People have every right to moan about the monotony of incremental 'spot the difference' updates. We can understand that the ever-changing nature of sports games justifies a new version every year, but when it comes to FIFA, EA not only takes the biscuit, but waves it in your face, munches it with undisguised glee, dances a jig on the coffee table and runs out of the door screaming with its shirt pulled over its head. Not even counting FIFA Street 2, FIFA 07 on Xbox 360 is the fifth update to the franchise in just shy of 400 days.
Over the past 12, 13 months, we (well, mainly me, to be precise) have had to reconsider and re-evaluate the franchise so often that we thought it might be easier to just collate our most recent diatribes and run them through our newly constructed random review generator. You'd barely see the join. So, join us for highlights of FIFA 07: the 'no really, this year it's better than ever' edition.
In fact, I'm feeling mischievous today, so let's play a little game of "guess which FIFA review was this quote is from". Answers at the foot of the review. No peeping.
The third annual FIFA Interactive World Cup is due to kick off this weekend, with real-life and Xbox Live qualifiers due to take place worldwide over the course of the next month and a half until a winner is crowned at the grand final in Amsterdam on 9th December, where 128 people, and the winners of the last two tournaments, will be competing.
Motion capture has been the backbone of animation in sports games like FIFA for years and years, but in and of itself it's incredibly boring - as you'll know if you've ever watched one of those behind-the-scenes videos they stuff around the edges of the disc as an unlockable.
With the next-generation version of FIFA '07 due to launch on Xbox 360 before the end of the year, Electronic Arts has shoved a demo version up on Xbox Live Marketplace, which ought to give me something to concentrate on while Crouch is busy saving England again tomorrow afternoon.
Following the revelation of next-gen exclusivity on market-leading football franchises FIFA and PES, a confident European Xbox boss Chris Lewis has claimed Microsoft now has the console war sewn up for the year ahead.
Microsoft brought a touch of the Abramoviches to the next-gen football market today, fashioning a deal to secure FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer's Xbox 360 exclusivity for the next 12 months.
FIFA '07, announced for 360 today, is based on a complete engine rewrite, and today's Microsoft conference in Leipzig saw producer Hugues Ricour demonstrating the game, which is due out later this year.
But it was only following a trailer for the 360 version of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 - playable on Microsoft's stand - that Microsoft played its trump card. Addressing a football-loving German press pack, dotted with pesky foreigners (like me), executive Chris Lewis declared, "Microsoft owns football," with no small about of zeal as he pointed out that now it doesn't really matter which game you prefer, since there's only one place to play the flagship versions.
Our Liverpool-supporting dep-ed reckons FIFA's a bit like Gerard Houllier - so busy turning corners that it's no longer sure which direction it's facing. Even the recent World Cup edition - a definite improvement on the incredibly shabby Road to World Cup - had significant problems. It's been a fourth-in-the-Premiership sort of game for so long that it's difficult to figure out where it really needs updating. What it needs, you might argue, is new blood. A Rafa.
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