Of all the franchises that EA has, none are as international as FIFA. Madden and NBA Live games only sell here in the 'States. Burnout's audience is the Americas and Europe/PAL land, with Japan not caring very much. Need for Speed, same story as Burnout. Tiger Woods PGA, North America only. Nascar…well, uh, you get the point. But it's no surprise that a game series based on the most popular sport in the world is also, arguably, the most internationally successful in EA's lineup. EA has branched out there three core sports franchises (NBA, NFL, and FIFA) into arcade-style spin-offs dubbed "Street". Here we have the third iteration of FIFA Street, which makes this the second "Street" spin-off to land on next-gen consoles, following NBA Street Vol. 3.
For FIFA Street 3, you can expect an all new controls setup that delivers ultra-responsive gameplay, with an easy to use trick mechanic that allows for the most instant and precise control over the athletes. Much like NBA Street, moves can be combo'd into various strings in order to break down a defender standing before you. And of course, the more moves you pull off, the faster you'll load up that Game Breaker in order to unleash all of that momentum against your foes. With the Game Breaker enabled, you'll be able to soar over defenders, flip over teammates, and even perform anti-gravity one-timers for a goal with beautiful showmanship.
As opposed to playing with every team found in the standard FIFA games, FIFA Street 3 simplifies it by allowing you access to 18 of the world's best teams, with a host of secret teams. 250 players in total will be represented in FIFA Street 3, all of which feature their own unique playing traits. Each footballer differs, as there are the Tricksters, the Enforcers, the Playmakers, and the Finishers.
The new Street Challenge mode will have you playing across a bunch of different tournaments, and succeeding will unlock the hidden players and teams, which you can also freely use online. The game's artificial intelligence will be able to use the same tactics and finesse as you do, so you shouldn't underestimate their playing.
But when you're not in the mood to play against the A.I., you can bet your bottom dollar that there are multiplayer modes to choose from, online and off. Head to Head mode will have you playing a best-of series against one friend – here you'll be able to customize the rules of each match. But it's the online stuff most of us want, and EA is delivering.
Online Playground Picks sounds like one of the coolest features FIFA Street 3 has going for it. This feature allows you to assemble an all-star street team to use online. But you don't just choose all of the best at the same time, you select them turn-by-turn, just as you would on a real playground – so choose carefully. Then there's the Online World Challenge, where you wear and represent your nation's colors online. You'll have to battle against 18 other teams here, so make sure you make your country proud!
Visually, FIFA Street 3 looks like a mixed bag. One on hand, it's extremely cartoony, and doesn't aim for that same level of detail that made NBA Street 3 a good looking game. On the other hand, I guess that's sort of to be expected out of an arcade sports game, as the visual style does suit it somewhat. Environments will vary across playgrounds in South America, to rooftops in Asia, to the streets of Europe. And all of the courts are interactive, as you'll be able to run sideways on the walls, with music pulsating the environments (much like Def Jam ICON), and surroundings exploding to tackles and knee breaking tricks.
FIFA Street 3 is pinned for a February 2008 release.