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FIFA Street 2 PlayStation 2

Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports BIG
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

FIFA Street 2, an introduction.

If you want a football game that mimics the real sport then look elsewhere because that's not what FIFA Street 2 is about. Like games such as Urban Freestyle Soccer and SEGA Soccer Slam (and its prequel), FIFA Street 2 is a game that has little in common with the real sport.  FIFA Street 2 gives you games of 4 vs. 4 (with one goalkeeper and 3 outfield players on each side) and you'll play matches on small and rather rough looking pitches (concrete and cracked asphalt replacing the soft green turf that today's prima donnas usually play on). In fact the matches don't really follow any kind of rules and anything goes really. Dirty tackles exaggerated ball trickery are the order of the day here and you'll also find the trademark gamebreakers that the EA Sports BIG Street games are known for. Of course the game doesn't have the word FIFA in the title for the fun of it and the numerous national sides in the game all have a small collection of their players available for you to play as or against.

What's the game about?

FIFA Street 2 offers three modes of play. You have a Friendly mode (for those one-off exhibition matches), a Rule the Street Mode, where you create your own player, form your own team and attempt to play your way up through the ranks until you're facing the real superstars, and Skills Challenge where you control one player and attempt to gain the highest score by performing all kinds of fancy tricks. FIFA Street 2 also comes with a Creation Zone mode where you can create your own players, your own teams and even your own pitch.

What's good about the game?

As we said at the start of the review, this isn't a game that resembles the real sport of football. Whilst to some this may be a bad thing to others, who don't normally enjoy the game, it might prove a blessing. The trick based football that's on offer here is as far removed from the real game as it could possibly be without managing to look like a different sport completely. Whilst the tricks look fancy and skilful, they are actually easy to pull off. In fact they are essential if you are to do well in the game.

Needless to say where you'll spend the bulk of your time with FIFA Street 2 is the Rule the Street mode. Your custom character will begin at the very bottom and will earn Skills Bills from successfully completing challenges. These Skills Bills are effectively skills points and can be used to upgrade the player's attributes. As your player improves they will be able to captain their own side and later on play for the national side. As a single player game FIFA Street 2 can become repetitive but as a multiplayer game it's a much better experience, and a quite addictive one too, as you attempt to show up your friends with all the fancy tricks and goals you can score.

What's not so good about the game?

FIFA Street 2 doesn't feature an online mode and I think that's a real pity as an online mode would suit the game perfectly. You could have three players on each side with AI goalkeepers and it would be an enjoyable experience. The reason an online mode hasn't been included is probably only known by the developers but as most PlayStation 2 games seem to cope with 8 players online you would have thought having six players (three on each side) would not have caused any problems from a technical point of view. Not having an online mode doesn't do much for the game's long term replay value though. Whilst the game is a definite improvement on the first FIFA Street game, it's still not as enjoyable as other games of this ilk, such as SEGA Soccer Slam where the teams had their own distinct styles and patterns which made the game more enjoyable.

How does it look?

FIFA Street 2 looks OK. The various pitches and locations all look respectable and the player models also look quite good. Player likenesses vary from being very good to simply passable but on the whole there's little to complain about. The frame rate could have been better though and it's very noticeable that the game isn't running at a decent frame rate at times. This tends to make the controls feel a little sluggish at times, although to be fair it's not really a significant problem. Load times aren't too bad and are probably around average for a PlayStation 2 game.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

You pretty much know that the level of support for deaf gamers in sports titles is never wonderful and FIFA Street 2 certainly causes no surprises here. The tutorials that introduce you to the controls and various tricks are not subtitled, which is disappointing. The commentary (which, it has to be said, is rather irritating) isn't subtitled which is actually less of a disappointment than you might think. Aside from those two disappointments there aren't any other real problems. All of the objectives (in Rule the Street mode) are shown in text. The instructions for the Skills Challenge mode are shown in text too.

Final thoughts.

Taking FIFA Street 2 on its own merits and not expecting the game to be something it isn't, you have to say that EA Sports BIG have done a good job with FIFA Street 2. FIFA Street 2 is a better game than FIFA Street but it's still not the best game of its type. FIFA Street 2 is definitely a better experience when played as a multiplayer game and had an online mode been included I think it would have been a much better game. That said though if you enjoyed the first game in the series then you really can't fail to enjoy FIFA Street 2 because from all angles it's a better game.

Overall Game Rating: 7.2/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

(Click the letter or here for details)

Whilst FIFA Street 2 is a better game than it's prequel, it really needs an online mode to take it to the next level. The tutorials should have been subtitled too.