(Wii U)

FIFA 13 (Wii U)

Game Review

FIFA 13 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Ken Barnes

Party like it's 2011

EA has a bit of history when it comes to releasing versions of FIFA on new consoles. No matter how many years the series runs for or how many formats the game is released on, the first edition on a new machine is always a bit hit and miss. You can track that all the way back to the days of the Sega Megadrive and EA’s first console-based FIFA title - FIFA International Soccer – which was in rude health and sitting at the top of the sales charts month in, and month out. The second Sega dropped the Mega-CD onto the shelves, EA released a new full-priced version of the game for it, one that was identical in every way to the cartridge edition – barring the inclusion of an FMV intro and a few extra crowd chants. Their second bite at the cherry generally brings everything back in line, though, and that second version is probably what most die-hard football fans will have to wait for in order to get their fix. The reason being that FIFA 13 for Wii U is a little bit of a strange package.

The box has the same general design as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of FIFA 13 do, and even run with the same “Join the Clu13” font trickery used in this year’s advertising. The problem, is that the game is actually pretty much identical to the 360 and PS3 editions of last year’s game, FIFA 12. In fact, when we say “pretty much identical,” we mean “you wouldn't be able to tell the difference if you couldn’t see which controllers were being used.”

And this makes FIFA 13 a tough game to review. FIFA 12 was a fine game indeed, but knowing how much of an improvement the sequel was, is it still right to score it with a nine or ten as would have happened at this point a year or more ago? It comes down to the age-old argument. Is a £40 copy of Tekken 2 on the PS1 still worth 9 marks out of 10 today, when the similarly-priced Wii U edition of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 blows it out of the water in every possible area? For us, the answer to that is no, as much as we love a bit of retro.

Sorry, EA, but it isn't going to happen. We know the difference that the “real” FIFA 13’s new First Touch Control made to the formula, and how much more fun, fast, and fluid that made the match engine feel. We know that your tweaks to the collision engine, animations, general graphics and AI also pushed the game to a whole new level, and set the competing football titles an even higher benchmark to reach for. Being able to manage an international team or get our created player into the World Cup finals gave us something extra to play for, too. Without all of that, you've given Wii U owners a full-priced cut-down edition of the old version of your game, switched in the new teams, players, and soundtrack from the latest version and then stuck that new version’s logo on the box. That really isn't cricket, especially when you were already on a bit of a sticky wicket with Nintendo fans.

Back to football, and it would be unfair to say that an attempt at innovation hasn't been made. The new GamePad controls do come in handy when it comes to tacking free kicks and penalties, even if the results do feel a little hit-and-miss at times. When you have managerial control of your side, making substitutions and tactical changes is a breeze with the touchscreen, and you’ll feel a little bit like Gary Neville giving in-depth analysis on Monday Night Football as you change your team’s entire approach in just a few taps. They aren't all winners though, as the facility that allows you to control a player’s attacking run by selecting him and dragging an arrow on the GamePad is next to useless on anything but the easiest difficulty level in single-player games, and completely useless in multiplayer. Generally, by the time you've looked away from the match, found the player you want to move, moved him, and looked back at the action, you will have been tackled. Unfortunately, the player tends to make the run anyway, meaning that he sprints on while everyone else is tracking back to defend after you've turned possession over incredibly cheaply.

Touchscreen shooting is also a bit of a damp squib for similar reasons. When you’re in front of goal and you've got defenders closing in on you, it feels alien to go through the rigmarole of shaking the GamePad violently to activate the new shooting mode, and then tapping (and holding) on the screen to aim your shot. It’s worth noting that alternatively, you can press the right stick in to activate the mode, but it still feels overblown and needless when the alternative is to press a button that you already have your thumb on. Again, if you haven’t already been tackled seconds before, your player will have adjusted his footing to avoid an incoming challenge and by the time the shot is taken you end up with a weak daisycutter taken with your striker’s wrong foot, rather than the rasping pearler into the top corner that you were going for.

If you've never played FIFA 13 (or FIFA 12) then – gimmicks aside - this edition is still a fine football game. For us, FIFA has been far and away the champion for a number of years, with pixel-perfect passing, great atmosphere, and the ability to control tactical nuances that can truly change the outcome of a match. The Wii U keeps up well with the action visually, although there are occasional slight drops in framerate when the camera pans during a match. A whole host of online modes are missing - most notably Ultimate Team – but offline features such as building up your Virtual Pro or trying to lead your club to victory through the massive Career Mode are still great fun – and addictive. There’s an advantage here to having the old game code in place as compared to the new, too, as you can still be a manager of a team in that Career Mode and include your Virtual Pro in the side – a feature that has been (in our opinion, mistakenly) taken out with the yearly trash on other systems. Local multiplayer fans will be in footballing heaven as well, as if you've got a few friends who all regularly play, the addition of a co-op career where up to four players can play on the pitch at a time whilst one manages the tactics with the GamePad is a great boon, and well done.

But even with the on-pitch action being great in 2011's terms, and the off-pitch damage not being too severe, it’s hard to recommend FIFA 13 - simply because we know what it should be like.

Conclusion

FIFA 13 for Wii U is a fine simulation of the world's favourite sport. In footballing circles, the only game that beats it is its own sequel, which is already out for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and also happens to be called FIFA 13. The chances are that if you’re really into football games, you've been playing FIFA on one of the other home formats for a while and will have played this edition of the game to death already. If you aren't, then you’ll have no interest in FIFA 13 anyway. That makes us wonder exactly who EA was targeting when it drew up the plans for this one.

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User Comments (32)

BenAV

#1

BenAV said:

EA up to their usual sneaky business.
My guess is that the target audience is the unsuspecting people wanting the newest FIFA game and just being fooled by the title. :P

What makes little sense to me is why there's a demo for this on the eShop.
You'd think they'd want people to buy it before getting the chance to test it out.

Chunky_Droid

#3

Chunky_Droid said:

"That really isn't cricket"

I'm Australian, and I still don't understand the Britishness of this sentence :P

I can only guess that the team that made this game had last year's to work with and spent the entire time on the touch controls, rather than the new game modes, I'd imagine the next FIFA will be much better.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#4

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

To be fair the demo was pretty good. The Gamepad features, thou unspectacular, were nicely implemented. May get it as I've only briefly played FIFA on handheld consoles with my oldest son.

Power5lave

#6

Power5lave said:

I brought fifa 13 on wii U on a whim as i allready own it on PC. Its not to bad but i think EA should of really sold the game for around the £30 mark considering its missing Ultimate team, but that doesnt bother me as i cant stand UT anyway. Comparing it to the pc version is abit unfair really as it has the best graphics over the other console versions, but when my brother came round the first thing he said to me was ''why arent you playing the wii u'' so it must be ok looking. One thing im chuffed about is that i have yet to seen the problem i face all the time on the pc version when trying to play a game online ''oppenent found'' game goes to the arena and it doesnt progress any further forcing me to ALT+F4 out of the game. Overall i would say if you dont allready own Fifa this season and want to get it buy the wii U version unless your either an achievement junkie or love ultimate team

RudysaurusRex

#7

RudysaurusRex said:

And this... Is why everyone from the interwebs hate EA. It's too bad they put out a good game once in a while.

Power5lave

#11

Power5lave said:

@ueI its abit unfair to say that really as its more of a hybrid of this seasons and last seasons fifa. i wouldnt say its a complete port of fifa 12 but it is missing some of the gameplay elements from 13. its weird but it works strangly enough.

thanos316

#13

thanos316 said:

wow. im surprised u gave it a 6 out of 10. ea is really screwing the nintendo crowd when it comes to fifa games. they just want us to buy up anything that they push out at us. the same game, the same experience thats on the other two platforms. well im sure it will still sell a lot of units on the wii u. but im hoping that konami brings a better football game to the wii u hopefully next year. i won't be giving ea any of my money anytime soon.

The_Fox

#15

The_Fox said:

@Savino
Here I am!

I'm surprised EA can get away with repackaging the same soccer game all over again but on the other hand I have to admire their balls pulling a stunt like this.

harman-smith

#16

harman-smith said:

Great honest review. does anyone know if konami are bring pes to the wii u? And does anyone rember the virtua soccer series?

coolvw93

#18

coolvw93 said:

EA never makes fresh sports games, they add a little bit (rosters, jerseys if needed, something different for the commentator to say, intros) then use the rest from the last one (stadium, plays, basic stuff), and the one before that, and the one before that.... etc. i never buy new EA sports games...

Bulbousaur

#19

Bulbousaur said:

Disgraceful EA. Its bad enough that most of your sports games are very similar with a few updated graphics, but now you are releasing the same game as last year, not just one, but TWICE, with this along with the whole Wii version clone?

I hope no-one buys this. EA Canada, who make the Fifa series, are one of the laziest developers of all time...

andrea987

#20

andrea987 said:

It's still a fantastic title, great graphics, and it has few innovations courtesy of the gamepad. All in all, I'm happy with the purchase, even though I already had it for ps3.

Treverend

#22

Treverend said:

Don't really get the appeal of soccer... I mean they just use their feet for crying out loud. The sport doesn't even seem that entertaining. But meh, guess I shouldn't be knocking it since it's so popular though... heck even America has a soccer team, feel kinda sorry for them though because I don't know any Americans who watch them... lol.

DamoAdmin

#23

Damo said:

@Treverend That's OK, the rest of the world doesn't "get" the appeal of American Football either. I mean why is it called football when they use their hands for crying out loud.

;)

biggsydaboss

#25

biggsydaboss said:

@BenAV
EA trying to pull a fast one on customers, surely not. Next you'll be telling us that they like to release day one DLC, that gives us items/characters/storylines that should be in the finished product without having to fork out an extra fiver...... Oh wait, they do that don't they. I wonder why they got voted the worsrt company in world earlier this year, yet do they stop their shenanigans. Nooo they don't they just try them out on a new console, with potentially new customers, thinking that we wouldn't notice. Errr Mass Effect 3 fan here, I know what you're up to EA. I want to buy ME3 for the Wii U, but I don't think my heart could stand being broken a second time. Curse you EA, with hell's fury I spit at you. If my chest was a cannon I'd fire my heart upon you (EA I mean, not you Ben)..... Ok the nice nurse is bringing over my meds, so I guess that's my rant over. Night night

fifagames

#26

fifagames said:

FIFA 13 on the Wii U has the similar solid gameplay experience of its peers, and is the great first shot at HD soccer on a Nintendo console. It hits the essentials and nothing more.

gavn64

#27

gavn64 said:

to be fair im irish and i enjoy both american and english football but i hate cricket :-[

Tasuki

#28

Tasuki said:

Well I have to say since I haven't owned a FIFA game since FIFA 2010 (Yeah I am not one of those people that have to by a new sports game every year just for an updated roster) I decide to pick this one up for the Wii U and I have to say I am impressed. Yeah it might be the Xbox/PS3 FIFA 12 repackaged but for someone who hasn't played a FIFA game since FIFA 10 that doesnt matter.

I especially love the off TV play feature that this game has so my son can play FIFA while I am watching TV or even playing something else on the Xbox.

Probably will be a few years till I buy another FIFA game now.

tetrizheroz

#30

tetrizheroz said:

Reconsidering getting this game. I only need one soccer game every 4 or 5 years anyway. Now we know there want be a new one from EA or any PES game either. So it's either this or hold out for a watered down soccer game like Real Soccer to come to the Wii U.

jenkje

#32

jenkje said:

This is the only FIFA you need on Wii U. It looks great and plays well. No reason to be mad at EA for not releasing the new ones as they are only minor upgrades at full price anyway. My two sons loves it...

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