Unfortunately, Electronic Arts has always viewed the Wii console as a family machine and felt the need to put out sub-standard, sometimes embarrassingly dumbed-down editions of its Premier League-status football series on Nintendo's home platform. Any game where scoring a goal involves the swishing of a controller should be looked upon with disdain (glares at FIFA 09 All Play). After finally getting it almost right with FIFA 10 and 11, disappointingly FIFA 12 appeared to take a couple of steps backwards. Well, get ready for FIFA 12 all over again. Huh? Yes, that is absolutely right -- FIFA 13 is exactly the same game as last year's!
Mixing an almost Sim City-esque city building mechanic with RPG levelling up, the initial idea of developing a FIFA City is indeed quite innovative. Take part in FIFA Street-like four-on-four matches, create a personalised team of new potential superstars, jump into regular leagues and cups, or even tackle the managerial side of the sport. There are plenty of options to sink proverbial teeth into, and the more FIFA 13 is played, the more prestige the footballing city receives, with the population rising in conjunction with its renown.
Sadly, the new gameplay system introduced in FIFA 12 made for a lesser experience on the whole, with the attempt at making an arcade experience a little too realistic to the point where a lot of the original fun was merely sucked out. Since FIFA 13 is nothing more than a squad update (no exaggeration, it is a case of what happened with the lazy Wii version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 last year, with no changes other than player names and kits), that weaker game mechanic is back to dissatisfy gamers expecting an equivalent to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 iterations.
In fact, somehow this year's Wii version actually looks worse than ever in the visual stakes. Cubed3 has always been of the mind that EA's graphics team are incapable of creating anything other than hideous monsters (the cartoony FIFA 10 being kind of an exception), but the models for many players here look so indistinguishable it makes you wonder if the company has lost the image rights to certain players. However, merely looking at the crowd in all of its pancake-flat, blurry 'glory' shows it is more the lack of effort that has been poured into this obvious cast-off. Commentary is clear enough, as expected, but it was fine all the way back in the early days. What it suffers from most, though, is that age-old bugbear of random comments slipping in that bear no relevance to the current on-pitch happenings. It is a crying shame to see Wii owners subjected to such shoddy workmanship.
Those that skipped FIFA 12 hoping that FIFA 13 would be potentially the last and best Wii version will be disappointed (FIFA 14 will likely come as well, if the continued presence of a PlayStation 2 version this year is anything to go by), but the kicker will be for anyone that picks this up and gets instantly confused by how FIFA 13 is nothing more than FIFA 12 with one digit amended on the title screen and player name updates. Steer clear.
FIFA 13 is by no means the most incompetent of football titles on the market, but it is certainly not a patch on Konami's revived Pro Evolution Soccer series. With a somewhat frustrating updated play mechanic and shoddy presentation it is bad enough. The fact that this is the exact same game as last year's FIFA 12 merely adds insult to injury.
Wait, it's literally the exact same game as last year, and you still gave it a 6/10 for value -- a rating that should indicate "at least slightly above average"? You can get last year's game for $20 cheaper and the only difference is the title screen and the names of the players.
10-point scales are dumb.
You've got to be subjective. In terms of pure content in this game the value rating would be about 9/10, but it got knocked down for its laziness. Sure, you can pick up FIFA 12 for £26 on Amazon, but FIFA 13 is £30. Some would be happy to pay the extra few quid for the player and kit updates.
( Edited 10.10.2012 20:04 by Adam Riley )
My only hope is that FIFA license is taken from EA forever. I understand that graphics capability of Wii compared to others are poor, but I would sacrifice graphic realism for the gameplay features. My advice: If you really want to play a soccer game on Wii, buy the cheapest, used version of FIFA 2012 and make fun of people like me, people who naively waste their money on this game, people who trusted on EA, but not anymore.