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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game drips of national pride, sportsman-like behavior, and athleticism, all of which can be looked at as good messages.
Positive Role Models
The players are good role models because to be a professional sports athlete you need discipline, training, athleticism, and good teamwork skills.
Ease of Play
EA Sports has added two button "classic" control scheme to the easy-to-use controls. This is probably the easiest scocer game to play out of all recent releases.
Violence & Scariness
Players could get a penalty for tripping or shoving another player -- as in real life -- but there is no other violence on or off the field.
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The play-by-play commentary, color commentar,y and lyrics are all appropriate for young ears. But because it's an online game, you could technically hear players talk between each other -- including profanity.
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Products & Purchases
As with other sports games you can see advertisements on the billboards or jumbo screen -- in some cases are dynamically (changing every week) inserted if there's an online connection. We didn't notice any ads in the pre-release version of the game, but there is a sponsored Coke Zero Story of Qualifying mode in the game and something called Coca Cola Celebrations, where players type in codes found on Coca-Cola products and to unlock player celebrations.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is nothing of concern in this game other than some branding (e.g. Coca-Cola). The soccer sim was designed to capture the excitment and emotion of 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer, a family friendly sporting competition taking place in June 2010 in South Africa. Online version does allow open chat using a headset with strangers, so parents of younger children might want to prohibit that mode of play.
Is It Any Good?
Yes. While it might be tough to justify picking up a new soccer game each year, EA Canada has done an exceptional job at capturing the emotion, excitement, gameplay, and visuals that lead up to this major sporting event. The handling of the soccer player and ball has been greatly improved, too, putting much of the emphasis on the game's dual analog sticks (as with other recent FIFA titles), but also allowing for an optional, simplified two-button control scheme. In solo matches, the computer-controlled opponents are anything but predictable, but online is where this game shines. Speaking of Internet support, adding to the game's replayability are real-time moments updated from the real 2010 FIFA World Cup, that lets players see how they'll fare in the same nail-biting scenarios. Overall, soccer fans looking to take home a piece of the World Cup magic this summer shouldn't hesitate to kick this disc into their game collection.
Online interaction: The game is packed with online modes that range from quick pick-up-and-play games to full-on tournaments to the ability to play with up to three friends on the same team. The lobby is clean and intuitive. Some online versions allow talking to strangers over a headset so what you might hear is questionable.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.