Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fifa 13 - Review - PS Vita

UPDATE: Apparently I may be wrong about the improvements to this game. Literally hundreds of people are saying it has not been improved on message boards and customer reviews. All I can say is the player collisions seem greatly improved to me and I have seen many passes that where the receiving player has lost control of the ball, which I don't recall on the last Fifa for Vita. The only thing I can say for certain is the frame rate is vastly improved and the game is as brilliant as ever. I stand by my score, even if EA suck as usual and stitched us with a roster/kit update for $40.

A lot of people have been repeating the claim that this is the same game as the previous Fifa for Vita with just kit and squad updates. Which is EA's fault for not promoting the game for Vita and not telling people up front what has been added. Leaving people to assume the worst.

Thankfully this does not appear to be true.

First the bad news. Sorry there is no Ultimate Team and it does not include the brilliant training mode from the console version. In fact there appears to be no additions to the modes at all.

Also the career mode has not been upgraded since last year, so you are getting the same career mode as Fifa 12 on consoles.

So for those of you that love Ultimate Team, I feel for you. And I am sad the brilliant training mode did not make the transition.

Also it still only saves 2 highlights. So if you do anything amazing in the game, be sure to save the replay right away. It will probably not be in the highlights. Even if the game only had 2 goals, sometimes one of them is not in the highlights :(

And what appears to be the biggest issue for most people is that none of the menu's have been upgraded, so it LOOKS just like last years Fifa for Vita (at least in the menu's). I think this is why so many people mistakenly believe that all that has been changed is kit's and rosters.

But DO NOT let looks alone deceive you!

The original Fifa Soccer for Vita had Fifa 12 menu's and career mode but Fifa 11's gameplay engine. Meaning Fifa 12's biggest addition on the consoles, the Impact Engine did not make it into the Vita version. The Impact Engine massively improved the collisions between players. Making them far more varied and realistic, and adding a lot more realism and dynamism to the game.

It was sorely missing in the last Vita release. And was the biggest difference between Fifa 11 and Fifa 12.

Fifa 13 for Vita appears to not only now includes the Fifa 12 Impact Engine, but it appears to also have the upgrades to it the console versions of Fifa 13 received!




It also appears to have Fifa 12's Pro Player Intelligence AI. Meaning AI players and opponents and are far more intelligent and play much smarter football. Your players will get into better positions when you are on the ball and your opponents will be more inventive against you.

But that is not all, Fifa 13 on consoles biggest gameplay addition is the new "First Touch" feature. It more accurately simulates the varying levels of control a player has with the ball upon first touch.

It is a very important, yet subtle nuance that may not appear to be a major improvement, but it is. It greatly adds to the gameplay, adding more dynamic variation and realism.

And it appears to me that Fifa 13 for Vita now also has this feature.

A Vita Screenshot? Probably not, but it looks as good on Vita as 360/PS3
Tactical Defending continues to be missing from the Vita version of Fifa 13 though. But it always seemed worthless to me since you could always do virtually the same thing by holding down L (L2 on consoles) while holding X.

So if you use tactical defending on consoles, it may be annoying to have to switch. But I use legacy so this does not bother me at all.

Also the frame rate is significantly improved, and now runs at a constant rate with no drops.

And it may be my eyes playing tricks on me, but I swear the graphics are even better. Having put 5 hours into Fifa 13 on PS3 the previous day I honestly believe the Vita version looked NICER!

The PS3 version is slightly blurry, it appears it's running sub 720p and upscaling. But the Vita version is razor sharp and just looks incredible on the Vita's screen.

CONCLUSION

If you care about Fifa to put in a good amount of hours, then Fifa 13 is well worth the upgrade from the last release on Vita. Even if it's just for the silky smooth frame rate and updated kits/rosters. But I do believe the gameplay has been enhanced too.

The lack of Ultimate team and training mode is a bummer, and the career mode enhancements would have been welcome, but they added by far the most important things. The gameplay enhancements!

And in my opinion, the touch pad shooting is such a game changer, and adds so much to the quality of the experience; that this is the best version of Fifa available on any platform.

I give it 4 footballs out of 5.


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