FIFA 2005 PSP Impressions

I have not played anything of note in 2+ weeks, so I happily spent about 30 minutes with FIFA 2005 last night. At this point my impressions are mixed. On one hand, I finally have a sports game, but on the other, the game has some interesting “issues” that may or may not hinder the long-term value of the game.

The first thing I noticed was the piss poor response on the menu screens. The actual interface is very nice and dare I say polished, but the response time flat out sucks. You press a selection and you find yourself waiting for the screen to change. Did I press the button or not? If this is a load time issue, it just plain sucks. EA Sports has the resources to do better. Still, navigation has nothing to do with gameplay, only how you get there, so maybe no one else will care. I doubt it; too many jaded bastards out there including myself!

I am not sure if I will ever get a handle on the advanced controls; you have to switch between the small analog stick to the d-pad and then back to the small stick; pretty tricky stuff for someone my age. Younger readers may have better luck, but the system just does not seem very polished. Then again, I only played about 30 minutes, and I could get better with more experience.

I noticed two other strange things during my initial time with FIFA 2005. First, the inertia just feels strange; almost too heavy. This may work on the console version, but it does not translate very well into the PSP version. Second, the game almost never finishes out of bounds animations. To explain, as soon as the ball is about a foot from going out of bounds on a missed shot, the game changes to the goal kick or corner animations (or sometimes the throw-in animations for sideline plays). Strange stuff.

There is commentary; I think it is pretty much the same as the console version, but maybe not as much constant chatter. To be honest, I really only noticed when there were comments about a goal or a missed chance. The graphics are not bad, but as mentioned below, some of the animations are cut short. The players look decent enough, but you are far enough away from the action that the overall effect of great PSP graphics is somewhat diminished.

I will try to get more updates out later, but right now I am thinking this game is a rental. I have not played PSP World Tour Soccer to get a comparison point so no advice one way or the other. My opinion right now is that I will play this game for a few weeks and sale on eBay – at this point it is not something that I would keep around in my library.

Will post more later.

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2 thoughts on “FIFA 2005 PSP Impressions”

  1. JC,

    You may well be able to guess my motive for asking if all of the teams from the console versions are in the PSP edition…did my boys make it in?

    That ball out of play problem existed on the N-Gage version as well, if memory serves. I know this because I used to sell them, not because I was ever silly enough to buy one. You’d think, given the resources of a PSP and indeed EA Sports, that sort of thing wouldn’t make it into a finished product, but sadly there is a precedent.

    Good to see you back mate, don’t work too hard.

    Cheers,
    Adam

  2. Adam, my friend, I cannot tell you if all of the teams from the various console versions made it into the PSP version, but I can tell you that yes, your ‘pool boys are in the game (rated 1.5/5 stars). For what it is worth, the kits are white/blue vertical strips with blue shorts, and solid blue with blue shorts.

    The animation ending early on out of bounds shots is not that big of a deal, but it just makes the game look rushed (i.e. not very polished).

    I just hit a firecracker of a shot from about a set play about 30 yards out; upper right hand corner, past the keeper. Very nice!

    I will post more impressions later. I guess the game is fairly average, but I am very happy to finally have a decent sports game to play. The real test will be to see if the game improves once I get a better handle on the controls. I do not expect sim perfect quality, but hopefully the game will be fun.

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