2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on June 2, 2010 in

Every four years the world comes together in a confetti filled spectacle that is the World Cup. This year the world’s eyes are on South Africa as the qualifying teams converge together to vie for the golden trophy. EA Sports brings us another World Cup game that is an off-shoot of their regular annual FIFA series. It’s been a while since the World Cup Germany game came out, and the improvements are numerous in 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

The player movements and ball physics are much more realistic. The presentation of the game from the menu to the actual match are easy on the eyes and moving around in the menu is fluid. The commentary feels right there and keeps up with the action extremely well. Soccer fans, that’s football to the rest of the world, are few and far between in the United States, but there’s some good reasons for the casual sports fan to give this game a look.   To attract the casual fans, the game has two different control types:  Regular and Two-Button.  The regular type gives you full control for passing, shooting, and ball-handling. Two-Button control allows beginners to jump right into the action and take their team deep into the World Cup tournament without having to memorize all of the controls before they really get going.

There are plenty of options from the main menu to get you into the game. From the familiar Kick-Off (Play Now) to playing in the current World Cup draw as the real life tournament is set now to Captain Your Country. There’s even an engaging World Cup Online mode that allows you to select a team and play in an online tournament, against random opponents, that earns you points for your selected nation. It’s kind of a popularity contest based on how well you represent your country by your performance on the pitch.

To break down the options you have to get started, you have the following:

Kick-Off; this mode is like Play Now in pretty much all other sports games. Just pick your teams, kits, set the weather, stadium and other little pre-game details and you’re off. During the team selection, you even have the option to play the team’s national anthem. Nice touch.

Then you have the 2010 FIFA World Cup mode; this is the big one. You set your full tournament settings here. You can just play the tournament as is currently drawn in real life using the teams that are already qualified. You can take a team from qualifying all the way to the World Cup, or just play the finals. It’s all up to you.

Captain Your Country is a new mode for the World Cup game. After you choose your favorite team, you have the options to create a new player, play as a real player, or load a virtual pro from FIFA 10. From there, you embark on a journey to move up from the reserves of your team to being part of the starting 11. Guide your team to the World Cup and become a hero in your home country.

The Story of Qualifying mode takes scenarios from the past and puts you into them to relive or change history. Each part of the world has its own set of scenarios. For example, North America has six scenarios to play, while Europe has 17. You’re given a set of three objectives, one major and two minor. Completing the one major goal is required to pass the scenario, the minor objectives just give you additional game points used to unlock other extras. One of those extras is to unlock the scenarios from the 2006 World Cup that took place in Germany. Additional scenarios will be created to play from the 2010 World Cup later this summer to download, they just haven’t happened yet.

Then of course is the Online World Cup. This is actually separate from just going online with Xbox Live and playing a ranked match. You choose your country, and then your performance in the game gives your nation points for the Battle of the Nations. Here the Countries are represented by their fans and are sorted in their standings by points earned and cups won. Currently, as I’m writing this, Mexico leads everybody with 5,113,369 points, but England is destroying the world with 4822 cups won. (France is second with just 1183). This mode is, of course, only played online, and creates a much greater degree of difficulty to field your team through the World Cup draw.

Live play is the standard ranked and unranked player matches.

Some new features included this year is the Penalty Shootout and Training Grounds. Here you can take the tutorials for penalty shots (both kicking and saving) and practice, practice, practice.

Training ground offers you 1 on 1 play, practice set pieces, and create a practice match. The 1 on 1 is nice, but doesn’t offer much in training you for regular game play because the camera angles are so different. In 1 on 1, you have kind of a third person view behind your player’s back, while in match modes, you view a greater area of the pitch.

Overall, I found the game to be much less frustrating over the previous version from 2006. The players move better, online play is quicker and more polished, even though I still get whipped, at least I feel like I’m having a good time while doing it. 2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa is a definite pick up for the soccer (er, football) fans. Casual fans might enjoy the quick pick up and play style of the two button mode, but might be more of a rental for them. If you’re not a big fan of the sport, this game will do nothing to change that. The World Cup is a grand spectacle, and this game does a decent job of incorporating some of that pageantry.

A copy of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa was provided to TMG for the purposes of evaluation and review.

TMG Grade: B+

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Author: Erik Johnsen View all posts by
A married gamer that spends time editing many of the articles you read right here at The Married Gamers. Erik sometimes reviews Xbox One games and writes articles, but spends his available free time from work or hanging out with his family hunting achievements for a higher gamerscore.

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