FIFA 09 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWiiDSPS2PSP

The latest in the long running series which is promising a huge number of improvements.

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9Out of 10
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The custom tactics system is a brilliant addition
The custom tactics system is a brilliant addition

The custom tactics system is a brilliant addition

Say, for example, you're 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go. You're probably not going to want to pump players forward, so will instead want to concentrate on keeping possession and controlling the game. Here, quickly switching to the short passing attacking build up style should, assuming you're good enough, carry your team over the finishing line. Your players will position themselves closer when supporting and players further away from the ball will be less likely to make runs. The reward is that you always have close options and can keep the ball on the ground, Arsenal style. But with every tactic there's an associated risk. Here, you must advance the ball with the entire team, and you need a good deal of patience.

The custom team tactics system makes a hell of a difference to advanced FIFA 09 play. The more you play the better you'll get at identifying what tactic your opponent is using, and at deciding which tactic is best to counter that system given the kind of players you've got. It amounts to an easy to use layer of tactics we've yet to see beaten in the genre.

So, like we said, think before you shoot. If all this sounds too much like hard work, then know that you don't have to use custom team tactics to enjoy the game. In fact we suspect most players won't use them, just like most players use default formations when playing.

The custom team tactics system is by far the biggest innovation this year, even more so than the 10 versus 10 online play, which we have yet to test (and fear could end up being total school playground chaos, we'll have to wait and see). All the other new features are tweaks or refinements that don't fundamentally affect the way the game plays. One is the new heading system, which forces you to time when you press the button so that the player times his jump properly, rather than simply press the button at any time and wait for the animations to kick in. Players' weight and momentum is all taken into account here - so expect some meaty collisions. The heading will take a few matches to get used to - you'll jump too early and too late initially - but you'll soon get used to it, and enjoy the added satisfaction it brings to a headed goal or a flick on. And it might even have some surprising benefits - in one game I played against Tom, I positioned Chelsea winger Joe 'there's a bee hive in my hair' Cole in the box hoping for him to nod in a cross, but instead he spectacularly overhead kicked it into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. I jumped out of the sofa for that one I can tell you.

FIFA 09 is brilliant. Over to you Konami.

FIFA 09 is brilliant. Over to you Konami.

Bar this, it's as you were, at least in comparison to EA's last footie game - the summer's excellent UEFA EURO 2008. The goal celebrations make it in (watching Michael Ballack, for example, do 'The Robot' is as hilarious as it is ridiculous). The Be A Pro mode will keep players who like to go it alone entertained across four seasons (a tad short for our liking), with the ultimate goal of getting called up for your national team. You can of course, take your created player online and test your skills against the rest of the world. The commentary is solid. The graphics are stunning, when it's in wide view and in-game. During replays and close ups it's not so good. EA still hasn't managed to nail football players on the head - most look like hulking apes just as they did in the last game, with low foreheads and beady eyes. At least now they don't look fat though - one of our main graphical gripes with 2008's effort. And EA was clearly staying up late with the rest of the football world on transfer deadline day. Robinho's at Manchester City and Berbatov is at Manchester United.

We've hardly a complaint to make. But we do have them, and most are age old FIFA annoyances. Players will still hilariously fall over themselves for no apparent reason, falling victim it seems to the game's excellent physics. Crossing is a bit ropey, as it has been for a while. Yellow cards can sometimes feel like they're dished out too long after the offending foul. And to get a free kick in the first place you need to be physically assaulted, rather than fouled. But apart from those minor issues, we can't help but be incredibly impressed by FIFA 09.

We had worried that FIFA 09 was going to end up like EURO 08 with a Premiership skin. Luckily for us, we were wrong. Like we said, the best FIFA game ever made. Over to you Konami.

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clarkyson's Avatar

clarkyson@ RiggersD

you dont no wat ur talking about fifa 09 is one of the worst football sims ive ever played it is riddled with glitches. to become good at fifa you must first learn how 2 play the programing mistakes 2 your advantage.Absolute sh*te!
Posted 01:12 on 27 August 2009
II-Rossco-II's Avatar


What a first post. I am myself a fifa fan boy but PES aint a fifa copy or crap just different !, please post like an adult and not some 12 random,
P.S Just read some of this thread, probs the biggest fan boy thread of the year
Posted 01:20 on 08 July 2009
steve-okenobi's Avatar


WTF!!!!!!!!! are all u ppl wasters or wot. PES better than FIFA gimme a break, PES is for those ppl dat cant play football its an arcade game. FIFA is the king of footy sims. I played PES 08 once just to see wot ppl were raving bout and i won 18-0 against the cpu so i cranked up the difficulty setting to legend and still won 6-0 every shot was a goal it was pathetic a real waste of my time, FIFA is a REAL footy game its a simulator not an arcade so real footy fans will rly appreciate it, granted its not perfect but it certainly beats PES hands down, the graphics, the gameplay and of course the licenses. EA were makin FIFA way b4 PES was even thought of and i piss myself laughing at KONAMI for even thinkin they can compete with the big boys. KONAMI shud stick to makin other games instead of deadbeat fifa wannabes lmao. FIFA rocks PES socks off YEEEEAAAAH!!!!!!!!!
Posted 01:12 on 08 July 2009
mark's Avatar
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fifa is ace but i advise to get xbox live o xbox 720
Posted 18:09 on 06 March 2009
Sam O.'s Avatar
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Sam O.

Hey guys... play Fifa 09 on ps3 with a dual shock 3 pad and you'll love it!!!!!
Enjoy the effects, carries you along with the game!
Dual Shock indeed!
Posted 00:48 on 27 February 2009
safc's Avatar


fifa 09 is a good game to get because of the different game modes you can do and the online is good too but it is really hard to find someone to play against if there not your m8. if you wanna game of fifa on ps3 add me safc1993
Posted 09:13 on 11 February 2009
mdgt0fdrknsz's Avatar
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I've always favored PES for its great gameplay, despite my irritation with the severe lack of authenticity and realism. After trying to stick with them year after year, I've given up - FIFA has finally reached a point where its strength isn't only the licencing.
Posted 14:14 on 24 January 2009
Sam O.'s Avatar
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Sam O.

Hey, i forgot to add, i see some people complain about Fifa 09's Camera, If you are not blind, just go to the tele or broadcast or which ever camera you want, go down a little bit and customize the camera instead of the default. You can customize the height, camera zoom and what not.

I also read someone complained about not been enough substitute on the reserve, go to the game settings, i.e " My Fifa" Click on the advanced, change the number of player you want on the substitute from 6 to 12.

What else am i forgetting... who cares? Good Luck!
Posted 23:50 on 21 January 2009
Sam O.'s Avatar
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Sam O.

A Must Read! ( I corrected my Typos) :D

See, let me start with the problem i have with Fifa 09... Why will you ignore major African countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal? Have they gone raving mad???? I spent over $630 purchasing a ps3 console and fifa 09 with pro evolution soccer 09, its crazy expensive here, i sold my xbox 360 for ps3 just becos i couldnt get fifa 09 on pal xbox 360 here... only to discover there is no Nigeria in the damn game! And alot of other noble teams :((

Besides that... come on!!!!! I have been playing video games for over a decade now, more a pes fan than fifa, fifa series has always irritated me... but Fifa 09!!!!! Come on, are you guys frea***g Blind????

I'm selling off pro evolution soccer 09 tomorrow, i bought it for $100 here, its expensive in Africa.

What the heck! If you want some real football get Fifa 09 i got mine today, and i have been playing pes 09 on xbox for about 2 months, playing fifa 09 on ps3 has changed my life lol.

If Fifa 09 isn't the best soccer game in the market why are they collecting all the awards? Search the web, they are having all the awards, all the editor's choice awards, so that means they got the better review and more reviews than pes 09... sorry!

I do not mean to talk ill about pes 09,if they update their graphics, then i will retrun to my vomit, Konami has the feel of the game, but they better go hire a better graphic designer and try to beat ea's fifa 09, then that means we have a battle on our hands.

If i read anyone praising pes 09, you have me to contend with, blind Moro*s!

Long Live the game of soccer!

Peace Out!
Posted 23:41 on 21 January 2009
Fifa3xpert's Avatar
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This FIFA is amazing except for one part. The online play is absolutely sh*t. The lagging that is involved in the passing and everything makes the online play undesirable to play. Fix this and this game is perfect.
Posted 22:05 on 20 January 2009
Carlos's Avatar
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Iwas talking about fifa 09, and i know pes2008 was the worst pes of all time but i haven`t played pes 2009 so i can`t say which one is better...but pes 6 and fifa 08 are the best of each mark.
Posted 20:44 on 15 January 2009
Carlos's Avatar
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I don`t care if headers jump too son...or if the game is fast or slow...i care about how easy is to score in fifa cannot make a mistake because you will surely pay it with a goal...then if u re playing with barcelona and give messi, eto'o or henry the ball is 90% goal cuz they outrun any defender in speed and in 1on1 with the keeper is 90% goal...u can score with your eyes closed...EA didn`t understand what we criticise from fifa 08...we criticise its difficult with the new controls and 1 player moves...not difficult to score...if ure playing with fast players you will always win...just because of the speed of your strikers and the accurate of the shots...the only way you can win and have fun in fifa is to improve your defensive the point they're almost perfect...
Posted 20:40 on 15 January 2009
Anonymous's Avatar
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Listen here, PES Fans who say FIFA copied pes, you ate totally wrong, since FIFA is the original liscenced game, and be a pro mode is nothing like "master league" from PES because you control career of ONE player. but FIFA 08 was better than FIFA 09 I don't know why it just is. The best pes game was pes 6 and that was when FIFA sucked crap. And to those of you who just comment "pes is king" you are douchebags who can't support your answer. FIFA wins this year.

PS Newcastle United owns
Posted 10:11 on 12 January 2009
James Smithson's Avatar
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James Smithson

The game is crap. People are dumbasses because all they look at is the graphics or game features (be a pro). The game play once again is poor, the players cant turn without stopping, the ga,e decides who it favors before it even starts (makes your defence slow and yoiur oponoents attackers quick(even if your the same team as them). The ball looks like it floats. The select player feature is once again poor as it selectes the wrong player or it changes the selected player you chosen.
The defending is poor as it either allows your defence to be super strong not letting anyone passed or completley weak allowing ronaldo in a wheelchair to pass and score.
I rate the graphics a 9 out of 10
I rate the gameplay 4 out of 10
Its a shame pro evo is just as poor as their is not really any good football game actually out their.
Posted 14:52 on 08 January 2009
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FIFA 09 is the best. PES sucks. EVEN with a bigger fanbase these guys cant think up of anything new to put in the game.wate of money.
Posted 07:07 on 02 January 2009

Game Stats

Out of 10
  • Rewarding custom tactics system
  • Excellent match view graphics
  • Wonderful gameplay
  • Players still look like apes close up
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/10/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii , DS , PS2 , PSP
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-20
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,381 9
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