FIFA 07 on PSP enables home and away play with PS2 link-up
Forget the disappointments of the World Cup, your club team needs you!
It only seems like last week we were crying into our beer after yet another dismal World Cup penalty shoot-out demise. But there's no more time to grieve: a brand new Premiership season is almost upon us, and with it the latest version of EA's FIFA series.
Due for release on September 29th on PSP (Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS are also in the works) the imaginatively titled Go Go Football Heroes Yeah! (we're joking, it's called FIFA 07) promises to hurl fans and players alike right back into the emotional rollercoaster that is the football season.
All the official licences are present and correct, with no less than 28 leagues represented, from the mighty English Premiership, Spanish Primera Liga and scandal rocked Serie 'A', to the MLS and Mexican 1st Division. (Hang on, they did say 'top leagues', didn't they? No offence Mexico).
As you'd expect, FIFA 07 is also promising a handful of new and improved features, including some intriguing networking options.
For starters, the artificial intelligence has been given an overhaul, with the aim of ensuring that your 11 players make realistic decisions. The game engine is touted as the most realistic simulation to date, with physical jostling more prevalent than before and a sophisticated shooting technique providing greater subtlety for finishes. The manager mode has apparently been beefed up too, with player values and wages brought into line with the real world and an increased strategic approach from opposing bosses.
If you own a PS2 as well as a PSP, you'll probably be eager to try out the new connectivity options too; you can switch your career between the consoles to create the ultimate in 'home and away'. (Although presumably you'll need to buy two copies?)
However, the most intriguing feature to our mind is the ability to compete in online matches that run in tandem with the real world fixtures, via EA Sports Interactive Leagues. If your team is playing against the local rival that week, you get to play the same match, and also to play a part in guiding the 'virtual result', where the aggregate scores of all the video game match-ups are used to determine an overall virtual result.
Expect a more detailed preview in the next few weeks, breaking down which features make it into which versions. Only then will we begin to see if FIFA 07 can build on the promising performances of FIFA 06 and 2006 FIFA World Cup.