Fifa 09 review

Since last year there’s been a change in the Fifa vs Pro Evo battle. If I’m brutally honest Pro Evo hasn’t changed all that much since FIFA 08, despite it being a regular visitor to my 360’s DVD tray. Fifa, however, has gone down the simulation route and this year’s outing has really come up trumps. The game’s packed with tonnes of single player and online modes that’ll have you playing for months to come.

The first thing you’ll notice is the gameplay is slower so you actually get time on the ball and time to think about your next move. At times it can feel a bit sluggish, especially online when playing someone with not the best connection. Still, it represents the actual game of football better which is a good thing.

Again, you can play through leagues, cups and tournaments alone or with friends and now, thanks to the new Fifa 09 Adidas Live Data League system, your team’s stats are reflected by weekly updates. So, if Steven Gerrard’s having a blinder one week his stats will reflect this. If Van-Der-Sar’s having a mare he’ll also be a bit wobbly between the posts in the game.

Be A Pro Seasons is also a fantastic different way to play. Expanding on last year’s debut, you play as a single player and fulfil their position and role. You can even get called up the national team if you play well enough. I’ve spent most of my time playing this mode and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can also go online and play with 9 other teammates as a full team. I’ve not had the opportunity to try it yet so it’s yet to be seen if this will work or if everyone will chase the ball like kids in the playground.

As usual the presentation is fantastic with all the bells and whistles you’d see on Sky Sports and the commentary’s also lively. Martin Tyler and Andy Gray deliver the goods but sometimes the odd comment gets chucked in that doesn’t fit the action in any way.

The referee sometimes has some random moments too. Players get booked seemingly for just playing football and there’s a strange bug in there where every player in a team will shake their legs in time when waiting for kick off.

Still, with minor gripes aside this is by far the best Fifa game to date. There really is room in your collection for Fifa and PES as they now both offer very different gameplay. Fifa 09 gets a whopping 9 out of 10.

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Related: Fifa 09 Adidas Live Data, Fifa 08

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