Flip Flap, Ginga Roulette and Panna are just a few of the skills some of us learned today in the new Xbox 360 and PS3 small-sided football sim, FIFA Street (FS).
A lucky few, including myself have been making the most of our EA Season Tickets and have played the game all-week-long.
Let’s talk Street
The full game was released on Tuesday in North America but Europeans and everyone else had to wait until today to test their street skills.
I progressed to Stage 3 (of 4) of the World Tour game mode on the Early Release of FIFA Street with my squad of friends’ virtual pros and my players are rapidly improving.
I am not the sort of person who leaves things unfinished so I just had to buy the full game today to complete the World Tour and maximise each of my players’ attributes.
World Tour, which you can play offline or online, provides a satisfying story mode to get your Futsal studs in to and due to its variety and immersive nature, is my favourite mode so far.
For me, the most enjoyable trick you can subject an opponent to is the ‘Panna’ or ‘Nutmeg’.
It is more realistic than some of the rainbow flicks you can do and it is arguably the most humiliating as well as being fairly easy to pull off if you get the timing right.
Online Team Play can be hugely fun or horribly frustrating, depending on how ‘sweaty’ your opponents are and how skilled you and your virtual pro are.
Several gamers, such as Skoldie have complained that some people they face online rarely, if ever, attempt to use skills, choosing instead to go for easy tap-ins and say that people are ignoring the intended spirit of the game.
In my opinion, you should only buy FS if you want something different to FIFA 12.
Using tricks to out-wit your opponents is what FS was designed for – if all you care about is winning no matter how ugly you play then maybe stick to FIFA 12.
Other game modes you might like, which give you something you cannot find in FIFA 12, are Panna Rules and Last Man Standing.
You normally play two versus two, however, you can play a one-on-one if you create an offline custom match.
You get three points for a panna, two for an air beat and one point for a simple ground skill beat.
I have only played on hard difficulty (Panna Rules cannot be played online) and your opponents are solid defensively and skilful, constantly making you feel and look stupid if you jump in to tackles.
Last Man Standing (LMS), also unavailable online, is usually made up of two teams of four players and every time a team manages to score, that team loses a player until one side has none remaining thus winning the match.
LMS is exciting and fast-paced, however even on hard difficulty, I feel that it is too forgiving on your mistakes as you can make three errors until it really matters.
It is possible that LMS would be more difficult and rewarding against human opponents as I believe they would be more attacking, realising that at two against one and one versus one it is imperative to score.
Futsal (indoor football) and 5-A-Side are two game modes which are more generic than the others but they do have their high points.
The main differences between the two are that in Futsal, there are fouls, free-kicks and corners, just like in 11-a-side football, whereas 5-A-Side has none of that, which allows you to do whatever it takes to regain ball possession.
5-A-Side is better for trying new tricks whereas in Futsal, losing the ball seems more damaging and skills serve as virtually the only tool to unlock tight, aggressive defences.
Due to the variety of game modes and relatively large number of skills you can learn in FIFA Street, it is a game which will take much longer to conquer and become ‘good’ at than previous Street episodes.
A word of warning though: if you play FIFA 12 as well, you might find that FS makes you a worse player and interferes with your defending and passing skills.
Finally, if you’re a fan of any sports sim and maybe want something a bit less competitive and less rage-inducing than FIFA 12, I would recommend FIFA Street for hours of fun.