FIFA Soccer 12
Buying a portable sports game is like eating old guacamole at someone's BBQ. Tempting, but ultimately a bad decision.
Thankfully, advancements in technology have allowed developers to (almost) recreate the console experience on a handheld. Case in point, FIFA Soccer 12 for 3DS. Although it fails to match the Xbox 360 and PlayStation editions graphically, exclusive features could make it a fine companion to its console counterparts.
Right away, we were impressed with touch screen shooting. Whenever a forward is within range, an image of the opposing team's goal appears on the 3DS touch screen. From there, you have a limited amount of time to touch any point on the net, and the person with the ball will kick towards that specific area, though the player's skills and current situation are a huge factor.
This gives you an excellent opportunity to be more precise in scoring goals, instead of pressing buttons and hoping for the best; it also cuts down on shots that look good, but sail wide. That said, the game still supports good old-fashioned buttons; A shoots.
Beyond that, FIFA Soccer 12 looks better than previous FIFA titles on the DS. EA Canada has thus far done a wonderful job capturing player likenesses (Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Real Madrid's Kaka resemble the real deals) and animations.
In addition, the game has a wealth of content, including 11 vs. 11 matches, over 500 officially licensed clubs and a plethora of fun modes, starting with 3D Street Soccer. It harks back to EA Sports' FIFA Street series, with five vs. five matches located in run down areas like Brazil and the streets of France. The biggest change is the curved pitch, built (along with a lower camera view) from the ground up for glasses free 3D, though you have the option of toggling this feature on/off.
Similar to FIFA Street, almost anything goes on this shortened pitch, so feel free to do wall kicks and other neat tricks.
On top of that, a deep Be A Pro mode lets you create a player and become the next superstar, from humble beginnings all the way to playing for your favorite club.
Then there's Tournament Mode, where you'll compete against friends in well over 50 real-world tournaments, such as the Barclays Premiership and the FA Cup.
While on the subject of friends, the game supports head-to-hear local wireless for both traditional and street matches.
The downside? The action is a bit slow, but with a fall release a few months away, that gives EA plenty of time to speed things up. Achieve that, and FIFA Soccer 12 could become the must have portable soccer/football game for 3DS, while at the same time erasing bad memories of portable sports games past.