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 FIFA 07 - PlayStation Portable
FIFA 07 PSP Title:
Format:
Developer:
Publisher:
Region:
Players:
Rating:
FIFA 07
PlayStation Portable (PSP)
EA
EA
PAL
1-4+
3+

The PSP has already seen a fair amount of football titles in its short life, and there are two of the most important football games both due to be released for the system in the coming month. These giant's being Konami's ultra realistic football sim Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and EA's FIFA 07, the latter which has in recent years received critism from the gaming press due to EA's lack of will to change the core gameplay which so many have issue's with, leaving gamers with more graphical updates and new player stats. But after 13 years it looks like FIFA 07, for the Sony handheld, is set to become one of the best in the series so far. And after years of being second best to Konami's excellent soccer offering it looks like FIFA is soon going to be getting a lot more attention from the gaming world.

EA have attempted to include every possible feature from the home console versions of FIFA onto the PSP release without having to sacrifice anything, and this seems to have paid off. The game is as in depth as it's bigger console brothers. The development team have packed this game full of great features, providing gamers with a fully satisfying product especially for a handheld; and luckily all this content and extras haven't had an adverse affect on the graphics.

In the manager mode you can pick any one of 510 different teams from 27 leagues that span the globe and then try to make them the best team in the world. Some may find this mode more enjoyable as it means you don't need to put up with the mistakes made by your AI team mates like in the main game. In fact the whole management mode is almost as good as similar titles such as, Championship Manager, despite it only being an extra mode to keep you occupied in between games on the field. Attention has been given to every aspect that was slightly wrong in the management mode found in FIFA 06 and has been improved upon, especially the transfers and players stats components.

The visual aspect of the game is pleasing, and ofcourse although not on par with the home console version's, it still provides a nice and solid experience; the players can appear to be quite rough and jagged around the edges in some of the brighter weather conditions. The game can be quite sluggish at times, with frame rate issues, and often is slow to respond; but when you're immersed in the game planning your next match winning goal things like these will pass you by as you continue to enjoy this portable piece of fun. For once the commentary isn't particularly annoying despite providing the odd comic moment when the commentator says something that's completely wrong, fortunately the developer has cut down on the commentary so instead you can listen to the crowd cheering your side on. The music that you'll listen to between matches is good, and the quality is excellent. There are a wide range of music genres in the game so you should find something to suit your taste. 

"...The gameplay is more fluid, feeling a lot more natural than before..."

The main gameplay is standard footy fare, and the aim is quite simple; score as many goals as possible in two halves each '45 virtual minutes' in length and try and concede as few goals as possible. In FIFA 07 it is a lot more realistic than previous installments in the series, so don't expect 10-nil walkovers even for novices. Luckily the computer AI has been improved significantly since previous iterations so you can no longer blame the game when you lose. The gameplay is more fluid and ball control works a lot better with dodging, faking and dribbling all feeling a lot more natural than before. The ball physics have also been improved greatly and you will notice this, especially in comparison to FIFA 06.

One of my favourite new additions to the game is the PS2 Link Up, this feature allows you to link up your PSP save file of FIFA 07 with your PS2 save file. It means that you can play a game on the PS2 after work in the evening then upload the save file onto your PSP using a USB cable so that on the bus into work the next morning you'll be able to continue the season with your favourite team. This feature will be great for those who loved FIFA 06 but couldn't bear not being able to play on with their tournaments when they were away from home, although others may never even use the feature, it's a nice added touch for Sony/FIFA fanatics.

Normally EA rarely adds enough to a FIFA title since the previous year to properly warrant the purchase of another game, but for FIFA 07 the case is slightly different. EA have outdone themselves this time and the game doesn't come off as a poor attempt at cashing in with another sequel in a tired series. The controls are some the best in any sports game making the game a pleasure to play at some points, and while the graphics don't always look great they are very impressive for a PSP title.

Handheld football worth owning.

8.0
Buy Now

Buy FIFA 07 - PlayStation Portable now at Play.com
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