I play FIFA more than almost any other game. Day after day, year after year I’ll go back to it. Whether it’s playing Ultimate Team, playing against friends or family online or just playing online seasons, it’s guaranteed that I’ll play at least a few games a week.
I’ve always yearned for a good handheld FIFA game. There’s always been decent ones that are fun to play, but due to the lack of all regular controls (four shoulder buttons being the main one) on most portable devices, it’s always felt like a watered down version of FIFA that doesn’t match the usual console experience.
Well, the drought is finally over. FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch is definitely the best portable FIFA experience yet, and the closest we might ever get to the full FIFA experience on the go. Now, it’s missing some features which we’ll get into later, but the most important thing is that I feel like I can go from playing the PS4 version to the Nintendo Switch version and feel like I’m not losing any of the fundamentals that make FIFA great. I feel like I can play online and take it seriously, rather than just play to kill time and that’s a huge deal. In-fact, I haven’t even thought about going back to FIFA 18 on PS4 since I got the Nintendo Switch copy.
Now, it definitely looks worse on Nintendo Switch than PS4. It’s not running on Frostbite and the PS4 version runs in native 4K (in comparison to 1080p when docked on Nintendo Switch). The downgrade in graphics is much more noticeable when playing on the TV. When in handheld mode, it doesn’t look too dissimilar from that of the PS4/Xbox One versions. The most important thing is that it never stutters or drops frames. This is crucial in FIFA and the performance is surprisingly great.
Similarly, I was quite worried about the online portion of FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch. I was worried that seasons wouldn’t work how they do on other consoles and that there might be a lack of players. Thankfully, neither of these are an issue. Seasons work exactly like they do on PS4 and surprisingly, I haven’t had a single issue finding a player in the 20-25 online games that I’ve played so far.
I must admit, there’s a little bit of adjusting needed when playing on the go as it’s quite hard to fit four fingers on the four shoulder buttons, but I definitely adjusted after a few games. The Pro controller feels really good when playing in docked mode so that isn’t an issue. FIFA 18 on Switch also allows you to use single Joy-Con which is a game changer. You can take it anywhere and literally just play with the two Joy-Con that are attached to the Switch. You lose some of the advanced moves that you’d have with the full controller capacity, but nothing crucial to playing and having a great time.
I was just able to play two games of FIFA 18 (on Switch) in the car whilst my boyfriend shopped in Kmart. LIFE CHANGER! pic.twitter.com/CWLeRZmFhM
I’ve already taken FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch to the shops with me, I’ve taken it to bed, I’ve played at the dinner table, I’ve played in TV mode and I’ll take it with me on holidays later today. That’s the best (and most worrying thing) about FIFA 18. Just playing on TV, it’s so hard to not play another game. Now that I can take it on the go with me, it’s all I can think about.
FIFA Ultimate Teams are also on the console and perform exactly how you’d expect. It feels like this is the way to play FUT. You can play games on the go (or at home if you choose to) and manage your team on short commutes.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are some shortcomings. There’s no The Journey mode (which isn’t crucial to the experience), Squad Battles aren’t in the Switch version, the newly introduced Quick Subs aren’t there either (which I actually REALLY love in the PS4 version), and you can’t play your fiends online yet. The Quick Subs and playing friends online are two things I hope get patched into the game.
Apart from that, I’d definitely urge you to play FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch. It’s a remarkable experience and quite frankly, not something I can fully explain until it’s in your hands and you realise just how good this version of FIFA is that you can take on the go.