ALTHOUGH technically the four th instalment in the series, FIFA Street has no mention of this in its name, presumably because it bares very little resemblance to its predecessors. EA Sports seem to have thoroughly ripped up the FIFA Street manual and started almost completely anew.
While the objective remains the same - deliver flashy street football full of individual skill, the basis this time is far less arcadey and much more FIFA 12. The power bars and signature tricks are gone, replaced by something that feels a lot more like a simulation.
Although the gameplay still feels like it has been plagiarised from every Nike advert ever made, it still feels much more grounded in reality in comparison to the previous Street games.
A few more basic tricks have been added, like a juggle button that lets you flick the ball over an opponent's head and run past him, and a modifier button that adds a flashy spin to basic passes.
The feel of the rest of the game is shamelessly ripped from FIFA 12, with a few minor deviations. The in-game physics are very familiar thanks to the inclusion of EA'S Impact Engine, meaning that hilarious collisions are certainly not absent from FIFA Street.
The main differences, then, are the removal of slide tackling, which would allow players to steamroller anyone in possession and thus ruin the entire basis of the game, and a slight loss of manoeuvrability.
There are still some things to iron out for the next instalment in the Fifa Street series. The trick selection is very deep, for example, but there is practically no difference between one step-over and the next when you're out on the pitch.
This is still unpretentious fun, but this time round it's also an amazingly deep little sports game, and a welcome stop between FIFA 12 and 13.