After receiving a quick pass at the top of the box in a qualifying match against Denmark, Albanian striker Hamdi Salihi fired a neat ball across keeper Thomas Sørensen into the bottom corner of the goal.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed], Wii, PlayStation Portable, iPhone)
But, it’s not all cupcakes and Skittles when it comes to FIFA’s defensive AI which is, let’s face it, a perennial bugbear. My latest grievance is that World Cup artificially and arbitrarily nerfs defensive players on weak teams by making them slow as frozen molasses. Instead of a defensive weakness manifesting itself in missed tackles or lapses in tactical awareness, “bad” is here represented as “slow.” Not only does it not adhere to reality -- I’m a mediocre soccer player because I’m not good, not because I run like I have hemorrhoids -- but it also kind of wangs up all those nice things I just said about the defensive AI (assuming you’re playing with a weak team).
Other online options include old-fashioned ranked matches with a disarmingly effective twist: player ladders, kind of. Before your first ranked match, you’ll be placed at the bottom of ten groups. You’ll have ten matches to score at least nine points (three points for a win, one for a tie, just like real soccer) to avoid relegation, or 16 to advance to the next group, ostensibly full of slightly better players. For the most part, these ranked matches work like they always have – e.g. me trying not to get trounced by some guy from Honduras – but the added incentive of progressing up the tables sweetens the pot considerably.
Single player options are relatively standard -- a quick match “Kick Off” mode, a “Scenario” mode (which will be updated with scenarios from this year’s World Cup), and the expected World Cup mode. If I don’t waste much space on them, it’s not because they're bad, but because EA Sports has their execution down to a science: these results are reproducible.
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