FIFA Soccer 12 for iPad is the finest soccer game to date

Oct 17, 2011
Games

If you love soccer, or want to check out the latest big sports release for the iOS, FIFA Soccer 12 ($9.99) is for you. It has a dazzling array of features that could even turn the staunchest American football followers into fans of the beautiful game. If EA had simply tried to emulate the console […]

If you love soccer, or want to check out the latest big sports release for the iOS, FIFA Soccer 12 ($9.99) is for you. It has a dazzling array of features that could even turn the staunchest American football followers into fans of the beautiful game.

If EA had simply tried to emulate the console experience of FIFA 12 on an iPad, it might have been a decent game, but the developers did well to try to maximize what could be done on a portable device. The biggest of these, is the blending of traditional joystick button controls and touch-screen-specific ones. I’m not a big fan of on-screen joystick emulation, and don’t think it will ever be as good as what a current-generation console controller can be. That being said, the on-screen joystick and button layout for the iPad works great. At no time was I frustrated with a feeling of lack of good controls for my players. In addition to the more standard controls, swiping after a button press will alter its function to perform a special action, depending on the context of the situation. For example, swiping up after pressing the shoot button will modify the regular shot into a chip shot. This feature gave the developers an elegant way of supporting a dizzying number of ways to control the character or ball, without the need to take up screen space with eight or more buttons.

The only place where I felt the developers might be trying to do too much with the touch interface, was when touching to select a specific player on the field. For set pieces, this feature worked great and was a welcome addition. The main issue came during the run of play. It seemed too awkward to change hand positions to select a player to pass to during the heat of play. Maybe with more practice, this would get better, but the standard controls work so well, it probably won’t get another chance.

READ  Download Discounts for Apr. 18: Sudoku 2, Rogue Runner, MyFont

The visuals are what you might expect from an app of this caliber, which is to say, excellent. The stadiums and pitch are stunning, and are only topped by the fluid and natural player animations we have come to expect from EA. The only disappointment in the looks department is that of players’ faces. Popular players will certainly be recognizable, however, you shouldn’t expect the same amazing facial details as the console versions. Certainly, this would be a hardware limitation, rather than that of artists’ renderings.

While I’ve played many of EA’s FIFA titles for the current generation of gaming consoles, what probably strikes me the most about the latest iOS version, is how well it looks and plays compared with it’s beefier cousins. For a price that is one-sixth that of the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions, the casual fan will find a lot to love with this app. While more-seasoned fans might find the iOS version doesn’t replace their console copy, but makes an excellent portable version of the game they love.

Download the free Appolicious iPhone app

Search for more

Wayne Stuckey

After receiving his bachelor's degree in management information systems on planet Earth, Wayne decided to settle down and live there. He writes from the plains of the Midwest.

    Home Apps Games