Now that the PS Vita version of FIFA 13 is out, you might assume that this PSP iteration is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to appease those portable gamers who've yet to make the jump to Sony’s newest handheld.
But no: FIFA 13 shrinks down that big screen experience and places it onto the somewhat obsolete UMD format so that you can get the same experience while on the go.
With this outing, EA has tried its best to place you into the shoes of a football superstar, sans getting drunk and crashing cars.
The rather extensive 15-season Career mode takes you from being an unknown player to a footballing superstar. That’s before it turns you into a coach, and then manager, as you progress towards the mode's latter stages.
If the allure of playing as a striker or defender isn’t enough for you, FIFA 13 allows you to step into the shoes of a goalkeeper. With Be-A-Keeper you’ll actually spend more of your time issuing ‘off the ball’ commands to your team than taking an active part in the match.
The PSP version of FIFA has always been the ugly stepchild of the series. This has finally started to change with FIFA 13 thanks to the addition of 360 degrees of dribbling – something that arrived back in FIFA 10 on consoles.
In addition to this newfound dribbling freedom, you can easily perform an extensive list of on-the-ball tricks. With these you’ll be able to deftly avoid tackles or move the ball into space when dribbling past an opponent. It’s simple stuff, but it adds a lot of depth.
The only real criticism we can level at the controls is really with the PSP itself. After a while that little analogue nubbin becomes uncomfortable to use, and shifting to the D-pad means that the beautifully smooth dribbling becomes really quite clunky to control.
A particularly neat touch that EA is the addition of a yellow halo around the ball. When the ball moves off into the distance this yellow ring makes it easily identifiable even on the PSP’s less than pin-sharp screen.
Pleasingly, you shouldn’t ever say you’ve run out of things to do with FIFA 13, as EA has crammed an absurdly large amount of content onto a UMD.
Putting aside the various matches you’ll be playing, there’s a rather addictive Challenges mode that chucks bite-sized fun your way. Here you can compete, as well as create, around 50 challenges that last around five or ten minutes – exactly what you want when jumping on the bus.
A quiz mode known as Football IQ is also included. Throwing down a gauntlet of blissfully easy questions, alongside some impossible pub quiz-style knowledge that’ll rattle your brain, this mode will easily soak up time and turn you into a lethal football knowledge weapon.
EA arguably didn't really need to release a PSP version of FIFA 13. Which makes it all the more impressive that the studio has put so much effort into creating a worthwhile addition to the handheld’s already vast repertoire.