|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Canada||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 14, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Virtually every team you can think of is on tap, but it seems that the create-a-player mode, named Be A Pro, is the hit mode of this title. You can choose an existing player or create one. The goal is to improve your player over five seasons.
The focus of the game changes somewhat dramatically in this mode, as you're no longer responsible for the entire team. You are only responsible for your player. The camera actually reinforces the concept of this mode by focusing more on your player. You are required to play more independently but still work within the team framework. A certain amount of skill points are available at the outset of the mode allowing you to choose the assets that you're most comfortable with. More points and skills will be acquired through experience and good play. Your reputation will grow over the seasons, and hopefully you'll become a sports hero.
Graphically, the game is incredible. The players have faces, and they are recognizable. The improved framerate makes some of the animations appear motion-captured. Details in the arena are unbelievable, even the crowds come alive. It's easier than ever to keep your eye on the ball, since it follows a logical path and is not interrupted by framerate issues. You can not only see where the ball is going, but you can anticipate where it should be going.
The announcing is not perfect. He'll occasionally say something irrelevant, but, for the most part, he's on the ball. You'll hear talk on the field, the cheering of the crowd, and a ton of rocking tunes. There are more than 40 tracks in all. An online mode lets you play with three other enthusiasts. I did notice some lag and some framerate issues, though nothing too severe. The A.I. is so good in the single-player mode that you may not be able to tell the difference.
FIFA Soccer 09 is a must-have for sports fans. The simplified touch screen control system ensures that everyone will be up and running in no time with plenty of moves at their fingertips. Don't pass on this one.
CCC Senior Writer