Games allow us to play out our fantasies no matter how unlikely; such as seeing South Africa winning the 2010 World Cup considering we’ve just been booted from the competition. What a coincidence then that this game comes up for review just in time to satiate my desire to see our country beat the odds. So that’s exactly what I aimed for: I selected Bafana Bafana as my team and began playing through a digital recreation of the entire 2010 World Cup. All the starting pools are identical and you’re free to select a whole bunch of countries to play as. I, however, opted to stick to South Africa and allowed the other matches to be automatically resolved. As a result I comfortably flew through a month’s worth of football games in a little less than two hours; God bless gaming’s ability to provide instant gratification.
The more astute of you would have noticed that this is the Wii version of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa being reviewed here. You did notice that, did you? Well done, have a cookie. Being the Wii version means that the control scheme will be vastly different to what one would find on the other consoles. Fortunately they’re really straight forward and with enough furious waggling of Wii remotes you’ll soon see your country of choice hoisting the World Cup trophy – that, or you’ll see them rack up a sizeable amount of red and yellow cards for slide tackling. A number of control mapping options are available for people who own multiple Wii remotes but not multiple nunchuk add-ons. It’s entirely possible to play the game without a nunchuk, but you then relinquish a lot of control and only need to worry about pressing buttons for passing and shooting – not nearly as much fun.
One possibly important reason to pick up a copy of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is as a memento for this historic event being hosted by our nation. Furthermore it is not every day that we see our country featuring prominently, let alone recreated, in a game. That being said, the Wii version lacks a lot of the detail that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will have. While all of the stadiums make an appearance, as well as all of the players, they’re not very well realised thanks to the Wii’s limitations. Where the Wii wins is in the controls: it is dead easy for anybody to pick up even if they have never played a sports game at all.
Confession time: this is the first FIFA game I have ever played. Accolade time: this will definitely not be the last FIFA game I ever play. It’s crazy, but mere days ago I abhorred sports games and when I was given this to review I had to stifle the urge to vomit a little in my mouth. Well, consider my condescending attitude towards the genre well and truly kicked in the nuts.