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Published: Thursday, 10/11/2012

FIFA Soccer 13 is a real kick; RE6 is too slow

BY CHRIS CAMPBELL
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

You can pick from whichever La Liga, English Premier League, or Major League Soccer squad you fancy, but the Tottenham Hotspurs will always be my pride and joy in real life and in FIFA Soccer 13, the latest entry in EA Sports' long domination of soccer video games. Beyond some updates to the menu system and few gameplay tweaks, not much appears different from last year's edition, but when you are killing it on a yearly basis like EA is, I guess the mark of success becomes how close to perfection one can get.

Most of the game's modes return unchanged from last year, which is acceptable but a tad disappointing, seeing that not one of them was 100 percent. Gamers will see a different pitch, where the improved physics engine from FIFA Soccer 12 creates the most natural-flowing game of soccer you'll likely ever play (that is, until next year's release, I suppose). Granted, this makes scoring a lot of amazing-looking goals rather easy, which is fine when playing against friends, but in serious online leagues creates havoc and veers awfully close to arcade gaming instead of simulation.

Pro Evolution Soccer continues to push forward and challenge for the top place in soccer gaming, but for another year FIFA remains the titleholder and a must-own for soccer fans.

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Since the dawn of this column, I've talked about how my buddy Luke welcomes the arrival of another Resident Evil game like some people celebrate a child's birth. I was a hard-core Nintendo guy until he showed me the famous "dogs jumping through the window" scene. I knew then that gaming was way more awesome than just Mario collecting coins.

In this release, all the pieces of the puzzle are present to create a thrilling Resident Evil adventure, but instead of nicely interlocking, they are jammed together, creating a game that lacks cohesion. Simply put, everything takes too long in this game.

I've never complained about a game creating a cinematic atmosphere, and RE6 does this amazingly well, but the action gets interrupted by cut scenes way too often. I'm not a huge fan of quick-time button sequences, and I can't recall a recent game that more times than not rips the outcome from your hands and places it in the controls of a quick-time sequence.

RE6 strings together long stretches of cut scenes, quick-time events, and passive action that leaves you rarely feeling like you are playing the game so much as just watching it all pass by. And the game, sadly, doesn't invoke the moments of true "fight or flight" terror that previous editions did.

Longtime fans will have reason to dive head-first into the gory muck to see how it unfolds, but this marks the second straight RE title (Operation Raccoon City being the other) that tests fans' patience with the franchise.



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