball. The goal however makes a funny metallic sound while a masculine voice screams "gooal"! You can hear a horn being blown each time you score and all those metallic sounds will induce a sort of medieval feeling. EA Pocket Trax is present in FIFA Street 2 with a cool music player and 39 songs. Each song will have the album written next to it. Party up!
Play against a friend or foe using ad-hoc mode and show the skills that you've gained by beating the world champions. Show your customized boys to your friends and prove them who's the best. Play one-on-one matches or tournaments and climb in the hall of fame that is available online. All the skills that you acquired in single-play and the venues will be available while playing through the WI-FI link.
FIFA Street 2 is a game that will provide you with hours of fun, but...that's all. It's not a masterpiece and it's not a regular FIFA game. It's on the edge of mediocrity, but it rises above it with its original way of handling a sport that has known nothing new for the past decades. It's also a more uninhibited game, having no referee, no fouls and practically no rules at all. It's football in the street, free football in the hood, football anywhere, anytime and with whomever you want.