FIFA Soccer

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
FIFA Soccer Game Poster Image
Simplified sim uses Vita's front and rear touchscreens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Team play is encouraged and rewarded in the game. Players learn that a single player trying to hog the spotlight will inevitably be beaten by the opposition, but by working with your teammates, you can achieve much more. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sportsmanship is emphasized in the game -- and referees are not afraid to flag players for penalties. The game is loaded with real world soccer stars, but whether they are positive role models or not often fluctuates depending on their off-field (real world) behavior. 

Ease of Play

There's a learning curve for new players to the game, but those who are fans of the console version will feel right at home. And the game offers several practice fields letting players get the feel of the new touch screen controls. 

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Consumer branding is widespread in the game, as it is in the real sport of soccer. Stadium banners promote publisher Electronic Arts and FIFA, and player uniforms have company names and logos on them, such as United Healthcare and Herbalife.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that FIFA Soccer, which is a soccer game playable on the PS Vita, is not a part of the popular FIFA Soccer 12. Instead, the game (which is the latest in EA's popular soccer series) is a stripped-down version of the current console edition, with several popular features removed. It's still an authentic sports game, but is somewhat dated in the series lineage. Several jerseys promote real world companies, including Corona beer, but there is no foul language or other inappropriate content. 

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What's it about?

Like its console and app predecessors, FIFA SOCCER is both realistic-looking and authentic. Featuring hundreds of officially licensed teams and well over 10,000 players, the game offers a variety of playing options. The game drops many features from FIFA Soccer 12, but takes advantage of the Vita's unique control structure, letting players use the front and back touchscreens to both pass the ball and take shots on goal.

Is it any good?

It's helpful to know going in that FIFA Soccer is not the same thing as FIFA Soccer 12. This version of the game for the PS Vita reverts to an older play-style and doesn't offer all of the modes from the console game. That's not to say it's bad, but in this age of ports, people might assume they're getting a mobile version of the game they play in their living room. This streamlined version makes it easier for kids to play.

The game is still an authentic, challenging soccer match, but what makes it stand out is its clever (and non-mandatory) use of the Vita's touchscreens. Touch a player on the front and you'll pass to him. Touch a spot on the back and you can take a shot on goal. It's a good way to welcome a mobile audience that might be sampling the game. And vets can play with standard controls as well. Those who spend time complaining they're not getting everything that was included in the console release risk overlooking the quality of what they've got in their hands. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of teamwork.

  • Families can also discuss the international appeal of soccer and why so many people love the sport.

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation Vita
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: February 15, 2012
  • Genre: Sports
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)

For kids who love gaming on the go

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