FIFA Street Ultimate Team

When EA surprised the world at Gamescom 2011 with the announcement of a fresh and grittier FIFA Street, I don’t think there was a soul within the FIFA community who wasn’t excited. And with nostalgia now kicking in, I’m ready for more…

It’s been nearly three years now since the re-birth of FIFA Street and just thinking about the game conjures memories of utter joy, but also frustration in equal measure. That frustration caused mostly by a couple of design decisions which left me, and many others for once, speechless. Bugs and glitches are one thing, but self-inflicted pain is something else entirely.

The first, a unbelievable decision which restricted online game modes to our custom street teams only, not real licensed clubs. Explained by EA as a way to ‘increase variety’ as opposed to everyone using Real Madrid and Barcelona; like they do anyway. FIFA Street in reality was fairly well licensed, so that variety EA were so concerned about preserving was fully available, they simply chose not to trust us with it. Instead we enjoyed a 'varied' street experience full of 6'2, afro sporting 'skillahs'... joy.

The second being the inexplicable absence of FIFA Street's two most interesting game modes, Panna and Last Man Standing which yet again weren't available online. Why EA, WHY? All the hard work to put those modes and the licensing together had been done, and both of these absent features then went on to hugely damage FIFA Street’s longevity. A shame of the highest magnitude.

But beyond those mind boggling choices, there was much to love about FIFA Street and whether you were in to ‘skilling’ or not, there was actually a really pleasing flow to its simple pass and move gameplay, which was only accentuated by the tight and intricate arenas. The skills were there in abundance, but you didn’t have to use them to be successful and I quite liked that. But when you did in the end manage to pull off a great trick (probably accidentally) leaving a defender for dead, before hammering the ball home; there really was no better feeling.

It wasn’t all a bed of roses on the pitch though with my main pet hate being the EA dubbed ‘tackle backs’ which saw disposed attackers repeatedly able to pick-up the loose balls you'd just legitimately dislodged and then re-attack you over and over. It was more a niggle than anything and nothing a little balancing couldn't sort out I'm sure, but it did ever so slightly taint what was overall, a very well polished first stab at street realism from EA.

And it was all captured within some truly stunning locales and vistas spanning the entire globe. All of which were backed up by FIFA Streets other shining star, World Tour mode. Which although a little repetitive in its structure was a real joy to play through with your rabble of self-created street stars. You really felt like you were on a journey from zero to hero at times, and it was that which kept me going with FIFA Street as opposed to the otherwise constricted game modes online.

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