Scoring remains tough as nails; between seemingly superhuman goalkeepers and a relatively small sweet spot in the kicking meter, it's a challenge and a half to put many into the back of the net. With all the control modifications, a training mode would have been a welcome addition (the loading screen minigame doesn't count, thank you very much). The whole enchilada takes some getting used to, especially if you've been racking up the goals in the more forgiving 2006 FIFA World Cup. Even new defensive moves are introduced, as marking usually consists of slamming into your opponent, followed by both of you staring at each other momentarily with mild concussions.
The downsized Manager Mode has fewer leagues, teams, and players than the current-gen games, which translates into fewer options (not to mention a shorter life cycle; just five seasons). However, let's not go crazy here; there's still a meaty campaign to be experienced. Over 100 clubs are represented, so unless you happen to be a fan of a non-top-tier division side, chances are that it's not too much of a problem. We have to ask ourselves why EA isn't exploiting their expensive FIFA license to the hilt, though.
Even the online portion is a mixed bag. All of our Xbox Live matches went off without a hitch; frankly, there wasn't even a whiff of lag or slowdown. On the other hand, the touted Interactive League that lets you participate in an MMO-style tournament is a 360 no-show. This would be more understandable if we were reviewing a launch title, but a year past introduction, this leaves us mystified.
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