GAME REVIEW: UEFA Euro 2012 DLC

Electronic Arts has received a lot of flak over the years about the way they’ve handled the release of their World Cup and European Championship games, and rightfully so, because all they were doing before was redressing the current-gen FIFA titles and charging full price for what was essentially the same product. This year, however, they’ve smartly chosen to release their Euro 2012 content as DLC for “FIFA 12” instead of an individual disc, which will satisfy fans of the franchise despite the fact that it still doesn’t feel like you’re getting very much bang for your buck.

In addition to the basic tournament mode and a Challenge mode similar to the one found on recent installments of the soccer series, there’s also a new mode called Expedition that plays like a mix between FIFA Ultimate Team and “Risk.” To begin, you create a team, select your favorite European player to serve as captain, and receive a random assortment of reserve players to fill out your roster. As you travel across Europe competing against other teams, you’ll unlock roads to new countries, and for every team that you beat, you’re given one of their players, which you can choose to keep or reject. The first time that you beat a team, you’ll get a reserve player; the next time, you’ll get a better player; and the third time, you’ll get one of their stars.

It’s a little more difficult than it sounds, though, as losing a match will destroy the connecting road, resulting in having to play some countries more than three times. But while the risk/reward nature of Expedition adds a bit of unnecessary frustration to the proceedings, it’s still the strongest feature on “UEFA Euro 2012.” That might not be saying much considering just how little there is to choose from, but EA deserves credit for at least trying to do something different. Granted, the DLC is hardly an essential addition to the “FIFA 12” experience (especially at such a high price), but diehard soccer fans should download it anyway.

  

GAME REVIEW: FIFA Street

It’s been four years since EA Sports has released a “FIFA Street” game, and with a little luck, it’ll take four more years before we see another one. That may sound a bit harsh, because “FIFA Street” is by no means a bad game, but it’s so completely lacking in depth compared to EA’s flagship FIFA title that it feels like an insult to be charged the same price. There’s just not that much to do in “FIFA Street” apart from playing individual matches or competing in World Tour, which is where most people will likely spend a majority of their time. In this mode, players build a team and compete in a series of challenges and tournaments around the world, earning points along the way that are used to upgrade attributes and learn new moves, as well as unlock venues and gear based on the difficulty level of each match.

The gameplay itself doesn’t have a very steep learning curve, making it more accessible for casual gamers, but despite the heavy emphasis on beating your opponents using trick moves, they’re not really necessary to winning matches, with the exception of one game type. In fact, “FIFA Street” would get old pretty quick if it weren’t for the variety of ways to play, including classic 5v5; Futsal (indoor soccer without walls); Panna (score by kicking the ball through your opponents legs); Freestyle (score points for performing tricks); and Last Man Standing (lose a player for each goal you score and be the first team out). Unfortunately, “FIFA Street” simply doesn’t have enough replay value to validate its $60 price tag. The game is fun to play in short bursts, but I can’t help but think that it would have worked better as DLC for the far superior “FIFA 12.”

  

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