FIFA 13 on Wii U was inevitable, as EA is always keen to bring one of its biggest franchises to every system possible. Occasionally it's a little too keen and churns out yearly updates that are barely updates at all, or in the now-infamous case of FIFA 13 on Wii, some releases aren't far off from being clones. The upcoming Wii U launch version, it seems, will be a mix of the old and the new.
In an interview with Eurogamer.net, producer of the Wii U version, Matt Prior, explained that transferring the game engine and setting the groundwork for future releases had necessitated a few omissions.
Some of the later improvements on 13 we weren't able to get into the game. So we've got version one. They've got version two.
...We can't take a feature they're working on because we get it working and they change it. We get it working and they change it, alongside all the challenges we already have. It's not technically feasible. Looking forward we could probably get parity now. But year one is always the most difficult because you're laying the foundation.
In terms of the game, if we're making FIFA 14 on the 360, we've got a solid platform and we know what we're working on. We can devote most of our time to new features. There's nothing that needs doing. You can just build on top of it.
With us, the vast majority of our time was building that foundation.
FIFA Ultimate Team, one of the most popular game modes introduced in recent times, has also failed to make the cut this time. Although Prior raises the increasingly touchy subject of Wii U's online infrastructure, he makes a valid point about how long it took for Xbox 360 and PS3 to host the feature.
We don't have Ultimate Team, purely and simply because Nintendo's online is in its infancy. It's building. FUT took five years to appear on 360 and PS3. They're very complex features. It's potentially something we could do further down the line. But in terms of initially getting the foundation set, that wouldn't have been technically feasible, because it is such a complex mode.
On the positive side, Prior highlighted the new features that are utilising the GamePad, in particular, while the title still flows at a solid 60 frames per second. This version, as we've highlighted previously, will have its own unique features such as a new viewpoint on the second screen for set pieces, as well as passing and shooting on the touch screen. Perhaps the most significant addition is Manager Mode, which allows tactical tweaks or substitutions on the fly or can allow a "casual" player, as Prior puts it, to assist and manage tactics intuitively on the touch screen while someone else plays.
We know there are a lot of casual gamers out there who love football, and by virtue of loving football are into FIFA. I mean, gone are the days when you had to be a gamer to appreciate games, right? Messi looks like Messi now. Anyone who loves football can relate to it.
But if you're a non-gamer up until this point you haven't been able to interact with it because you got on and your son or your brother hammered you eight nil. It wasn't a pleasurable experience. Now, they can hop on and by virtue of Manager Mode have fun but not that pressure of twitch.
Throw in five player multiplayer — one GamePad and four others — that can also be played in that way online, and FIFA 13 on Wii U does have some promise. Naturally, plenty will instead focus on what the title doesn't have in comparison to fellow HD consoles, as is often the case with launch day releases.
Are you looking forward to getting on the pitch with the Wii U début of FIFA, or are you unable to live without Ultimate Team mode? Let us know in the comments below.