By Philip Dunkley
To start off with, I’m going to lay out a few things before I even get into this review. Firstly, I joined the LazyGamer team 2 days ago, and I am really excited about where this website is going and what Gavin has been doing since inception. Secondly, my knowledge and experience of Mobile gaming is limited at best, so it was with serious trepidation that I ventured forward into the wide world of Mobile Phone Gaming.
The good people at EA have given me the latest version of their long standing, and in my humble opinion, the greatest sport franchise ever made for any console(I’m not debating this, so don’t mail me), FIFA 08 Mobile Edition. Now I have played every release of this game since its debut back on the Megadrive in 1995(Then known as FIFA International Soccer), and have managed to fall in love with this game over and over, and yes I have played the other franchises, but I just find the FIFA franchise is more fun than the rest.
Now mobile gaming is a whole different ball game (Excuse the pun). Firstly the controls are clumsy at first, but you slowly get used to them the more you play. Secondly, let’s not even go down the road of graphics, as they don’t compare to any other version. Period. Then there is the matter of depth, do not expect anything remotely similar to the console versions in the way of depth or flexibility, but for a game that takes up a sum total of 461KB, this is to be expected.
Team management is very limited, basically allowing you to change who take free kicks, corners and penalties, and also what formation the team is going to adopt on the pitch. The controls are very simple, with the players automatically running, and the player choosing the direction of the run with the arrow keys and having the option to pass to the marked player on screen with OK button. Sprinting is available by hitting either the # or * key, and shooting is done via the right hand soft key, which doubles up as the tackle when the player is in defense mode. Also the pass and shoot key have different results depending on how long you hold them in.
Actually playing a match is where I was not nearly as disappointed as I thought I was going to be. I played the game on a Nokia N95, and it easily handled whatever the game threw at it, but as I stated, it is not too taxing on graphic front. I actually found my first match to keep my attention until the last minute, even though I beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 with Arsenal on my first attempt, this on the Semi Pro Level, but then the strategies of play are still similar to the console versions. Then I found something kind of weird happening. I started another game, and then another after that, then moved to the career mode and after 2 hours, I had found that I had spent more time with this game than I had with a large amount of full console games, and had actually had some fun in the process. One small issue I found with game is that my team was rather outdated, for example I still had Freddie Ljungberg and Jose Antonio Reyes in my team, and this is not really customizable.
So despite some negatives of the format, and serious gamers will raise their noses at the fact that real gaming does not include mobile gaming, it is still fun, and if I can get a quick dose of gaming on the road, then this is definitely turning into a future trend. I cannot wait for the N-Gage service to launch again, as some of the games I have played on the format are rather interesting, and there is a huge step up on the graphics and depth front with this re-launched service.
I think EA is on to the right formula, and with the Mobile Phone getting more and more powerful, the future looks rosy with regards to portable gaming. Yeah I know that the PSP and DS have had some seriously cool games released on each format, but I don’t want to carry all this stuff with me, I want it to be at my fingertips, integrated into a gadget that I know is always with me, my trusty mobile, and I will definitely be trying out a few more mobile games.
Graphics – 60%
Sound – 60%
Replay Value: 80%
Overall: 70% (Good)
To get your copy of FIFA 2008 head on over to either www.vodafonelive.co.za, www.mtn.co.za or www.exactmobile.co.za and follow the instructions.
In order to download a game you can go to Vodafone, MTN or ExactMobile’s mobi-site and download any EA game.
You can’t download mobile content until you have WAP/GPRS settings saved to your phone
Last Updated: February 28, 2008