I’m not someone who would think that FIFA11 needed a guide. I’m certainly not someone who thought they would ever use one, but I was pottering around the App Store and stumbled across one that looked different from all the “Cheats, Tips and Tricks” apps I’m used to seeing. The screenshots looked decent so I decided to give it a go.
To avoid confusion, I’ll make it clear that this is a guide for the console version of FIFA11, on the Iphone, not a guide for the Iphone version of FIFA11 (which by the way, still hasn’t had the multi-player update. Just thought I’d thow that out there).
First I’ll reel off all the technical data. It’s a 2.3MB download, compatible with Iphone, Ipod Touch and Ipad, runs on IOS 3.1.2 or later, is developed by Bright AI ltd and costs 59p.
My biggest gripe with the app, is that the content is online. You need to be connected to a WIFI or 3G connection to use it. As it’s such a small download you would like to think that the content could have been made available offline. That being said, I’m the first to admit that i know absolutely shit all about developing Iphone apps. The about page states that the next update will bring in offline content, but it doesn’t say when that will be.
With that out of the way, I’ll break each part of the app down, tab by tab.
The players tab offers a table of players by position. Within each position you get a list of players. Sadly, you can only view age, rating, potential rating and current club and there is no way to re-order the list, you can only view in descending order from highest potential to lowest. What it really needs is a search function, it really would make the world of difference. At the moment, the brackets the players are grouped in are quite broad but with a search function they could really be tightened up.
Next, there’s the League tab. Again, it needs a search function and overall feels very light on information. When entering the tab you’re presented with a list of all of the Leagues in the game, selecting a league presents you with a list of the teams in that league. It seems like a huge oversight to have left the teams default star ratings out and if they really wanted to flesh it out, it should be tied to the players list so you could view the default squad of each team.
So far, not overly positive. Luckily it gets a lot better. The Strategy Section is where this app really starts to shine. The content is thorough, well laid out and hits the perfect balance of having enough detail to be a fantastic reference tool, without becoming cluttered or cumbersome to navigate. Within the Strategy tab there are 8 sections. Goalkeeper, Defending, Attacking, Penalties, Free Kicks, goal celebrations, skills and virtual pro.
The first five sections offer up a mix of quick tips and the official video tutorials that popped up around release time. Seasoned players will no doubt say that the tips aren’t anything new and that they know them all already. Possibly true, but the point is, it’s pretty solid advice nonetheless and I did find some it extremely useful. Those that listened to the last podcast will have heard me confess that I’m terrible at free kicks. I tried some of the tips from the app and quickly found myself much better at them. There are some nice diagrams showing what areas of the pitch fall under what distances and details on which types of free kicks work best in each area.
The goal celebrations and skills sections are complete lists of all of the celebrations and skills that can be done in FIFA11. The skills list is broken up by the level required to pull the move off and shows how to do them. Same for the celebrations, again, a complete list of all celebrations broken up by running styles and ending styles as well as the VP celebrations.
The VP section is also excellent. It’s a full breakdown of all of the accomplishments along with the minimum requirements for unlocking them and what reward they bring. I appreciate that this information is available in game and online, but I’ve found it much easier to have the app running whilst I’m playing, not to mention whilst you’re on the train or wherever, you can fire it up and have a browse through moves to try later.
The app has it’s own built in Forum, which boasts 25000+ members. It’s surprisingly active and whilst nosing about in there i didn’t see any of the anger or animosity we’re used to seeing on the official boards.
In the More tab there are full achievement and trophy lists, along with a wallpaper section, which has a bunch of the promo screenshots in super high resolution for you to save to your handset and use as wallpapers, obviously. They look pretty damn awesome on the Iphone4.
Another nice touch is the built in twitter feed. It runs as a ticker across the bottom at all times, but it also has it’s own dedicated page which appears to search against the #FIFA11 hashtag.
Overall, it’s a really good app, it looks fantastic, the content is well laid out and for the most part very detailed. I wouldn’t recommend it for stat heads, but with a few tweaks here and there and some of the gaps filled, it would be an outstanding portable FIFA resource.
Check it out on the App Store.