AceGamez: "There are some things that you can count on - a handful of occurrences that happen year in, year out, whether you want them to or not. Seasons change, school starts, stops and restarts, awful TV talent show winners get to number one and, the most concrete, odds on certainty of them all is that EA releases a new FIFA game. Lo and behold, it's that time of the year again and, right on cue, a shiny new entry into one of the longest running sports game series has appeared on shelves country wide. So, it's time to clamber out of your Bentleys and Range Rovers, slip on your gold boots and complain about press intrusion; FIFA 09 is here and it's as close to footballing super stardom as most of us will ever get.
From the front end it's obvious that this is one of the most exhaustively complete football sims that has ever been released. There are more than forty leagues to pick your team from, including every English league, the American MSL and everything in between. Ever fancied taking Accrington Stanley to the top of the Premiership, the FA Cup final and the Champions League? Well, now's your chance. There's an incredible amount of options, teams, statistics and settings that you can wade through if that's the kind of thing you're into; you can fine tune a squad so that it plays exactly the way that you want it to play, right down to the speed that it builds up attacks.
Luckily though, FIFA hasn't done a Gran Turismo; there are stats and facts galore but the bare bones of the game - the football itself - is still incredible fun. There's a simple, almost inexplicable joy to slotting a header into the top corner after threading an inch-perfect pass into the box and EA clearly understands that. The controls are much the same as previous iterations; the left stick steers your player and the right trigger activates your sprint, with the face buttons shooting and crossing or tackling, swapping players or hustling, depending on who has possession. The left trigger when used in conjunction with the right analogue stick allows you access to trickier moves and turns, offering the chance to show off your ball skills, as well as changing your shot to a cheeky chip. The controls become second nature after a few games, letting even FIFA novices bend it like whichever player they fancy bending it like."