FIFA Street 2 is the second installment in the street football series made by Electronic Arts under their sub-brand EA Sports Big, perhaps best known for having produced the extremely successful NBA Street series. The success of the NBA series inspired the guys at EA to venture into other ‘Street’ sport titles, such as Soccer and American Football. The first installment in the FIFA Street series was an attempt by EA Sports Big to give an arcade style slant on the already very successful FIFA brand.
In this, the sequel, gamers can challenge over 320 professional stars from 20 teams or an assortment of real life street footballers in multiple game modes. There are various new features, or improvements that have been made on the original FIFA Street game. The overall commercial success and critical reaction to the first game was fairly lukewarm. Therefore, the developers behind FIFA Street 2 seem to have decided to make a whole bunch of improvements on its predecessor for the game to be a success.
FIFA Street 2, like the original, pits two teams of four against each other on enclosed hard surface urban courts. A much greater level of care and attention has been given to this game than was its predecessor. The most noticeable and perhaps important enhancements over the first game are the actual controls. Like both the original and other games in the Street series, the action revolves around use of the right analogue stick or ‘Trick Stick’. As in the first game the main concept revolves around outfoxing your opponent and trying to win the match using the most stylish and outlandish tricks as possible. Always remember the original game’s tag line – ‘it’s not enough to win; you’ve got to win with style.’ Bah! Just when you thought winning was enough.
There are many more tricks available to the gamer in FIFA Street 2. In the first game you could press the analogue stick in one of four directions to execute ‘beat’ tricks that would get you past your opponent. In FIFA Street 2, you can press the right analogue stick in any one of eight directions, doubling the number of tricks available to you straight away. You can also build trick combos from pass to pass, as well as trick to trick like before. This enables you to build huge point totals and gain the all-important Game-Breaker - a manoeuvre which if completed unleashes a spectacular goal. There is also the addition of juggling tricks. Everybody has seen footage of famous footballers bouncing the ball on various parts of their anatomy at ludicrously fast speeds. Well, you guessed it; you can now pull off these kinds of moves in FIFA Street 2. This gives an extra and much-welcome feature to the game play.
One of the most annoying aspects of the first FIFA Street was the music/commentary. Gone is the unnecessary jabbering of MC Harvey from So Solid Crew and is replaced in this version with several radio stations. One of the new DJs is Zane Lowe, of Radio One fame. He admits during a broadcast in the game that chatter is unnecessary and lets you listen to only music. Which is music to SPOnG’s ears after having endured MC Harvey and his ragamuffin’ take on John Motson! There is also a mixture of tunes from all over the world, from Latin beats to Eurocentric drum and bass. Overall, the music is a vast improvement on the original and is one of the strongest features of FIFA Street 2.