FIFA 07 Soccer

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FIFA 07 Soccer
Game: FIFA 07 Soccer
Platform: Xbox 360
Studio: EA
Rating: 7/10

GAME DESCRIPTION: With the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ over and the glamour of international football fading fast, players like Ronaldinho, Rooney and Kaka have now gone back to their day jobs of winning glory for their club in EA SPORTS™ FIFA 07.

From the first whistle, FIFA 07 throws you into the rollercoaster ride of a football season and the intense stadium atmosphere of every home and away match.
Relish every satisfying victory over bitter rivals and live through every gut-wrenching poor performance at home. Savour the spine-tingling stadium atmosphere, home and away, as your team battles their way up the league table. Listen as your supporters chant your players’ names and bellow all the rousing club songs through rain and shine.
You have the power to shape your club’s destiny in the EA SPORTS™ Interactive Leagues [F.A. Premier League, Bundesliga, French League, Mexican 1st Division], a new online mode that enables you to pit your club against supporters of your real-world opponents. Play your games according to the real-world schedule. When they play, you play. Track your team’s progress as the aggregate results determine your club’s position in the league table. Now you actually take to the pitch for the glory of your club.
New intelligent AI ensures that your 11 men on the pitch make realistic decisions, finding space and passing like professionals. A complete overhaul of the game engine now means that you have to employ real world tactics, make realistic decisions and think like a player in order to win matches.

Take on the updated and improved challenge of the Manager Mode. Player values and wages have been tuned to be even more realistic. Managerial decisions have even more tangible effects on player performance and welfare. Smarter CPU decisions mean rival managers are even more strategic in their own pursuit of silverware.

This is the season where you make the difference! FIFA 07, rated “E” (Everyone), is available October 2006.

Key Features
* SOCCER EMOTION: The crowds react to your performance. Goals and possession result in rousing chanting as momentum builds for your team but dips to a frustrated murmur if you’re struggling. The camera focuses on those players who wear their emotions on their sleeve.
* EA SPORTS™ Interactive Leagues: Represent your club online against your rivals throughout the season in the F.A. Premier League, Bundesliga, French League or Mexican 1st Division. When they play, you play. Win and drive your club closer to glory. Lose and see your team plummet to the bottom of the table. Weekly podcasts include user interviews that broadcast your glory to the world.
* IMPROVED GAMEPLAY: Passing and positioning have all been enhanced. Players jostle and collide realistically while trying to win balls. New ball physics accurately recreate bouncing, skidding and topspin. Signature moves and playing styles for the stars have been authentically captured.
* SET PLAYS: Use the left analog stick to apply topspin or backspin to the ball for more creative set plays and finesse shots.
* NEW SHOOTING MECHANICS: Experience a more sophisticated shooting mechanic. Keep your composure on the pitch and on the pad. On the pitch, find the space to take that touch to control the ball. On the pad, take care not to overpower your shot and blast it into the stands.
* ADVANCED GOALKEEPER AI: Goalkeeper intelligence is authentic, with true-to-life reactions and a greater variety of deflections and saves.
* ENHANCED MANAGER MODE: Everything is real. Real money, youth player development, press and fan reaction. Immerse yourself completely in the world of a soccer manager. New this year – create your own club.
* SOCIAL GAMING: Play against up to eight friends in the FIFA 07 LOUNGE to determine your champion. A new handicap system levels the playing field in the ultimate pursuit of bragging rights.
* COMPLETE AUTHENTICITY: FIFA 07 features 27 leagues from 20 nations. Over 510 teams are accurately represented with correct kits and badges.
* ONLINE EVERYWHERE: Never again miss any news with the ultimate sports ticker. While online, breaking news, live scores and results are delivered straight to your screen, 24/7.

PLAY: The 07 release of FIFA Soccer from EA is a full-fledged 360 release. This isn’t another port from an Xbox or PS2 release. The biggest issue is that some of the game feels better and while some seems completely broken. Sadly the game has also left some of the better aspects behind.

One of the most brilliant aspects of the game is the ball physics. The ball bounces off bodies, heads, and legs with a wild realism. It’s fun to watch a ball fly through the air and nail an unsuspecting player in the head. Even the players feel more realistic. The player movements don’t get stuck in an animation which usually makes you lose temporary control through the animation sequence. Another needed aspect of gameplay is the fact that the computer AI seems to have been tweaked even more realistic. If you are in position and your defender isn’t you can take advantage and scoot right past them. But that goes both ways. If you take a bad angle you’ll get left behind.

The problem isn’t moving the ball around—it’s scoring. It’ll make you crazy if you take a shot on goal with a player that isn’t a star and consistently shoot wide. Balls fly all over the place without rhyme or reason. Even when you feel like you are going to hit dead on it still goes high or wide and without being obvious as to why. If the player has a high shooting ability it’s not nearly as frustrating, but for the less than stellar player it’s a major headache. Passing isn’t much better as the physics does bounce the ball off players but even worse it doesn’t go where you are directing the ball.

GRAPHICS: This is where you’d expect a rebuild to make significant leaps from the previous versions of FIFA for the Xbox 360. Before the players resembled their real-life counterpart but here everyone seems to have a generic cartoon body.

SOUND: The soundtrack is never an issue with an EA release. The commentary on the other hand is unbearably. The commentary for FIFA 06 is far superior to this. They offer nothing—you’re better off listening to anything other than the commentators.

FRANKLY: Our only hope is that FIFA 08 takes a major leap forward from here. It’s not a disaster. It has the making of a great future but the game physics have a ways to go. If anything, 07 feels like a beta version and honestly it could have been much, much better.

+ Richie Wright

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