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North America

FIFA Street

by Lasse Pallesen - April 8, 2005, 4:55 am EDT


Everybody is a Ronaldinho in this title from EA.

The key to scoring in FIFA Street is simple enough. You start off with a couple of dribble feints, then a back heel pass, followed by a handstand pass, and then you finish off with a bicycle kick. If that doesn’t cut it, try using the slow-motion super effect as you shoot.

Suffice it to say, realism is completely thrown out the window. FIFA Street is a game in which tactics and strategies are useless, tackles from behind are actually encouraged, and goal-less draws practically non-existent. The action flows quickly from one side of the pitch to the other, with goal-scoring opportunities occurring constantly. A 3-0 lead can be thrown away within seconds. A victory is never quite certain.

The main mode is called “Rule the Street”. You start out by creating your own player and signing other players to your team. At this point, all of them are pretty unskilled, but you’ll get the chance to replace them with better ones, as you progress. You’ll also accumulate experience and reputation points, enabling you to upgrade your own player’s abilities and enter organised tournaments with your team. It’s a system that works well, because you constantly get rewarded for you victories, and so your team gradually gets stronger.

The matches themselves are four-on-four and take place in small graffiti-daubed pitches, surrounded by a few lonely spectators. They clap and cheer as you perform crazy moves, but, overall, the atmosphere is somewhat dull. It’s too lifeless to convincingly capture the sense of an underground soccer culture, and the uninteresting soundtrack does little to improve on the situation. On top of that, the commentator repeats himself over and over again, and his exaggerated comments aren’t even that much fun or insightful to begin with.

Fortunately, the presentation isn’t completely terrible. There are wide-screen and progressive scan options available. What’s more, the game boasts hundreds of licensed players, all of whom closely resemble their real-life counterparts. They are also animated well. Their various moves connect to each other seamlessly, so you can’t help but put a smile on your face when watching them for the first time. The foot-rolls, twister moves and overhead flicks all look satisfyingly over-the-top, and the pure creativity that went into the design of some of the moves is truly admirable.

However, a fascination with the way moves look won’t hold your attention all on its own. Addictive gameplay is necessary. Unfortunately, FIFA Street fails miserably in this regard. All the matches have a similar feel and a similar flow. You basically fling together crazy tackling, dribbling, passing, and shooting maneuvers in order to fill up your so-called Gamebreaker meter. Once full, a powerful super-shot can be performed, which obviously increases your scoring chances. There are various reasons why these matches become utterly repetitive affairs. First of all, the AI is horribly predictable and downright stupid. As a result, you’ll quickly learn the passing patterns of the CPU-controlled characters. What’s more, your own team-mates rarely run to a favorable position on the field when you have the ball. They mostly just stand still even though they’re marked by an opponent. Your goalie can be even more brain-dead. Regardless of his skill level, he might decide not to do anything even though the ball is lying right in front of him, ready to be picked up.

The other flaw lies in the controls. Not only are they sluggish, they’re also far too focused on individual techniques. The C-stick opens up a wealth of dribble tricks but this comes at the expense of team-based gameplay. A greater emphasis on building up an attack by passing through the opponent defense would have provided more depth and subtlety to the gameplay. Instead, it’s almost reduced to one-on-one encounters where you just hope to get past your opponent with a fancy trick move. Whether your player succeeds with this trick is mostly a matter of coincidence. It has little to do with actual skill, so this simplifies the gameplay even further. The controls don’t even allow for through passes or direction-specific passes.

This lack of subtlety is FIFA Street’s serious illness – and it drastically shortens the game’s life. When you then begin to get tired of constantly seeing the same animations – which are supposed to be the most accomplished aspect of the game – there is little left to hold your interest.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 2 4 4 2.5 4

Fine animation, authentic-looking players as well as options for wide-screen and progressive scan displays pull in the positive direction. Uninspired venues and a lack of special effects don’t.


The soundtrack is what we’ve come to expect from EA’s sports games: it’s boring. The commentator sounds repetitive and unintelligent. Otherwise, there is very little speech to be found.


The amount of dribble feints you can perform is staggering, but otherwise the control options are limited. There are not enough options for passing. Sometimes your player refuses to do what you command him to, which is unforgivable.


The way the main mode is structured, and the way the action flows quickly back and forth in the matches are pleasing elements. However, the gameplay becomes repetitive within minutes because of the limited controls and laughable AI.


There’s little chance you have the perseverance to even come close to finishing this game because it’s remarkably monotonous.


FIFA Street is a case of style over substance – and even the amount of style to be found here is limited.


  • Dazzling moves
  • Licensed players
  • Supports wide-screen and progressive scan
  • Boring venues
  • Extremely repetitive gameplay
  • Forgettable soundtrack
  • Horrible AI
  • Not skill-based enough
  • Sluggish and limited controls
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Sports
Developer Electronic Arts

Worldwide Releases

na: FIFA Street
Release Year 2005
PublisherElectronic Arts

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