and funky and not to be taken seriously by serious
sports gamers. by
14, 2006 - To
those who take soccer, football and basketball seriously,
the Street series might seem like a "goof"
on their favorite sports. If we look back at the origins
of these types of games, we'd find that they originated
in the arcade with games like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz.
These games took artisitic license with the official
rules, scaled down the teams and favored action over
rules and gamers loved them. With the evolution of
home consoles, arcade visits were on the decline and
publishers stopped creating arcade versions of their
"Wham, Bam" sports titles and released them
for home play instead. At the same time, games based
on the professional sports became more realistic and
overshadowed the arcade-style sports games with unparelled
depth, online play, real teams, sports stars and exciting
visuals. But there's still a niche market for those
gamers out there who just want to have fun, score
some goals, shoot some hoops and get a touchdown without
worrying about the mindnumbing details and that's
exactly where EA's Street series falls into the scheme
Street 2 continues the tradition of fast and furious,
style over substance gameplay of the Street series
and it definitely succeeds. FIFA Street 2 features
4 man teams comprised of created characters and soccer
superstars, most of which I don't recognize because
I'm not into soccer. The name of the game is scoring
goals and kicking balls while being as fancy shmancy
as you can with all sorts of wicked tricks and stunts
to pull off.
FIFA Street 2 differs from games such as FIFA 06 and
Winning Eleven aside from the obvious absence of players
and real soccer stadiums, is the number of gameplay
twists you'll have to master to win Career mode. It's
not just about kicking a ball into a net and that
becomes apparent the moment you come to grips with
the games intuitive control system based largely on
the right analog stick. No matter what system you
own - PS2, Cube or Xbox - you won't have any trouble
controlling FIFA Street 2, even if you're not exactly
comfortable with using the R analog stick for moves
right off the bat. The R analog stick control will
be familiar to anyone who has played Fight Night in
the last couple of years, although it can be slightly
more intimidating because you will have full 360"
degree control over your player(s) with the left analog
stick. EA went to great lengths to keep the R analog
stick usage fairly simplistic, which it most definitely
is if you consider the cool tricks you'll pull off
with the pull back and slight rotation of the stick.
You'll definitely get more out of it than what you
put in and you can't say that for too much in life.
you progress, each game will take on it's own unique
charm with objectives required to move on. Obviously
EA isn't insane and some of the games will simply
require you to score more goals than your opponents,
but soon after the fun begins and you'll need to master
all sorts of moves subject the other team to all sorts
of devious humiliations at your hands....err...feet.
Some games require you to score "Pannas"
(nutmeg, rata, tunnel, cueca etc.) which requires
you to shoot the ball through your opponents legs
(and vice versa) to score points. Soccer players don't
like that; makes 'em feel dumb. Other games include
using Gamebreakers or scoring as many trick points
as you can to win. You will even find the ability
to play a real game of soccer within the confines
of FIFA Street 2, but more on that later.
you start a game you can head directly into the create-a-player
feature which could sideline you for hours if you're
one of those "indecisive" types. EA has
been honing this mode for years in almost every one
of its sports titles and there are so many options
to experiment with that it can be a tad overwhelming.
You can also create your own "pitch" which
is the area you're going to play in. While it's purely
cosmetic, it's kind of nice to add your own artistic
design to the place....uh oh, I've been watching too
much HGTV with the wife. I'm losing my masculinity
now that The Man Show isn't on anymore.
this is arcade soccer and not FIFA 06, you have to
leave your expectations at the door, otherwise you'll
be badmouthing the game for what it isn't. The actual
soccer in FIFA Street 2 seems to be vastly improved
over last years game, although I didn't spend days
on end playing it. I found the tricks to be incorporated
into the gameplay far more cohesively and it made
for a more exciting and seamless game of soccer, where
as last years title seemed to be soccer with some
tricks but disjointed in both areas. I'll give EA
Sports Big kudos for putting together a better game
mentioned you can play regular soccer without the
tricks, but after you've invested the time in learning
them, the game seems empty and shallow without them.
It didn't take me long to go back to having fun as
the game was intended to played. All I'll say is that
if you want to play a regular game of soccer load
up FIFA or Winning Eleven and get on with it.
combos are what will separate the wheat from the chaff
in Street 2 and this time out you're given counter
moves that you can attempt to predict with a directional
selection. If you select the correct one, you will
be able to counter; if you don't (you have a 1 in
4 chance of getting it right) you'll be snagged into
a juke animation which will render you completely
useless while it goes through the motions. As this
can happen quite a bit, it's no wonder why you will
leave some players a wide berth as they come by, simply
to avoid being yanked into this vortex of animation.
When playing with human players this isn't quite as
commonplace since the game is coded to follow a particular
pattern of behavior.
the game looks to be on par with last years game,
although again, I'm not very familiar with the original
FIFA Street. The trick animation looks great and it
is more seamless integrated into the animations. Musically
DJ Yada Yada Yada, the guy who would NEVER close his
yapper is gone, and in his place is some other dude
who doesn't blab all over everything. I'm not much
into rap or hip hop, but I can at least appreciate
silence, so that's cool.
Street 2 is like Napoleon Dynamite's Liger, you know,
a lion and a tiger mixed, bred for its skills of magic.
It's soccer and trickery and it's actually executed
quite well. It's obviously far less cartoony than
Nintendo's Super Mario Strikers and I'm guessing that
game is the reason why Mario and Luigi don't appear
in the Cube version of Street 2. It's not the deepest
game of soccer you're going to play, but if you'll
remember I already painstakingly explained for your
benefit why this game exists, at the beginning of
this review. It's a fun, fast paced arcade-style soccer
title which you'll have fun playing alone or together
for an unspecified period of time. It's not perfect,
but it's chockfilled with entertaining gameplay modes.
If FIFA 06 is fine cuisine, FIFA Street 2 is a corndog
and a coke and sometimes, there ain't nothing better