• FIFA Soccer 13

    List Price: $59.99
    Price: $33.99

    FIFA 13 is the 2012 release in Electronic Arts' long-running professional soccer game franchise. Based on the current real-life players, teams and leagues associated with the FIFA organization (Federation International de Football), the game aims to present the most realistic international soccer experience available in a video game to-date. Features include, gameplay mechanics improvements on both offense and defense, an extensive roster of players, teams and leagues, multiplayer play options both locally and online, social network functionality through the EA Sports Football Club, and optional voice command functionality using the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 (only available in the Xbox 360 version of the game).

    FIFA 13 captures all the drama and unpredictability of real-world soccer, and is driven by five game-changing innovations which revolutionize artificial intelligence, dribbling, ball control and physical play. It is the largest and deepest feature set in the history of the franchise. These innovations create a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, deliver freedom and creativity in attack, and capture all the drama and unpredictability of the real-world game.

    This is what Kevin Shiau has to say in his review:

    Let me first off say that I'm a mindless drone when it comes to Fifa and I'll buy each new rendition on an annual basis. With that said, I also hate to wait for things so I went ahead and got the early access to Fifa 13 last Friday. I'll quickly tell you what's different between Fifa 12 and Fifa 13; whether you should throw your money at EA or simply wait until Black Friday or later.

    Attacking Intelligence - Translation = Players with higher ratings will relentless run towards the goal without you pushing LB/pass. They'll usually draw a defender who has marked them and you'll be able to make more plays.

    Complete Dribbling - Translation = You get to dribble in a 360 degree manner and exit in which ever direction you choose. Admittedly I'm not the most amazing player but to those who are talented at Fifa games you will surely be able to make use of this.

    1st Touch Control - Translation = Players lose control of the ball when receiving passes and holding down RT. To avoid losing the ball just let go of the RT and receive the pass before sprinting again. This was a very nice example of addition by subtraction. No matter the difficulty, AI will occasionally lose control of the ball and allow you to poach it away. I really enjoyed this "new" feature because it did make games more interesting and fun to play.

    EA Sports Football Club - Translation = Use the EA Points you collect by doing in-game tasks and skills games to "buy" virtual items. These virtual items range from boots (only about 12 available), "retro" kits (only about 8 available), balls (only about 8), and other in-game "bonuses". These in-game bonuses range from things like increased coins per FUT games, "financial takeovers" where your club in manager mode is bought and you get a large sum of money to spend, etc. The `selection was awfully disappointing and I'm hoping they add throughout the year.

    New Teams = Basically all of the same leagues and clubs from last year with the exception that they added the Saudi league.
    New Stadium = They added White Hart Lane and King Fahd Stadium but lost Nou Camp

    International Manager = This is built into the manager mode where your performance at your club will attract offers from many National teams. You would then be manager of a club and an international team simultaneously. As the IT manager you get to select your 25 man team from the entire pool of international players and then play all the friendlies, qualifies, and tournament matches.

    Manager Mode= They added in fake World Cup, Euros, and other tournaments. Also you can now play their fake Champions/Europa league in the first season rather than wait until the second.

    Transfers = The transfers system is given a face lift. The transfer screen is now a note book where you are given new options when buying and selling players. When attempting to buy a player, you may "enquire" about them from their clubs as to whether they would sell the player and also how much you would have to offer them. You're also allowed to include players when trying to buy. When selling/buying a player, you are told a range of how much the player is worth or how much you should offer depending on the player's form. I read that they tried to cut back on the ridiculous transfers, especially in the first transfer window of each season... THEY DIDN'T. There is still massive movement between big time players; for example, Higuain to Inter, Ozil to Chelsea, Prince-Boateng to Man City. Every transfer window afterwards continues the trend.

    Match day = A nice addition. If you're not into playing season mode or ultimate team.. then whenever you play a match day game.. commentary and players ratings will be affected by their real life counterparts. I always hated hearing the same commentary for a year and I think that with this new addition it will lessen the game from getting stale.

    Animations = They added a few new player celebrations which I didn't really care for but they did include more realistic player celebrations, albeit, only between two players where they will embrace like they did in real life.

    Impact Engine = This was a great addition to Fifa 12 and in this year's rendition they improved the physics and removed the comical flopping.

    Skills Games = They added 8 "mini games" with a variety of objectives ranging from chip shots, penalty shots, passing, dribbling, etc.

    Layout/presentation = They changed the presentation this year but I could not have cared less. The presentation now includes a soccer ball in the background that opens and closes whenever you select things; also when you start games the opening presentations include the clubs badges on these soccer balls that open and close, etc. You have to see for yourself.

    Conclusion: I think that EA was especially conservative this year. They opted to "perfect" (or at least try to) rather than innovate with another truly new feature. Gameplay is more fun with the "one-touch" because mistakes can become costly or rewarding and it adds another variable onto the pitch. The improved impact engine makes the player collision look very life-like and because they took out the crazy flopping makes it that much more realistic. Although with yet another yearly game, I find that EA has either given up or been too cheap to add new leagues to the game. They also need to add more stadiums. How can they go through each year and add one league or 1-2 new stadium? My biggest gripe is that I'm a shoe buff and to see only 4 pairs of Nikes and only 5 pairs of adidas (albeit in several more colors)? This is why I like 2K sports more than EA sports, they is no stone they leave unturned. With that all said, if you are playing Fifa 12 and completely satisfied with it, you probably should not fork over another 60 bucks to get Fifa 13. There are no game-changing new features that will make you throw your money at them. However, if the gameplay from Fifa 12 left you annoyed or unhappy, then Fifa 13 is worth getting because EA tried to fix the rough patches. Personally to me, this game is Fifa 12.5. But at least EA is making their Fifa franchise better every year and not letting them regress like NCAA and Madden. Cheers.

    Pros:
    -1st touch control +++
    -Better manager mode ++
    -More realistic Impact Engine ++
    -Skills games +++
    -Match day games +

    Cons:
    -Lack of new teams, especially South American leagues and the Turkish league
    -Lack of boots
    -EAS FC catalog was a huge disappointment in the selection available
    -Still no licenses to major tournaments
    -No innovative new features

    UPDATE:

    -The more I play the Skills challenges, the more I enjoy them. Each of them: the penalty shootout, passing, dribbling drills, etc help a certain part of your game that you would not really have had a chance to PRACTICE otherwise. What did Fifa have before? The practice arena where you're literally mashing buttons to try moves and ultimately just fool around? Not every one is a pro when it comes to this game and EA actually came up with a good idea to help newer and less experienced players become BETTER at the game they made. Kudos for that.
    -I find it especially annoying during Manager mode when a robotic British voice reads off the scores of games that are not my own, but simply the ones in the same league. I don't really care to hear a creepy voice talk when I'm playing.. I haven't found a way to disable this.
    -Resigning players has reverted back to before Fifa 12. By this I mean your players will NOT accept your offers no matter how much money you offer if you do NOT offer them the years they "want". So if you want to lock up your stars, you're not going to be able to. This minor detail annoys me because when you offer them extensions and they don't sign, then the fake news reel goes BALLISTIC and says, "oh, Xavi is refusing to resign with Barca"...... SMH like that crap would really happen.
    -I take back the whole "EA removed the comical player collisions". They DIDNT. It does happen RARELY but I just saw Messi get KNEED and fly 10 yards in the other direction.

    Time to buy FIFA Soccer 13 and be entertained with your friends today!

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