FIFA 18 | Switch Review

A review of FIFA 18 in 2019? Surely this has been out for about 2 years as it is? Seems like it but hell, you might see it on sale what with it being an EA retro now. If you like football and have a Nintendo Switch then perhaps you can get this on the cheap? There’s a lot more you could buy but it’s better than the NES Online Soccer game. Is FIFA 18 any good? It’s ok.

FIFA 18 on the Switch got slated but I think it’s better than the Atari Jaguar version. They don’t exist, but in this paragraph that qualifies it as being better. Though fictitious. Each new FIFA game has better character models, some trending music and unlockable characters such as Attila the Hun, Snoopy and Crash Bandicoot.

FIFA games don’t reinvent the wheel as football is football. Aside from swanky sideline cameras and expensive kit you’ll never need, nothing changes. So why does FIFA 18 on the Switch feel like a step back? Power. The Switch, she can’t handle it Cap’n.

FIFA 18 gameplay - passing with a header

In technicolour

The Nintendo Switch wasn’t designed to be the best graphics, or MMO’s that feature over 10 people in 256 colours. The Switch is a portable device FIFA 18 is perfectly adequate – despite what you may have read or heard.

There are a good bunch of club and international teams to choose from. It was made with the World Cup in mind though. Spoiler alert, France won and they became the rulers of the Iron Throne. There is a good variety of teams to choose from outside of the World Cup. I’m pleased to say that the team that I support were there too.

On a large TV, the graphics don’t really hold up. They’re clunky and the animations don’t look so good. The character models of some of the big players like Fred Astaire, Cat Stevens and Chuck Norris look very much like the person they’re based on but the overall feel is a bit like a tarted-up version of Actua Soccer. Vintage.

Pre-match selection, Chelsea vs Arsenal

Bringing FIFA back into my life

Like its predecessors, FIFA 18 has a lot of camera options but they simply do not look that good. I just opted for the default camera. Scoring a goal isn’t as good as Virtua Striker, but it’s better than Nintendo Soccer. Tactics, substitutions and a few stats here and there are perfectly suitable for portable play but for the more die-hard FIFA fans, the PS4 or Xbox One would probably be a better outing.

I was a fan of FIFA for a while and got each new release. You can tell your age when you look at the front cover to see Dennis Bergkamp or Sol Campbell gracing us with their presence. These days EA tends to opt for the same faces – Ronaldo or UFC fighter Conor McGregor. He doesn’t play professional football. Yet. With the FIFA franchise, I got bored of the endless way you could do tricks to outwit the AI and score in the double figures in most matches. I switched (not a pun) to Pro Evolution Soccer (Winning Eleven in Japan) for about 10 years and much preferred it.

I got Pro Evolution 2018 for the PS4 last year and have since changed my mind and think I’ll be returning to the FIFA catalogue. Will I buy FIFA 19 on the Switch? No. FIFA 18 is like I mentioned at the beginning, adequate. That’s not a bad thing but I don’t think any future iterations will be much better other than an updated roster. On a higher-powered system, I could be persuaded. The FIFA 18 demo on the PS4 was miles better than the Switch version. There are also some features missing from the Switch version like The Journey and elements from The Ultimate Team.

Generic crowd sprites in FIFA 18

Perfectly fine if you understand the offside rule

If you’re like me and incredibly cool, you’ll not be too familiar with the omitted modes. You’re just here to play football right? I got the Switch to play games that weren’t going to swallow me up. I self banned myself from PC games as I would get too absorbed, so have a strict diet of consoles only.

The Football Manager series was one of those games and I spent season after season playing it. I don’t want that on the Switch. Others may argue that they should at least have the option, and they do on the PS4 or Xbox One. It’s a pretty decent feat to have FIFA on the Switch – let alone on Nintendo as there’s been a drought since the Wii U FIFA release. On that basis, FIFA 18 is absolutely fine.

Multiplayer for me is playing with mates in the same room. Yes, I know that’s old school and I should be playing online but I prefer having a beer and play Mario Kart or a decent football game together in the same room. FIFA 18 on the Switch is just that. In fact, I played this during the 2018 World Cup. For each game that was a letdown, we could replay on the Switch – albeit with double the amount of goals.

A Sterling goal scored

Football in your hand

On one occasion we played a game in portable mode while watching the game on TV. It wasn’t an exciting match to be fair. In my opinion, that’s pretty cool. It’s like when you watch a superhero film as a kid then immediately act it out. Here we could pretend we were on x million a year and had good hair without having to show ourselves up at the local park. For that Mr FIFA 18, I salute you.

All in all, I would recommend this game for bargain hunters. Also for football fans who like to play on the go but don’t care about the graphics. If you’re a bit of a hardcore fan then I would suggest the PS4 or Xbox One versions as there are more options and it’s prettier.

So, what are you waiting for? If you see this on sale, go buy it but don’t expect it to change your life. I mean, it is an ancient game with players you may never have heard of like Messy or Neighmar, but it allows you to have a kick-about without having to ask for your ball back.