We’re currently undergoing the second nasty Xbox Windows Phone release drought of the year (though really it’s not so bad if you have joy in your heart). During the first drought back in December and January, Nokia and EA came to the rescue by releasing Xbox games like Flight Control Rocket and iBomber Defense as Nokia exclusives. It didn’t help non-Nokia owners, but at least some of us had new games to play, and eventually those same games should be available to everybody.
Today Nokia and EA once again light one of Xbox Windows Phone’s darkest hours by publishing another highly anticipated exclusive: FIFA 13. Considering that the only other soccer titles available are the buggy Real Soccer and overtly greedy Real Soccer 2013, FIFA 13 should be a breath of fresh air for footy fans. Just keep in mind you’ll need a Windows Phone 8 Nokia device with 1 GB of RAM to play it.
Kick some balls
In my short time with FIFA 13, it seems like an impressive and fully featured game. Like Real Soccer 2013, it features detailed high-polygon players in close up views and less detailed players during actual gameplay. Electronic Arts excels at cinematic presentation, and the visuals and licensed menu music create a very console-like experience in this mobile game.
The controls are actually a bit less intuitive than Real Soccer 2013’s, much to my surprise. This edition of FIFA adds a Skill Move button that players can swipe in different directions to perform various moves. FIFA 13 seems to lean more towards simulation rather than arcade-style play; I’m sure football fans will master the controls before very long.
Win some, lose some
The only bad news about the Windows Phone 8 port of FIFA 13 is that it lacks the iOS version’s online multiplayer. That is truly a shame because Gameloft titles like Asphalt 7 and Modern Combat 4 have proven that Windows Phone 8 (unlike 7) can handle real-time online multiplayer very well. Nor does this version allow In-App Purchases (IAP) or cloud saves.
None of the Nokia exclusive EA games have included online multiplayer or IAPs, so it seems like Nokia and EA arbitrarily decided to exclude those features when negotiating their exclusivity deal. A few games like NBA Jam, Tiger Woods 12, and Monopoly Millionaire have featured local Wi-Fi multiplayer, however. EA could have at least given us that much in FIFA.
That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news! The iOS version of FIFA 13 costs $6.99 while the Windows Phone game rings up at $4.99. Almost every Nokia exclusive EA game sells for two dollars MORE on Windows Phone, making FIFA 13 an unusually good deal.
FIFA 13 – Nokia exclusive – Windows Phone 8 with 1 GB of RAM – 951 MB - $4.99 – Store Link
How many more games do Nokia and EA have to go? Of the 20 titles announced back in 2012, only two remain: Dead Space and Bop It. Let’s hope the games keep coming after that. Otherwise the last half of 2013 and beyond could be very dry indeed for Xbox Windows Phone.
Thanks to EasyPeasyJD, Guilherme, and Dario for the tip!