FIFA Soccer Review (PS Vita)
The Vita doesn't have many big box titles to fall back on, but FIFA Soccer is indeed one of them. FIFA on the Vita is a revolution, it is a handheld game which truly delivers a console like experience.
The gameplay for FIFA is best described as a less tight version of the console game.
It's much easier to boost past defenders to get in the open field, and play builds up in a very similar manner each time. This means that, given enough time, if you play the game long enough with a specific style each game will end up feeling quite similar.
I found the game a bit easier than the console edition as well, so for what it's worth you might play a level up after a bit.
Moving about the screen is actually a bit tougher to stay focused on than I'd like sometimes, if you have trouble staying focused and still you might have trouble following the action.
The game utilizes both the front and rear touch pad for passing and shooting respectively. The front touch pad is used for passing the ball by simply touching the screen where you'd like to pass the ball, this was hit or miss for me on accuracy and such. If you think of the rear touchpad as a soccer goal, and wherever you push is where you shoot (hold your finger down for stronger shots) then you get the idea of how it works.
I found both to be annoying personally because I would constantly accidentally pass (or shoot) the ball and holding the Vita in a manner where this didn't happen was just impossible. Some however, have found great joy in these controls from what I have observed, thus I'm going to say try them. But (thankfully) you can just turn them off if they aren't for you.
The AI is OK. You will still see your teammates and the computer do some really stupid stuff at times, but play builds up nicely and if you are lazy with your passes and such, the AI will take you down on the harder difficulty levels for sure. However, you will find pretty cheap exploits that can almost certainly result in automatic goals. This is the unfortunate side of FIFA Soccer on the Vita.
Despite these minor gripes, the game does play smooth and it plays a fun and somewhat balanced game of soccer. Despite how the game can sometimes be a bit 'too' easy, if you find a level that works for you -- you will find the Vita game offers a quite fun game of footy. The feeling of having the play build up and finally getting a goal delivered is a feeling that still feels absolutely amazing.
My recommendation is to try to avoid the exploits you will find within the game and to try to play the game in a realistic manner. If you do that and put forth the effort, your enjoyment level of the game will go way up.
There are a plethora of modes to keep you busy with the game. There is a exhibition mode, tournament mode (tournaments or leagues are played here) and a career mode which allows you to play as a player or manager as one of 500 clubs within the game.
This staggering amount of content will keep you busy for weeks, there is not much that is missing from the console edition within the game that I could find.
The gameplay is solid (albeit somewhat easy), the presentation is console quality and the modes are all straight ports from the console game. Simply put, FIFA Soccer on the Vita is a console sports gaming experience in your hands. It's not perfect, as the gameplay does have some problems being a bit 'too' easy at times and the game can sometimes be a bit hard on the eyes with the distant default camera angle.
However, FIFA Soccer is the first truly 'great' Vita sports title. You should give this game a shot, if for nothing else than to see what exactly the future might hold for the Vita.
Graphics: Very pretty. For the Vita, they look darned good. They aren't quite PS3 quality, but they're much better than say, a PS2 game.
Audio: The commentary is well done, the crowd noise is great and the rest of the package just works. Top notch effort
Controls: Easy to use, almost a carbon copy of the console edition. The touch screen controls are a revolution, but for rigid old schoolers like myself, they could be an annoyance.
Learning Curve: If you have played the FIFA series, there is no curve. If you haven't, probably a few games on the pitch will get you there.
Lasting Appeal: With Manager Mode, you could realistically play quite awhile before getting tired of the game.
Score: 8.0 (Great)