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FIFA 09

Author: Daniel Pearse
Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii

Footie sim enthusiasts generally split into two camps: FIFA supporters, and those who believe Pro Evolution Soccer wouldn’t piss on said series if it were on fire. The latter were clearly the more enlightened, until now; FIFA 09 unexpectedly challenges for top honours.

Correcting the glitches that previously made you want to line your own head up on a penalty spot, FIFA’s latest is a joy to play. Graphically superb, easy to get to grips with – well, its basic functions at least – and hugely detailed, the sheer wealth of improvements really are a wonder.

Player calibre plays a huge factor, whether muscling through or powering away from your opponents; ball release is infinitely quicker than before, allowing you to avoid unintentionally waking the ball off-field when accepting a pass at the sideline, and goals require the kind of deliberate orchestration that makes scoring them all the sweeter. Those who prefer arcade style footy will still ally with Pro Evo, but if it’s realism you’re after there’s no acceptable substitute for FIFA 09.

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