2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (Wii) - Review by Chris



In a matter of weeks, the whole world will be embroiled in the exploits of 32 teams as they go at it in the hope of winning one of the most famous sporting events in the world: the FIFA World Cup, this year taking place in South Africa. With millions of football fans worldwide tuning in for the event, expanses into other media forms to commemorate the was always a given and with developer and publisher EA holding the license to anything FIFA related, the obligatory game to tie in with the event is hitting store shelves. Is this one good enough to go for glory or does it fail to get passed the knockout stages?


2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, as the name states, is all about providing players with the World Cup experience and allowing them to take either their home nation or favourite footballing nation through the rounds of a traditional World Cup to see whether they can come out on top and lift the much sought after trophy. The mechanics of the gameplay remain largely unchanged from FIFA 10, which saw the franchise take on a more arcade-y approach to the gameplay on the console in comparison to previous years. The realism had been left behind and in its stead came a more over the top style, with strange physics and plentiful use of slow motion effects. This remains again with no changes to it at all, which will no doubt disappoint some fans as the constant use of the slow motion effect for shots on goal or even the dated 8 degrees of movement disrupt the flow of the game.

Making up the majority of the content is your expected World Cup mode, where you get to pick the 32 teams which will take part in the tournament from a full list of 199 national teams and play through the group stages and finally the knockout stages on the way to the World Cup final. It works as it should do and is an enjoyable romp from start to finish. Being able to change up the groups and place national teams into the tournament that didn't qualify for the real thing allows for a surprising amount of depth to the proceedings and while some may simply take pleasure in taking the groups and teams involved as they are, spending some time to mix things up is definitely worthwhile. Similarly, once all of the teams have been place in their respective groups, you can choose to take control of however many teams you wish to throughout the tournament so should you fail with one team, you'll always have another controlled team to play as.

Following this up is the inclusion of a Global Elimination mode, playable with up to four players offline, where you'll face off against a succession of national teams in the hopes of being the last one in the competition. It works as a variation to the standard tournament affair but provides enough differences to make it a worthwhile inclusion in the game and incorporating 3 other friends into the mix makes it a very enjoyable experience.

The final mode inclusion, outside of the standard Play Now option and the online modes, is Zakumi's Dream Team. Here, you'll start with a basic team of players and play through a series of ranking matches across a number of levels, all the while hoping to beat your opponents. Doing so allows you to take the best players from those teams and add them to your own, with more pronounced and better players becoming available the further you progress in the competition. It's perhaps the most interest inclusion to the FIFA franchise in recent years and is certainly the best offering available here gameplay wise outside of the standard tournament mode and is definitely something which would be nice to see as a stalwart inclusion in the mainline FIFA games.


Borrowing the control setups from FIFA 10, the game utilises three possible control options: the Wii-mote on its own, the Wii-mote and Nunchuk or the Classic Controller. Little has been changed since the last title and the game controls exactly as it did there, making use of both button presses and motions to carry out actions on the pitch. Passing and lob shots are all activated by way of the A and B button while shooting, heading or even tackling are still assigned to a shake of the Wii-mote. It works, and you'll rarely have trouble getting a shot off, but it feels like overkill constantly having to shake the controller in what is essentially an arcade football title, although younger gamers will be more forgiving of this aspect. This is of course not an issue when using the Classic Controller, with everything mapped to a button, so traditionalists will still be able to play the way they like.


The cartoony aesthetic first introduced in FIFA 10 continues its presence here and while it certainly looks as good as it did then, little has been done to improve the overall look and iron out the issues that the new visuals harboured. The game looks virtually identical on just about every level to FIFA 10 although there are some slight improvements. Stadia this year are more pronounced and of a higher quality, making them look more like the real world stadia you'll see when watching the World Cup, and the discrepancies between the bigger stadiums and the smaller ones in terms of their quality, something which was very noticeable in the last game, are thankfully kept to a minimum.

The plentiful allotment of characters making up all of the 199 country teams included in the game again look good, sporting the cartoony look that really works on the Wii yet outside of the big names in the sport, few of the character models look anything like their real life counterparts. While it's certainly a small issue, and one which wouldn't be able to be remedied without multiple discs for the game to run on, some players will be disheartened by this. With that being said though, the players remain as naturally animated as ever and while they still don't have full 360 degree movement they still manage to look the part when running about the pitch.


A licensed soundtrack has made it into this edition of FIFA, unlike the last title, bringing together the typical variety of genres, from pop to hip hop and beyond, with each of the songs coming from a variety of countries which are taking part in this year's event. It's a varied collection and no doubt there'll be something for everyone but your face time with the music is kept to a minimal outside of the main menu areas.

Commentary is once again a strong showing, with Clive Tyldesley taking the reins, and it accompanies the on-the-pitch action well with comments and remarks being fired quickly to reflect the constantly changing events, although some lines of commentary are repeated quite readily dampening the experience slightly. And again, like the last title, the crowd is well represented making for a believable atmosphere when coupled with the commentary.

Special features

The online setup is very similar to what was present in the last main entry in the FIFA franchise, and continues to make use of EA's Nation servers. It's a much more streamlined experience than the one Nintendo offers in their games and makes getting a game, either against friends or against random players around the world in various configurations, extremely easy. It's a fun experience online but latency issues from the last title still remain and while they can be minimal, occasionally they can be quite bad dragging the mostly smooth experience down.

Final comments

For fans of the FIFA franchise, the decision on whether to buy will already have been made for them but for others, the game still warrants a pickup even though it lacks the depth of FIFA 10. It still plays, looks and sounds exactly as that title did and while bringing in some new modes certainly creates an air of excitement for the proceedings, it ultimately feels shallow in comparison to the previous titles and to the other console versions. The bare to the bones approach does make for easier passages of play for younger gamers, who'll absolutely love the over the top style of the gameplay, and it remains an enjoyable spectacle but those looking for something meatier should either pick up FIFA 10 or hold on a few more months for the next game.

Pro: The cartoony visual style still looks good if a bit basic, game controls well, gameplay is as fun as ever
Con: Online does suffer from lag issues, lack of modes for single and multiplayer in comparison to the other versions, feels exactly like a re-skinned FIFA 10
Final score: 7


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Boxart of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (Wii)
Platform: Wii
Genre: Sports
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts