Sony Ericsson unveiled the one of its kind Android powered gaming phone, the Xperia Play, back at MWC this year. The phone comes with a dedicated gamepad, and is aimed at serious gamers. The internals of the phone were seemingly dated, and have played a major hand in the lackluster sale of the handset.
Nevertheless, Sony had promised that with time the Play will get some exclusive games. The company stuck to its word and released some exclusive games for the handset like Minecraft etc. Now, joining the list of exclusive games for the Xperia Play is EA Mobile’s FIFA 12. EA had previously launched some exclusive titles on the Play as well like Battlefield and Need For Speed.
Being an Xperia Play exclusive, the game is optimized to take advantage of the phone’s gamepad. The game is also available for other Xperia handsets like the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo and Pro handsets. Xperia Play owners can download FIFA 12 for free until early 2012 as a part of Sony Ericsson’s Get In The Game’ promotion.
FIFA by EA Sports is one of the most played sports game in the world. Earlier, it faced heavy competition from PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) in terms of game play, but since FIFA 11 was released, it has improved in leaps and bound. FIFA 12 is the best from EA Sports so far. The brilliant individual player control and intelligent CPU game play along with numerous new features in various modes has made it the best football game in the market.
FIFA 12 Arena
Let’s start with the game play; the player control has been massively improved. Unlike earlier versions of FIFA, FIFA 12 has slowed down the game speed which gives the gamer a fraction more time to swiftly control their player by just jogging or jogging while pressing the Pace control button, it also makes skill moves easier to perform during matches.
FIFA 12 Side Selection
FIFA 12 On going Game Screen
You can make the game play more realistic by turning off numerous Auto assist options like pass power, and direction from settings. Some players have specialties. For example Wayne Rooney has engine, distance shooter and clinical finisher specialties; this makes his distance shooting more effective in scoring goals and also has high scoring percentage inside the box. This brings the skills of individual players in the games closer to what they are in real life. If a player has a clear view of goal then he will score 8 out of 10 times.
FIFA 12 Rooney Scoring
FIFA 12 Real Life Collision Impact
EA Sports has also introduced levels in FIFA 12 which helps to find suitable opponents during online play and ranking yourself with your friends. Penalties have also changed in FIFA 12, which now has a meter. You have to shoot when the pointer is on the green patch. When shot at either end of the bar, the player usually slips, which is fun to watch. The intelligence of the CPU can be described by the fact that if a player like Peter Crouch is in the penalty box, the winger of his team will cross the ball immediately (note: Peter Crouch is 6 feet 7 inches tall), but if a shorter striker is present it will try to cut in with the ball. Midfielders like Fabregas are quick in picking out passes because of his high vision compared to Michael Carrick or Ji Sung Park.
FIFA 12 Detailed Player Movement
FIFA 12 Scoring by head
EA Sports also added a new style of defending called Tactical defending. Generally, people who have played an earlier version of FIFA used the sprint plus standing tackle button to win the ball. But the Tactical defending takes it to a new level and is extremely challenging for players. In Tactical defending, you have to control the direction and speed of the defender plus jockey and contain the opponent, then tackle only at the right time to win the ball, just as in real life. Tackle early, the player will go past you and tackle late, you will foul them. Tactical defending is very difficult to get used to, and frankly speaking, I couldn’t get used to it and switched back to old style of defending. However, many people will surely like this new style.
The most played mode in FIFA is the manager mode. I love this mode as it gives me a chance to do whatever I want to do with my team. In FIFA 12, the interface has been completely changed with most of the default screen occupied with News from around the football world. The news of your club and your players’ performance are highlighted here.
FIFA 12 Manager Mode Default Screen
Rotating your squad is also a big challenge, as Form and Morale affect the attitude of the players. If you don’t play a certain player for a long time he’ll wish to leave the club. His form and morale will also dip as a consequence. Giving a chance to new players frequently will give their form and morale a boost, and you will be notified when that happens by a pop up message from that player after matches. The scouting network has changed a bit. Now you can simultaneously send three scouts to different locations. Sending and calling back a scout takes a few days, unlike earlier, where they could be called up immediately and sent to another location. As a manager, you can now get involved more deeply in the game because of the newly introduced option to comment on your team or opponent team before certain matches. You can use this opportunity to praise or motivate your team or any individual player which will increase the morale. At the same time, you can comment on the opponent team or players. Some people love to buy and sell players in manager mode, but the club budget can hinder the fun. In FIFA 12 you can choose your budget allocation between transfer budget and wage. You can decrease the wage bank to increase the transfer budget.
FIFA 12 Manager Mode Budget Allocation
Apart from Manager Mode, one other mode which I like is Virtual Pro. You can create your own professional player and then complete the various accomplishments to increase his ratings. This is very addicting because of the fun of the accomplishment. The online playing option has been improved, and now you can play with players of your level, who will be automatically searched for. Various options, like online tournaments, increase the fun. But you need to have a fast and unlimited internet connection to play online. My 512kbps internet connection is slow to react to my controller action, hence it is difficult to play. An internet connection of 1Mbps should be good enough for a smooth experience. There is also a FIFA 12 Store where you can buy various additional features from EA, like Live Season, in which the player form in game is updated every week based on their real life performance. There are many other additional features which you can buy.
FIFA 12 Post Match
Overall the game is the best that EA Sports have produced so far. Excellent and intelligent game play makes it the best football game currently in the market. The real life impact of collision between players brings the experience closer to real life. If you are a football lover then don’t think even once before buying FIFA 12, and if you haven’t played football, FIFA 12 will surely bring your interest to the game. I rate FIFA 12 a solid 9 out of 10. You can’t afford to miss this one.