FIFA 13 for the Wii U Review: A Good Game That Just Falls Short in Extra Time

I was one of the lucky few that managed to get a Wii U this past week, and overall it’s a decent new system with the biggest selling point of the GamePad tablet being the way it changes the way we play games.

Using the Gamepad, so much information gets shifted from the TV screen to the tablet, which allows gamers to make changes on the fly without pausing the game. The other big selling point is the ability to remotely play games on the GamePad without having to be in front of the screen.

How does FIFA 13 stack up on the Wii U? Let’s take a look and find out.

Graphics

At first glance, the Wii U version of FIFA 13 appears similar to the XBox 360 version, as well as the PS3. But after taking a longer look, the Wii U is slightly smoother and more detailed — at least in the replays. Overall, the actual gameplay looks about the same, but — as always — there is room for improvement. In comparison to the PC version, it leans a little closer to that comparison than it would a 5-year old console.

Controls

This is where things get interesting. The basic controls have not changed and if you have played FIFA 13 on any other system using the basic setup, you can play on the Wii U also. No noticeable lag or any discrepancies on the game’s part but what sets this version apart from the others is the use of the GamePad itself. Players can use the GamePad to make substitutions, change tactics and monitor player stats all on the fly without really having to pause the game and I found it to be a very handy concept. You can also do man-marking at the touch of the screen. In a sense, playing FIFA 13 on the Wii U is almost like playing a much larger version of the DS. Keep in mind that the features work as long as you are playing on the TV screen. Once you flip over to playing on the GamePad, you play it like normal.

Concerns and Signs of Hope

Being that this is a 1st gen FIFA game for the Wii U, some things got left on the floor. With all of the bells and whistles that the other consoles managed to get, I was a bit surprised that they didn’t make it into this iteration. You don’t get any international play while playing in manager or player mode. The Infinity Engine wasn’t included, nor was the Ultimate Team or the MatchDay feature implemented. Also missing in action are the Skill Games, Online Team Play and 1st Touch Gameplay. If anything, this game almost feels more like a FIFA 12.5 than a full-on 13, so some Wii U players may feel a bit disappointed. However, there is a nice Manager Mode included where you can sit back and let the game play itself out while you manage from the touchline and if you aren’t satisfied with how the game is going, you can pause and take control and play it out how you want. Even in between games you still have players that come to you with different issues and you are also still responsible with basic day-to-day operations of the club. It’s a nice Football Manager Lite suite added in and one that could possibly be fleshed out in later iterations.

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