Review #FIFA18 #NintendoSwitch #Portable

FIFA 18 for Nintendo Switch – Released on Friday 29th September

Version – EU

A lot of expectations had been raised by EA over their new version of Fifa for Nintendo Switch. They promised us a full console experience on a portable machine for the first time. They managed to mostly deliver on that promise, but with a few caveats.

Firstly, on the positive side, the game plays exactly how you would have become accustomed to. All the buttons are there. No longer do you have to put up with a cut down gameplay experience as you did on the Vita, 3DS, or the awful smartphone versions. This game plays as Fifa plays on the consoles with all of the same controller inputs and player abilities.

You can play in three controller modes: Pro Controller, Joycons (dual), or split joycon. Split joycon is the only weak controller method as this means you have to play using one thumbstick in a cramped configuration, but it’s a nice addition to have when you want a quick game of multiplayer on the plane and you don’t have any spare controllers.

The graphics are surprisingly nice, and the animation is smooth. It looks and feels like Fifa16, which is what I expected given the reduced power available. As you probably already know the game here uses a custom engine and not the same ps4/XBone engine that allows for the new Alex Hunter career. However, in terms of playability there is little difference in an actual match. It’s staggering that they’ve achieved this on a far less powerful machine.

The screenshots attached to this review are directly shared images from my Switch and represent accurately what you see on screen. You can watch the gameplay and menu screens in the video below to see what it really looks like. I say in the clip that it’s at 30FPS but apparently it’s 60FPS. Either way, it’s smooth! Take a look at the player animations and you can see that you’re not missing out on anything that its bigger powerful brothers will give, but now it fits in your bag!

There are a lot of menus and options in the game. Quick play, manager mode, seasons, cups, full teams, full commentary, and all the customisation options for gameplay that you would expect. The missing element is the ability to play online against a player you choose, i.e. a friend. This is a BIG omission from EA at the moment and I hope it gets patched. Currently the online mode pits you against a random opponent, and there’s no way to ‘invite’ someone from your friends list. This, in my view, takes a huge amount away from the online mode and makes it less interesting to me. I don’t like playing random people as I almost always lose!

In summary, you will not be disappointed if you are a fan of FIFA and want to play it anywhere. The docked mode does give you the full TV experience, but it’s not quite as sharp looking as the PS4. You will also be missing out on the cinematic career mode if you go with the Switch. My recommendation is that if you want to play it on the sofa on a TV and you own a PS4/XBoxOne then choose one of those versions. That gives you the ultimate FIFA experience. However, if you do want to take it with you or play it in bed in portable mode then this really is a worthwhile purchase. Highly recommended. I’ve personally decided to stick with the Switch version alone, and will not  be buying the other versions as this does everything I want it to.

9 out of 10 (- 10% deduction for the online mode being less than it could be.)

If you have any further questions comment below, or tweet me @fareastfunko

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Englishman based in Hong Kong. Avid gamer, technology addict, and grammarphile. @FarEastFunko on Twitter