Whilst playing a game of FIFA 13 the other day I got thinking that I may have been too harsh on my review of it. Not that I was particularly condemning of course as I did score it as “good” after all, but the biggest things going against it was that EA had released two games in a very short space of time that were very similar – at full price – and that despite saying 13 on the box it was more like 11. But this is what I was going over in my head; it was basically FIFA 11 but on the Vita, albeit with a few omissions. Sure this in itself was a technical marvel? Perhaps I had been a little hasty with the score. After all, FIFA 11 was a great game. Back in 2010.
So here we are in 2013, that was all in the past and EA have had a year to work on refinements and improvements, right? This year we would get the game that we deserved, bought right up to date with a bang, a football title to be proud of – oh wait, what does this say? Legacy Edition? Maybe not then. Instantly reaffirming to me why I scored the game as I did before, if you already own a copy of FIFA on the Vita and were worried about the lack of news for the Vita version then perhaps your worst fears are confirmed. This is just a simple touch up job of FIFA 13. New kits and transfers aside it’s very much the same game. Right down to an identical trophy list, which is just lazy. If you are dead set on having everything up to date then you’ll be effectively forking out for a very expensive patch.
Conversely, if you have don’t have one of the previous versions and you are looking to get one this could be the version to go for. It’s very easy to be flippant and mark the game down out of anger – and there can be no denying that expecting full price for a game which has been surpassed three times now on the consoles is somewhat deplorable. And frustrating for me, since I have effectively written three reviews now for the same game, but I’m not likely to just copy and paste from the previous year.
So for the benefit of those that haven’t experienced FIFA on the Vita yet, if you are looking for a football game then you’ll be interested to know that you have a very playable experience here in the palm of your hands. Looking almost identical to console FIFA 11 with added touch screen functionality this is a great representation of the beautiful game. You can execute passes from the touch screen and shoot with the touch pad, your finger placement indicating the position you aim at in the goal. It quite nifty, but you will soon turn it off. With regards to game options, you have a choice of getting straight into a game, starting a career as a player and/or a manager, create a custom tournament and of course play others online. Plenty of teams, with official licenses and all that stuff. But it’s very difficult to be positive when you know that not only is so much content is missing, it’s just a paint job and nothing else. Closer inspection reveals that the stats haven’t even been updated and the game thinks that everyone is three years younger than they currently are. I could write more words in this review about what is missing than I could with what is there, with no Ultimate Team, no Pro Clubs, no Manager Mode, no Match Day, no Ball Skills, no Football Club, no replay uploading/saving and I could be here all day. But they still want the premium price for it.
If comprehensive manager modes are your thing, then you can always turn your attention to Football Manager Classic which is on the way from Sports Interactive, and I am certainly looking forward to that, but for everyday players that want to get hands on and play must be casting their eyes Konami’s way. We really need a Pro Evolution Soccer – or some sort of competition – to rival the series so that EA have to put more effort in. It’s great that they have supported the Vita with an iteration this year – especially when Madden and Need for Speed have been ignored – but by just changing the kits and squads and sticking a full price tag on the game is just treating gamers with complete contempt and I for one am not going to be grateful for that.
FIFA 13 is much cheaper and essentially the same game, but if transfers and kit changes are important to you then go for this. But we all know that the game will come down in price quite quickly at retail so I would suggest waiting, as there is no way I can justify the RRP for this, nor will I try to. Hopefully we will get something better for FIFA 15.