FIFA 13 PS Vita review – Lazier than a back-tracking Berbatov

Update: FIFA 14 on Vita has seemingly been confirmed by an Amazon listing

Ooh, this is naughty. Like ‘a co-hosted Kevin Nolan/Andy Carroll kegger where the Newkie Broon is flowing and everything’s gone a bit punchy’ naughty. FIFA Football launched with Vita back in February and now, just eight months later, EA has seen fit to re-release its exact clone.

Be under no illusion: FIFA 13 on Vita is near exactly the same game many footy fans picked up with their shiny new handhelds.

FIFA 13 PS Vita review

Unless you’re on the wage of your average Man City moolah-hoovering merc, dropping £35 on a new title isn’t exactly spare change. So the prospect of shilling out for two reskinned versions of FIFA 11 twice in the same year isn’t exactly the most fiscally savvy prospect. Clearly, EA hasn’t taken this into consideration, because there isn’t a single new feature in FIFA 13 from its pocket-sized predecessor. All you’ll find here are updated kits and squads. This is glorified DLC in bank robber’s clothing.

You can forget FIFA 13’s exciting new on-field updates. So long, First Touch Control. See ya, Allan McInally’s shouty Scottish goal updates. Sayonara, Skill Games. You can’t even settle for FIFA 12’s revolutionary changes, with Tactical Defending and the physics-focused Player Impact Engine yet again missing Vita FC’s bench. This is simply a handheld version of a two-year-old game. So welcome back torpedo tackling on X while you simultaneously release the Sky Sports News-style bells and whistles of recent career modes on a free.

Oh, and every single player is also two years too young. Eh, what? Yup, rather than Messi and co. taking regular post-match baths in the Fountain of Youth, EA Canada has instead ripped the statistical guts out of FIFA 11, to the extent the new game’s player ratings and ages (outside of career) are over 700 days out of whack.

I even spotted menu pics of Robin (Judas! Judas!) van Persie playing in a 2010 Gunners kit. That’s the level of effort and care that’s gone into creating a truly worthwhile, bespoke FIFA experience on Vita for the 2012/13 season.

Yet for all the shameless cut corners, this remains the finest handheld football game ever made. There’s a reason we awarded FIFA 11 a perfect ten back in OPM#50. Even now, the core passing game holds up remarkably well. Free from occasionally confused manual challenges and clumsy physics, the new PS3 game’s exciting unpredictability is replaced with less erratic, more elegant matches.

This is still an unacceptable showing, mind. The full-fat console versions have continually evolved to beat the competition through EA Canada responding to fan feedback. But in booting out such a shamelessly phoned-in product it shows a flagrant lack of faith in Vita as a format. If you own FIFA Football, there’s no way you should buy this… unless you really can’t bear to see the Arse line up minus Santi Carzola. Naughty FIFA.

Our Score

Score: 5