For years now, Nintendo gamers have had to deal with a sub-par FIFA experience, with standard definition graphics and important features missing from its full resolution cousins such as the yearly enhanced graphics and improved intelligence engine. So enter the Wii U edition of FIFA 13, a new console, a new generation, a new start? Well, not quite yet.
FIFA 13 on the Wii U isn't really this year's update to the long running football series. It's more akin to FIFA 12 with a number of tweaks, dual screen features and even some strange omissions. This isn't the first time that EA Sports has dressed up a new release as the previous year's, FIFA 13 on the original Wii is the same game as FIFA 12 with only the most minor of cosmetic changes and the PS Vita launch title, FIFA Football was basically the previous years version in new clothing. That's not to say it's a bad experience, in fact it's quite good but it's important to know there are some major differences between the versions.
Moving on, FIFA 13 on the Nintendo Wii U boasts an up to date roster of club and international teams with official licenses from the leagues you've come to know and love. The Player Impact Engine, Precision Dribbling, and Tactical Defending, which were all included for the first time in FIFA 12 make a welcome appearance in the game, the Player Impact Engine, which gives your on screen players more of a physical presence, appears to have been been slightly tweaked so that the awkward, yet often hilarious, player collisions happen less frequently than last year.
Precision Dribbling allows you to manipulate the ball deftly in close-quarters, letting you get out of sticky situations defensively or nick the ball around defenders in attacking situations. Tactical Defending allows for a more intelligent way of tackling and defending oncoming attacks. Perhaps the biggest omission from the Wii U version is that of the highly popular and often considered mode of choice, Ultimate Team. Leaving Ultimate Team out of FIFA 13 on the Wii U can only be seen as a bizarre move, seeing that it has been a staple of the FIFA series since 2009. But enough about the negatives, what does does it bring to the table?
EA have focused on the Wii U's GamePad for adding innovation to the game. You can set up plays and direct traffic by touching the GamePad's Touchscreen, change formation on the fly and switch substitutes. The problem with the newly added features is that it's actually quite difficult to use during the heat of a match, as you have to take your hands off the Wii U GamePad and touch the screen, which can often put you at a disadvantage as even the brief second that it's taken you to perform an action can completely ruin your run of play. But that said, it's definitely a break from the norm and what we've come to expect from FIFA and it's also a change which definitely shows the potential of future incarnations on Nintendo's new console.
While lightyears ahead of previous games on Nintendo consoles and handheld, what EA have released isn't a bad game, it's perfectly playable and a lot of fun (especially if you're new to the series) but one that seems oddly out-of-date for being a 2012 launch title for a brand new console.
FIFA 13 on the Wii U has the similar solid gameplay experience of its older brothers, and is the great first shot at high definition football on a Nintendo console. It's also worth noting that currently it's the only football game on the console as Konami's PES series isn't planned for a release until next year at the earliest. FIFA 13 on the Wii U hits the back of the net with the essentials, but has a lot of room for improvement with next year's title.
If you want to read about FIFA 13 on other consoles then make sure you check out our review here.
(Version Tested: Wii U)
- HD FIFA on a Nintendo console!
- GamePad features show promise
- No Ultimate Team
- Essentially last year's game