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FIFA Street

Rating:

Have you become bored with the PES v FIFA debate? Is playing a match of 11-a-side over 90 minutes just too routine? Well, there's another option: FIFA Street.

• FIFA Street: Manchester All-Stars - Last Man Standing

The title will always be compared to its older brother, FIFA 12, but there is a lot to set it apart. The level of detail may be lacking, but there is a real sense of fun that you just can't get from the mainstream football games; what is lost in accuracy is made up for in enjoyment. And that's the real point: a street competition with flicks, tricks and showboating all coming well above the simple act of scoring a goal.

The early days of FIFA Street (notoriously FIFA Street 3 in 2008 - reviewed by us here) was reminiscent of the Sega Mega Drive's NBA Jam with power bars, super-shots and out-of-this-world moves that could never be replicated here on planet Earth. The refreshing thing about this version is that everything feels like it could happen - even if some things would take a Messi-esque level of skill.

As you can always expect from FIFA titles, attention to detail is still impressive. The streets of London, Rio or Paris are interesting with varying pitch sizes, dimensions and obstacles. Variety, in this case, brings a longevity to the game that could otherwise get lost easily.

Importantly, the legal minds at EA have seen fit to keep their agreement in place with the players and teams so everything in that regard is up to standard, with the added bonus of having to cut your side down from 11 to five. International teams, All-Stars and Classic are all unlockable as well to give it a bit more depth.

Gameplay is remarkably similar to FIFA 12, but with the emphasis on tricks rather than passing and fluidity. Even in a month of Sundays you would likely not get through them all, and the satisfaction that is derived from a 'Beat' (where you trick the ball past an opponent) is palpable once you actually get to grips with the controls.

Indeed, control is key. Holding down the left trigger allows you to move, shield and hold the ball away from an opponent while a quick switch to the right trigger will get your man away from his marker. It takes a while to nail down the right time to use the various flicks and rotations of the right analogue stick that perform special moves, but with tackling tough to get to grips with, often a senseless waggle will have the desired effect.

The central idea is the 'World Tour' within which you start off your career as a street footballer in, say, Bournemouth, and work your way up to play alongside the best in the world. To progress and become a better player - earning skill moves as you go - you must win tournaments in the various forms of the game: Traditional five-a-side; Futsal, which contains fouls and throw-ins; Panna, a two-on-two game where points for style are more important than goals; and Last Man Standing, which sees a player removed every time his side scores.

Ultimately, the game is about fulfilling the fantasy of the street footballer; goals matter little when it's all about how good you look. Certainly there is plenty in this edition to keep you entertained and those who can't get to grips with the FIFA 12 controls may just come flocking for game time.

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