World Cup Wii action.
Every four years the World Cup comes around. People go a bit daft and start buying merchandise relating to their countries team. Be it daft flags hanging from the side of their car, giant inflatable hats or even football themed barbecues. But the merchandising machine does not stop there. Nearly every major brand will try to jump on the band wagon in order to take advantage of this usually absent sense of national pride. Certain famous fizzy drinks are usually amongst the first to leap aboard, followed by everything from milkshakes and cheese to Cornish pasties. Support your country by using the official tissues of the 2010 world cup!
As gamers, I am sure that you are not interested in all of this blatant attempts to cash in on the world cup hype. Surely the only world cup tie-in that you are interested in, is the official video game? Well, as I am sure that you know, EA Sports has released 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa on most of the different consoles. Whilst another GGUK writer, who happens to be a massive fan of the beautiful game, will be offering his opinion of the PS3 version, I will be playing through the family friendly Wii version.
I am not the hugest football enthusiast, so please excuse the lack of football trivia, puns and references in this review.
Anyway, given the annual release of Fifa games, an additional release, only part way through the year, would have to offer something special to make it a worthwhile purchase for the fans. Of the big three console versions, Fifa on the Wii is easily the most child friendly of the lot. In some ways this is a good thing, in others not so much. But comparisons with other consoles aside, surely the most important thing here is how the game compares to the previous Fifa release?
Unfortunately, there is not much added and even less improvement made. The game feels like a blatant cash-in on the world cup fever that is heading our way. Don’t get me wrong, Fifa 10 on Wii had a lot to offer, albeit slightly less seriously than its other console counterparts. The gameplay remains more or less the same, with emphasis on building momentum as you work your way up the pitch, to allow for a suitably impressive, but wholly unrealistic, slow motion shot.
Those gamers of a certain age will have traveled through the various different football games over the years and be able to see the improvements that have been made in both the gameplay and presentation. The Wii version seems to have taken a step back in this respect, being more last gen than next gen. Given the Wii’s limitations, this is not real surprise on the presentation front. But the actual handling of the players feels awkward and frustrating by modern standards. Again, this seems to lean more towards the family feel, where less avid gamers can enjoy playing without making comparisons.
As already mentioned, the Wii cannot be expected to compete with the realism of the other two big consoles. It just doesn’t have the power. So, rather than making a sub standard looking game, EA Sports have taken the Wii version in another direction. Realism be damned, this version offers colourful models, glowing balls and Matrix style effects that will, I am sure, be popular with the little ones.
Alongside the necessary World Cup mode, players can test their skills in the newly added Zakumi’s Dream Team mode. This mode will give the gamer a team consisting of no name players and offer challenges with the overall goal of building the ultimate dream team. As players progress, they will be offered three challenges for each match. Manage to complete one challenge to take a player from the opposing team, limited to the lesser players. Complete two challenges and more choices will be available, and complete all three to allow a choice from the opposing teams top players. Getting all three challenges complete is not an easy task though, so this mode offers a decent, long running challenge.
2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa provides all of the names and teams from this years World Cup, but they are offered in a less serious, less complicated, more family friendly way. Serious football fans will do better to get hold of the Xbox360 or PS3 versions of the game, if they can. For those wanting to simply soak up the World Cup atmosphere, this Wii version offers some fairly laid back fun. Players who already own Fifa 10 should really ask themselves if they can justify this purchase. Personally, I could not. But I am not a big football fan.