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Every next-gen system has its own share of exclusive games. When it comes to titles released on all three major platforms, Wii tends to lose out on the graphics end, having to make up ground with exclusive features - and everyone knows that doesn't happen every time.
However, EA Sports stepped up to bat and hit one out of the park with the FIFA 2009 game, which was part of their Wii-themed release of all it's major '09-edition sports games. Microsoft and Sony customers may have gotten a great game, but the Nintendo buyers got a fantastic one.
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Like the previous FIFA titles, the FIFA 2009 game all the team options you can think of, or at least those that most people would. What makes this version special is not that it keeps pace with the past, but that it makes its own road into the future.
The AI for non-user players works very accurately with the level of the real teams, as they perform on the world stage. Individual player selection is point-and-click with the remote, which can sometimes be difficult when they're bunched up on the pitch. Luckily, the selection is for defensive purposes and only the very highest skilled players will notice any real difference, since bunched players are pretty much the same distance from the opposition you're trying to halt.
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In reality, EA games are mainly aimed at American consumers, however, in reality, American consumers aren't the biggest soccer fans around. The developers did their job making sure even users who find the game uninteresting can get something here.
Four mini multiplayer games come with the main game, employing Mii characters instead of the normal players. Still, those players have ready-made Miis. You get some solo action with juggling, table soccer and a game to test your booting skills. On top of that, a light 8 on 8 game is included, with unlockable characters. The only thing that could make it better is if it was online-enabled, like the main game is, but easygoing users likely won't have any objection.
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Graphics and Sound
Every year FIFA comes out, there's an incremental improvement in graphics and the appearance of players, and this is no different. The problem is that they're still not that great looking, and the best parts (goal-scoring and cup-winning scenes) just aren't that great.
For in-game sound, there aren't any major complaints. That is, there aren't any complaints about the quality of the sound itself. What you actually have to listen to is another story - and that's why this comes out with an average score. It's understandable to have some level of repetition with AI commenators, but there's nothing that says they have to be quite so repetetive when they're already annoying the first time. Sounds great, but no one wants to hear it.
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Despite the terrible commentary, there isn't a single bad thing to say about FIFA 2009 game (All-Play), and that part you can just mute. Coming from someone who's played the real game for 20 years, this is by far the best simulation available today. Add to that some very entertaining side games, online play and a built-in party game to share with your friends, and you've got something special.
Any game that doesn't require the user to be a sports fan is a winner, and one that can allow sports fans an in to a sport they usually don't care for is even better.
A collection of reviews for various FIFA games.