Last year FIFA 18 was released on Switch as a flawed and feature stripped version to work on Nintendo’s Hybrid portable console. The achievement of FIFA on the go couldn’t get past these hurdles. This year with FIFA 19, is it the same deal? If so, is it still worth checking out?
First things first, anyone who has followed my writing, or posting for a long time knows two things, I love me some football, and I love single player games. Naturally I was all over Madden’s story mode last year like a rash and enjoyed this year’s follow up enough, but the story mode in FIFA managed to slip me by. The journey has absolutely intrigued me, but I never picked it up, so naturally jumping in at the third entry in the trilogy would always be rough.
I checked it out on PS4 and immediately felt hampered by having not followed the whole journey to date. It is something I want to return to one day, but only once I have seen more of Alex Hunter’s story. This makes its exclusion in the Switch version for a second year more palatable, because if you have started Alex’s journey somewhere else, your best bet is to finish it on that same platform.
Doing too much of a comparison set won’t achieve an awful lot. The PS4 version of the game is gorgeous especially on a PS4 Pro plugged into a 4K TV. Every time it panned across the team lined up ready for a match, it blew me away how uncanny valley it could look. But that’s with the benefit of a lot more grunt. If you are a hardcore FIFA fan, grab it on one of these main platforms, as the Switch’s cut in graphics and features will not be your cup of tea.
The Switch version instead works as a great supplement, or entry for the more casual fans. For instance, my experience is casual at best, playing one football game every couple of years at. This meant jamming the Switch version was perfect for me and my life.
Sports games can be a huge commitment. You need to dedicate enough time to them to be good enough to notice improvements year on year, and we only have so many hours at home to play on a console. Since my consoles are busy with Forza Horizon and Spiderman, there isn’t too much space for a major commitment. But do you know where there is space for a game like this? On the bus, train and on my lunchbreaks.
This is the kind of person that FIFA 19 on Switch is perfect for. Its cut down features aren’t notable when there isn’t a yard stick and smashing Sydney FC as the Nix on my commute into town on the Switch is so damn fun. Then there is the joycons.
The major feature that the Switch has hanging over its competitors that merges with its versatility is its joycons. Being able to plonk your Switch down on a table in the break room and jam a local multiplayer game with a colleague makes for some great lunch breaks that immediately took me back to playing local multiplayer against friends after school many years ago.
Throw in some real fun like the ability to use house rules and things can get crazy fast. These vary from the number of matches, to randomised teams, to King of the Hill where the winner doesn’t get to change teams between matches to the crazy match types. These vary from No Rules mode, to only headers and volleys count, to goals outside the box are double, to the craziest football mode, Survival. Survival has the team that scores a goal lose a player, so you need to maintain the lead while being a player down, which gets as bonkers as it sounds.
FIFA 19 on the Switch is an excellent football game on the go for the most casual fans, or a great complimentary game for owners of the full game, who want to jam in some football on their breaks. If you know what you are in for, and if you feel it justifies the price tag, there is a treat in here for many, but don’t expect the experience that you will get on the other platforms.