Electronic Theatre Preview: FIFA 13 Wii U

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Electronic Theatre ImageThough it may be coming months after the initial release of FIFA 13, the Wii U edition of the videogame is almost certain to be one of the best selling launch titles for the console over the busy fourth quarter. Despite the view that EA SPORTS’ FIFA franchise has limited appeal with early adopters the truth of the matter is that it’s consistently one of the best selling videogames of the Christmas period, and a launch on new hardware with limited competition certainly won’t do it any harm.

Given that there have been months between the high-definition (HD) debut of FIFA 13 and the forthcoming Wii U release some might be expected Nintendo’s new console to benefit from a straight port, but this simply isn’t the case. The Wii U edition of FIFA 13 is built upon the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rendition of FIFA 12, bringing the HD FIFA engine toElectronic Theatre Image a Nintendo console for the first time but without the most modern tweaks. There’s no Ultimate Team mode, no Clubs mode demanding twenty two players online at any one time; EA SPORTS are clear in their intention to bring a Wii flavour to FIFA 13 on Wii U, but with the more solid foundations of the HD versions of the videogame.

Of course the basic structure of the videogame, from match types to control scheme, remains very similar to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of FIFA 13. Players can entertain themselves on Wii U in almost the exact same manner as they would on either of the other home consoles; it’s the optional extras offered by the Wii U Gamepad that are most important. There are the simple additions, such as the direct passing and the option to take free kicks via a first-person aim on the Wii U Gamepad’s screen, and then there’s the more complicated ones involving the management of your team during the match.

Presented as either an optional extra for the player or an opportunity for a friend to join in and assist with the action, the management mode takes place entirely on the Wii U Gamepad screen. There are six tabs on right side of touchscreen, each of which delivers a remarkably well presented collection of relevant information. The first tab issues commands to the artificial intelligence players on the pitch, while the second is ‘manager central’ offering a top-down field of view. Players can establish set pieces from this view point Electronic Theatre Imageas well as issuing direct commands, while the next four tabs display attributes such as stamina, formations, tactics, man marking etc.

Managing players will also take control of the half-time team talk; a novel addition whose worth will not be known until Electronic Theatre has had an opportunity to explore the results of your actions in greater depth. Essentially, the player must praise, motivate and criticise the team appropriately with a limited number of commands. The correct performance in the changing room can you’re your players a stat boost, but saying the wrong things can cause moral to decline.

Having already made its debut in North America, FIFA 13 will be available in the UK later this month. As stated above, you’d be a fool to bet against it performing well at retail, but can it possibly stand-up to its HD peers on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3? The near-complete build Electronic Theatre was certainly playing host to an interesting take on the FIFA formula, and one that fits well with the target and intention of the Wii U at this early stage in its lifetime.

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