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FIFA 09 was a lot of fun although still a little over keen on motion controls. It was best when it didn't take itself too seriously and let rip with the Mii inspired games - I had a great time with the 8 vs 8 Mii players against my Dad.
The games sports a new All Play control system that takes several forms, aimed at several different skill levels. If you've never played a Wii game (or never played a football game before) you can opt to play simply with the Wii-mote - completely ditching the Nun-chuck. You don't do much in this mode as the players will move around on their own, you simply tell them when to shoot, tackle and pass. Needless to say, I found this mode is quite boring, and I can't see anyone really using it.
Another control method (my favourite) uses the Nun-chuck to move your player around and use gestures and buttons to shoot, pass and tackle. This was good for me, offering the best compromise of manoeuvrability and simplicity.
Another great mode is the 8 a side quick football match, a fun game with ‘Mii-ified' versions of the famous players.
A little more complex is the novel pointing the Wii-mote to run and pass mode. This offers a great degree of flexibility, as you're no longer restricted to passing to another player - you can point to players or pass into open space. However, I found that it was hard to concentrate on everything at once - pointing the Wii-mote where I wanted to go, sorting out where I wanted to pass to and thinking about the whole pitch and player positions at once.
The motion control tackling (swing down) and shooting (swing sideways) are both fairly ambiguous. Whenever I'm on goal I never seem to be able to perform a really powerful shot. Set pieces are no better. Once, when in a shoot-out against my dad, he moved his hand and shot the ball straight towards me. Although this should make it an easy victory, as I readied myself to save the shot I accidentally made the keeper jump to the left. Unfortunately, stories like this are fairly commonplace in the penalty shoot-outs, which don't really work very well at all.
I really enjoyed playing the manager mode and building up the half star Exeter team to the top of their league. I'm not a big footie fan and there were a lot of features I didn't understand. But this didn't totally stop me from enjoying it - although a manager-lite mode would have been awesome.
Another great mode is the 8 a side quick football match, where you take on the role of a national team such as England or Argentina and play a friendly, fun game with ‘Mii-ified' versions of the famous players. I enjoyed playing this mode with my dad a lot, much more than I would have done if I was playing in the standard mode, because of the fun, cartoony nature of it.
You both laugh at your character jumping around the screen, as even the slightest twitch will set it off.
Then there's a mode where you have to perform certain gestures such as shaking the Wii-mote to build up a chain of headers and kick-ups, which is also fun but grew old quickly. The shoot-out mode, where you have to evade the keeper and shoot targets in goal suffered from the same problems as in the more serious penalty shoot-outs. However, playing with two players is undeniably fun when one of you takes on the position of keeper, as you both laugh at your character jumping around the screen, as even the slightest twitch will set it off.
All in all, I really enjoyed playing this game. Although there are some poor sections, such as the penalties, most of the game is very good fun. EA have done a good job of appealing to both casual and more hardcore gamers with the multiple control and play styles, and even a relative football game newbie like me had a lot of fun playing this game.
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