FIFA SOCCER 12 is for iPad and iPhone is out in the App Store. While many of us in the United States may be caught up in football season, the “other” football is creating excitement not only here stateside, but all over the world as well. With that excitement comes another yearly iteration of Electronic Arts popular soccer franchise, FIFA Soccer 12, and the beautiful game has never looked so beautiful on iOS. Sporting improved graphics, new controls, and over 500 officially licensed teams from more than 20 leagues, FIFA Soccer 12 on iOS is a soccer lover’s dream come true.
Perhaps my favorite feature of this year’s FIFA for iOS is an improved control scheme that makes commanding your players on the pitch far easier than last year’s game. In fact, it might be the best control scheme of any sports game I’ve played on an iOS device. One reason for this is the fact that the command buttons are labeled with words to clearly let you know which button does what without having to try to figure out what every little icon means like in other sports games. While this feature was present in last year’s version, FIFA 12 has reassigned controls to each button, and this time around each button makes sense.
EA didn’t stop there however, this year swiping buttons performs additional actions, enabling you a greater degree of control of last year’s version. For example, swiping up on the pass button executes a through ball to your teammate, while swiping on the shot button executes a chip shot over the goalie’s head. Free kicks and PK’s are also redesigned this year as swiping on the screen determines the path and strength of the kick, similar to the mechanic in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. I never realized how limiting the control scheme of FIFA 11 was until I played with these new controls. Just a few games into FIFA 12 and I feel like I can flawlessly execute any creative run I can think of.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the other great new features in FIFA 12. For example, Manager Mode (which is similar to a Dynasty mode) allows you to take on the role of a team manager, controlling all aspects of a team including the coaching staff, financials, player lending, and more. It’s a great take on the dynasty mode and is shockingly deep for a mobile game. FIFA 12 also offers a daily challenge mode in which you’re given a task to complete within a game (like win a game playing 10 v 11) that changes (not surprisingly) daily. Perhaps the coolest new feature is a new multiplayer mode on a single iPad, using a free iPhone controller app from EA as a controller. Now you and a friend can play using the iPad as a “console”. It’s a great new feature and I hope it becomes commonplace on all games in the App Store, however my only disappointment was that it only works for two players. I would have enjoyed being able to use an iPhone as a controller at all times, but just the multiplayer implementation is a great start.
FIFA SOCCER 12 is another solid sports offering from EA on iOS. While it may not be quite as visually stunning as a next-gen console version, it is far superior to last year’s version, and with more than 500 teams from 20-plus leagues (including international teams for the first time) season and manager modes, FIFA 12 offers more soccer than you can handle on your iPad and iPhone. It’s available now in the App Store for $9.99 for the iPad and $4.99 for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Here is a video demo of the FIFA SOCCER 12 by EA SPORTS app on the iPhone
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