There are many gross disparities based on global location. A serious example of this was seen two days ago when the FIFA 10 demo was released in the United Kingdom (and Europe) but not the United States. It would seem that the developers of the iconic football franchise did not want the start of the American “football” season distracting from the availability of their new game. The demo is scheduled for a release next Thursday, September 17th, but who would want to wait that long to try their hand at more realistic virtual soccer?
Fortunately, there is a way around this predicament. By creating a new Xbox profile and setting the system locale to “United Kingdom,” then creating a new Xbox LIVE gamertag, the free demo becomes available for download in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This kind of regional manipulation should not be necessary, but at least it’s possible.
It might seem silly to get excited about the latest release in a series of perennial (and often incremental) updates, but since I never purchased FIFA 09, I am looking forward to this newest edition. Having played the 10 demo, it (of course) seems fairly significantly different than 08 but not too dissimilar from 09. I enjoy that players get indignant when fouls are called against them, and the added quick restart and on-the-fly kicker selection for free kicks are nice touches. I also saw, on several occasions, friendly AI-controlled players step over the ball when the pass was not intended for them. I’m not sure if this is new for 10 or if it was in 09, but it’s much more realistic than the random deflections in 08. The little things really make up the game.
The demo does not include the new arena changes, which is disappointing. You’re still limited to running around with a single player and taking random shots, but in the full game you’ll be able to create up to an 11-on-11 scrimmage for training purposes. Also missing from the demo is the custom set piece editor; again, this would have been nice to see. 360-degree dribbling doesn’t seem revolutionary, unless I’m just doing it wrong. If I hadn’t been told that this was a key selling point, I may not have noticed much of a difference.