Spectacular goals are the norm in FIFA Street, as are unbelievable ball physics.
Spectacular-looking but not particularly edifying goals are something that FIFA Street has in common with EA Sports' earlier soccer games. Another is its lack of believable ball physics. Realism isn't what the Street games are about, of course, but when you find yourself playing with a ball that can move on its own and that often appears to be tied to a player's boots with an invisible piece of string, you'll find your suspension of disbelief pushed to its limits. The ball's abnormal behavior is noticeable at all times during gameplay and is invariably highlighted by the brief replays that follow every goal.
FIFA Street does have a few redeeming features, by the way; the controls are easy to pick up, some of the trick animations are excellent, and the cleverly structured career mode (in which you'll unlock new locations and players for your team) would no doubt prove quite addictive if the actual gameplay weren't so repetitive. The game's star team option, which lets you assemble your dream team using any of 250-plus real players from 16 countries for use in friendly matches, is also a nice feature, though it's made less interesting than it might have been by the fact that the only information available to you on each player is a single number between 1 and 100 denoting the player's overall skill and an icon representing his strongest attribute. Because of this, you're unlikely to consider the vast majority of players for a place in a team comprising only four positions, and there's a strong chance that you would find yourself playing against a near-identical squad were you to pit your star team against a friend's star team. FIFA Street's shooting system (which lets you place the ball in a specific part of the goal using the left analog stick--via a small diagram that appears at the bottom of the screen) is also worthy of mention, not only because it works well, but because we wouldn't be surprised if a similar feature finds its way into an upcoming FIFA Soccer game.
Most of the players in FIFA Street are instantly recognizable, although they don't look as lifelike as their FIFA Soccer 2005 counterparts. The different locales that you'll find yourself playing in are also easy on the eyes and boast plenty of background animations (pedestrians and various vehicles mostly) that help to bring them to life. FIFA Street boasts minimal but mostly realistic sound effects, an only occasionally irritating and often quite entertaining commentator, and an eclectic selection of music from around the world that, even if it's not the kind of stuff you would usually listen to, definitely adds a lot to the feel of the game.
Most of the real-life players in FIFA Street are instantly recognizable.
Differences between the three console versions of FIFA Street are few and far between. The GameCube controller can make certain actions trickier to perform than on the Xbox or PlayStation 2, and it also looks less cultivated than the other two games. The Xbox version is undoubtedly the best looking of the three, and it also boasts much shorter loading times, although loading times on the PS2 and GameCube are no cause for concern.
As the first entry in what will almost certainly become a series, FIFA Street is disappointing, but it is definitely a better game than the sum of its parts. It's not a difficult game to pick fault with, as you've probably gathered, but it can also be fun for a short while when played with the right people. Should you go out and buy a copy? No. Should you keep an optimistic eye out for a FIFA Street 2 announcement in the future? Definitely.