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True English Gent: FIFA 09 Demo Impressions!


I can still recall playing FIFA 96 on my Sega Megadrive System. That game was indeed my first ever true game for one of my favourite consoles of all time. I can still recall the first match I ever played on that Christmas morning, it was England Vs Jamaica and despite my eager determination to win, I would go on to lose 1-0. Maybe it was me being young, but I remember that game being quite tough when it wanted to. Yet its fair to say that EA Sports got lazy and was left in the dust by Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series for many a good year. I to found myself only spending cash on PES and often not even considering EA Sports FIFA series as an alternative . How things change, but those things have only trully changed these past two years or so as EA Sports have got their act together and Konami seem to be stuck finding it hard to move to the new generation of consoles in the right way. So with another set of Football (Soccer to you yanks) on the way these next few months, demos were to be expected and the FIFA 09 Demo hit our consoles as hard as Zinedine Zidane's Headbutt in the World Cup Final. Heres what I thought of it.

Rooney in a FIFA Game... NEVER!
Rooney in a FIFA Game... NEVER!
Before I go into the details of how the demo felt, I wish to give great credit to EA Sports Uefa Euro 2008 game which hit just before the actual tournament started over the summer. The game showed the first true great improvments in actual gameplay that FIFA 08 often lacked and the majority of Football fans agreed that it was a great leap forward. Its fair to say that FIFA 09 builds on the improvments made in Euro 2008, as actual gameplay is the best I've felt in a FIFA game for god knows how long. Things can still feel a little weird at times but I'd say 80% of the weird scripted feelings to actual gameplay as been improved. The gameplay flows well with great animation and passing that in my personal opinion matches that of past PES games.

Of course this might be a small detail with most other games, but with Sports games its a must have and so many out there get animation and gameplay flow oh so wrong. FIFA 09 Demo feels great to play and its also fair to say both your teams A.I and that of your opponents is smarter then ever, they make more runs through the defense or use their brains when they are attacking your defense. The A.I in FIFA 08 could be challenging, though it showed way to many issues in certain situations including sleeping defenders and the occasional keeper bug or two. FIFA 09 by the demo alone looks like the right improvments have been made in the right troublesome areas, and its a great sign of what to expect from the series if EA Sports actually listen to the fans.

Another worthy mention is the improved graphics on show, things look a lot sharper and generally cleaner with textures looking smart and consistent on a good HD Screen. Player faces can still look a little ape-like but things generally look a hell of a lot better to what we have seen from FIFA since the series hit current generation consoles, and with the much better animation on offer, its clear fans will enjoy having the extract bit of polish. In all honesty FIFA hasn't really had anything to worry about when it came to graphics as the PES series still seems to be struggling to find its current gen feet when it comes to getting the games graphical style. FIFA 09 is an improvment over 08 graphically and you'll definatly notice it when you play the demo.

The Demo itself offers a number of the usual teams to play as including Chelsea, A.C Milan and Real Madrid. Theres also Toronto F.C in there for the yanks/Canadians who might actually like their Soccer/Football. Of course FIFA still as the full license so you'll find your favourite football teams here with updated kits and players when the game gets its actual worldwide release. There are some very exciting new features on there way to, such as the ability to download weekly changed stats of all the players depending on that week of actual real life performance. so say Gareth Barry had a bad game for Aston Villa then you'll see his stats lower then the weeks previously. Its a nice new feature that will be hit or miss with fans, but its defiantly nice to see new features being offered by EA Sports. Another feature we finally get is the ''Be A Pro'' Campaign which will allow you to create a player and play for your favourite team over a couple of seasons. This is something I have wanted since we first saw ''Be A Pro'' back in 08 and should be a huge plus for the game. Of course thats not it, 10 vs 10 online matches will no doubt be amazing if it runs well online and many more new features on offer. in fact this is one of the most exciting FIFA games for a hell of a long time with some of the new features to be offered to fans of the beautiful game.

For the demo itself, well I very much enjoyed it. There seems to be improvments made all over the board when it comes to actual gameplay, and I'm sure anyone who enjoyed last years installment will find many things to like from the demo alone. The game is set for release this October and can expected to be in the top 10 for a good long while. How will it compare to its rival we are yet to know. But the signs are good for FIFA 09 which could possibly be one of the best FIFA games the series as seen to date. I reconmend you check the demo out on XBOX LIVE or PSN now. I'll also be reviewing the game when it gets releasedd in October.

From the Impressions of a True English Gent.

Now for some cake!
Now for some cake!