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Publisher: Electronic Arts    Genre: Sports
Min OS X: 10.6

FIFA Soccer 12
November 1, 2011 | Andrew Lennox

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Mac OS X: 10.6.8 |†CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 6 GB Graphics:†ATI HD2600 or NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or greater with 256 MB of Video RAM. This game will not run on the Intel GMA 950 or X3100 class of video cards. |

If you knew me personally you would probably work out that Iíd not be the best person to review FIFA Soccer 12. Itís not that I donít like soccer, I just know absolutely nothing about it. I have heard many good things about this popular franchise from people, but I have never had an opportunity to sit down and play any of its predecessors. Every year EA comes out with a new title saying it's better then ever, until you realize that it is exactly the same as last year. But year after year, despite this cloning trick, the latest FIFA is hailed as the best in class. So, since EA Sports and TransGaming have brought this game over to the Mac for the very first time, it seemed like this would be the perfect time to give this never ending franchise a go.

Set Up / EA Account Sign Up:
After a few clicks it does prompt you to set up an account with EA. This means that in the future if you buy another FIFA game, all your settings will be saved in EAís servers and you can download your settings right into the new game. It's a nice feature for fans of this franchise. On the flip side, for people who just want to get into some action, it can be quite a hassle having to sign up. Once you have signed up the game asks you how much experience you have playing FIFA games. When you make that choice the game decides how difficult the opponents are universally rather then constantly having to tell the game that you suck at soccer video games. It also adjusts over time depending on your ability.

While this process is lengthly it does show how EA wants you to to get all this administrative part out of the way first before you get into playing. After playing the game numerous times I can see why this drawn out process of typing every little detail about your ability is beneficial in the long run. While it may seem like a turn off upon first glance it does work well in the scheme of things.

Tutorial / Controls:
Once the set up is complete you are immediately thrown into a tutorial showing you the basics of how the game works. This brings me to the very first problem with FIFA 12. The controls. Something so basic as the controls are abysmal for people using the keyboard. All on screen commands only refer to the gamepad accessories available. There is no keyboard translation. I had to resort to pushing random buttons on the keyboard in order to work out how to control my character. This was immensely annoying, which really brings down this AAA title to a horrible low. When you spend over USD $40 on a game you expect to have a solid grounding for the controls in the tutorial level. This game does not have this.

This was not a great start to this highly regarded title.

You would think after a terrible experience on the tutorial level that the gameplay would be just as bad. But after a bit of perseverance and Google searches I was able to master the controls and finally able to play a match. Much to my surprise it was actually a lot of fun. Once I discovered good tactics to use on the field I found myself becoming ďsucked inĒ to the game, the sort of feeling I usually get when Iím playing a racer against one of my friends. I finally began to understand why this game is so highly regarded.

Little touches in the game help you overcome your opposition. If you control one player throughout the game your other AI teammates will help you take possession. A very nice fall back if you have no idea what you are doing. You can also call the ball over if you think you have an opening. This provides a range of control for more experienced and less experienced players. Other assists in the game include discrete yellow arrows on the controlled player showing where you should be on the field. People of little soccer experience will often find themselves chasing the ball rather then holding back in the correct position allocated for them. With these yellow arrows you can identify how far away you are from where you should be, while still having the freedom to do whatever you desire.


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