To this day whenever I see another FIFA game come out I am always excited to pick it up and see how it plays. With the Nintendo Wii I am always curious how soccer games play out and how this FIFA game would play with the Wii remote and Nunchuk control scheme. It presents the newest idea in EA games on the Wii which is an All-Play mode designed for very casual gamers who don’t have to practice playing the game to be able to jump in and have a go with it. Can FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play utilize all that the Wii can offer a soccer game?
Lets start off with the new All-Play mode which is designed to allow people not as familiar with the Wii, controls a casual and fun gaming experience. Literally this is a very hands off approach, the movement on the field is controlled your job is to pass and shoot. I’m glad to see that the game didn’t force both players in a game to play in the All-Play mode as one could play in the Advanced-Play mode which worked out really well when I was playing some friends who were not as used to the controls as I was.
There is also the option to play a normal style game with eleven players on each side or to play a eight on eight game called Footii Party in which you can incorporate your own Mii character which makes for a little extra added fun. The mode isn’t amazing as you will probably prefer the original eleven on eleven style, but is something to help give it its “Everyone can play” feel.
Online play is back from last year and was definitely a fun experience. EA also put a lot of effort in the main Manager mode which can get a little repetitive, but is great for real FIFA fans. The game itself plays the same as previous years and doesn’t change much in the overall style of the game. You have the choice in the Advanced-Play mode to use the Wii Nunchuk which I always preferred when playing which allows you to not only use a point and shoot style game with the Wii Remote, but also the ability to control a players movements with the Nunchuk which I felt was needed in the game.
There are a few mini-modes that didn’t really do much to improve the game, but were nice add ons that also incorporated your Mii character. The controls don’t always work perfectly in the Advanced-Play mode, but the ability to aim the ball anywhere using the Wii Remote and swing to shoot worked well with a soccer game.
Graphically however, the game is definitely lacking especially in the eleven on eleven mode where most of the character designs are extremely bland. The in game play doesn’t look great, but some of the replays do manage to spruce things up a bit. Obviously getting into the HD-era doesn’t help Wii sports titles and the aging graphics show up in a big way in this game.
FIFA 09 All-Play is definitely designed to be a fun game for all fans of the franchise and some non gamers alike. It offers enough to not make the game too repetititive as I have found with other FIFA games, but after enough play really lacks a difficult experience and even when changing the difficulty levels the game remains fairly simple due to the focus on the All-Play mode. The true test comes when a hardcore soccer fan sits down with the All-Play functionality and enjoys it and that actually happens here.
Overall FIFA 09 All-Play is a very solid FIFA game that doesn’t stretch its boundaries too far to go out of the ordinary, but makes a pretty fun game. The All-Play mode allows a new audience to come and play a soccer game which I am sure Nintendo is pretty happy about. The only thing holding the game back from being amazing is the graphics and the lack of difficulty especially in the Advanced-Play mode. It is easily the best soccer game to grace the Wii thus far.