At times the rear touch feels great, letting you accurately target your shots into the corners out of the keeper's reach, but after a while it soon becomes too easy - and despite knowing the control set-up I found myself accidentally shooting far too often. For me, touch control in FIFA Football isn't a complete failure, but something I turned off once I'd seen what it was all about. Thankfully the standard button controls work excellently - assuming you can tolerate the step back in terms of defending.
In the transition from console to handheld there have been other sacrifices, such as a frame rate that is largely smooth but not without a few hiccups, and a severely cut-down tracklist. Load times aren't awful, especially compared to the launch line-up's worst offenders, and while the visual splendour isn't the near TV-quality of the next-gen version, this is still a fine looking title.
Thankfully game modes, both on and offline are present and correct, with FIFA Football offering a substantial management mode (including the ability to play as your created virtual pro) - closely resembling the home console counterpart. Online matches aren't entirely lag-free, but certainly very playable for the most part, although sadly the excellent new online features found in FIFA 12 are, perhaps expectedly, missing - that means there's no Online Seasons or EA Sports Football Club.
Also absent at the moment are up to date squads. While all the teams are correct as of the start of the 2011/2012 season, none of the January 2012 transfers have been included. There's an option in the menu to download new squads, but nothing was available at the time of writing. Something less easy to fix is the complete lack of Ultimate Team. While some players won't care about its absence, if you're into the card trading game (and a lot of people are) you're out of luck with FIFA Football on Vita.
While it's abundantly clear that FIFA Football is a version of EA's hugely successful game ported to the Vita as quickly as possible to make the launch, it's still one of the best games available day one with the handheld. Yes, it's missing some features from FIFA 12, but the fact that the game is being compared to the full-fat home console games and not previous handheld entries speaks volumes about what the system is capable of.
This is the best handheld football game ever, but it'll undoubtedly be convincingly beaten once EA has got to grips with the hardware - hopefully in time for FIFA 13 later this year. Fingers crossed we'll then get a Vita version of FIFA that can be played alongside the home console game without having to adopt an entirely different play style. Still, for the time being, if you want FIFA on the Vita, EA has delivered an excellent port of FIFA 11.
VideoGamer.com Score8 Score out of 10
- Easily the best handheld football game ever
- Plays a lot like FIFA 11
- Missing features from FIFA 12
- Touch controls are awkward