FIFA VITA Hands On Impressions.

Developer EA

Publisher EA 

Platform PS Vita

Release Date 22nd Feb 2012

As announced back in August at Gamescom Fifa Vita will be a launch title for the Vita when it comes on the 22nd of February 2012. Bone-idle got a chance to get their hands on an early build and talk to Matt Prior Producer on the Fifa series at last weeks EA Winter Showcase and he began by explaining how the team at EA have worked their magic to take the huge PS3 version and stuff it into the tiny Vita without losing any of the quality we expect from a FIFA game. It certainly looks the part but it’s when you play it you realise that not only is it as good but if anything they have gone and made it better!

How many times has it happened whilst playing that your team breaks away on a counter attack, you have the ball, you look up, there are two players breaking forward giving you two passing options. One to the player marked by two defenders not a great option but then just behind him you see the second player all alone unmarked in the box clear through on goal screaming for the ball. You hit the pass button thinking this is going to be a great goal and the player passes it straight to the first guy who is marked out of the game it hit the defender and they clear it!!

Anyone who plays a lot of football games will know exactly what I’m talking about with these scenarios, so you will be delighted to know that FIFA Vita is the first game to give you absolute control over where the ball goes, right down to the very inch. In addition to using the standard button controls, players now have the second option of using the touch controls too. By giving the player this option it allows them to pick the exact point on the pitch that you want the player to pass the ball in too. Giving the player unparalleled control over passing, trough balls and crosses. Never again can you blame the computer for your poor performance! Simply press on screen the player you want to pass to and it goes directly to them, want to play a through ball then just pass the screen in the area of open space you want to play the ball into and he does it!

It not just the passing that will use the touch screen though, free kicks can also be controlled by swiping the screen. This gives the player even more control over the way the ball travels, its height, power and even the curl. Now you can curl those free kicks around the wall into the top corner and feel like you meant it.

Defending has not been left out, when fending off an attack you will often need to change defender quickly, getting the wrong defender can be catastrophic, but by simply tapping on the player you want to take control of you get the right player at the right time every time.

Shooting one of the most important parts of the game has also seen the benefit of touch controls. Using the back touch pad though so it’s right at your fingertips. When you are clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat tapping the bottom right of the touch pad slots the ball into the bottom right hand corner. If the ball drops to you on the edge of the area tapping the top left corner sends the ball smashing into the top left corner. A lot of other factors do come into play, how good the actual player is of course, his positioning, if he is on his week foot or if you press for too long he will balloon the ball into the stands.

It so satisfying to be able to have this extra control over the ball, these additions are massive. Probably the biggest jump in football games for years. All the old problems that dogged the genre for years have been wiped out. You are no longer burdened by the AI if you want that inch perfect through ball or 50 yard cross field pass you can play it.

This year’s version while hugely impressive boasting all the real licenced teams and players it does have some tiny omissions in comparison to the PS3 version, there is no ultimate team and online is only 1 v 1 at the moment, but EA have assured us that by this time next year’s FIFA 13 comes out it will be on parity with the PS3 version and should also include game sharing options so you can continue your season on the move.

Fifa Vita will be in store as a launch title so that sets its release for 22nd Feb 2012, from what we played it is already pretty perfect and genuinely one of the most exciting games for any football fan.

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