We always figure that annual sports titles usually only get minor makeovers each iteration. It's not really possible to do a major breakaway unless it was already in the works a few years beforehand. However, with FIFA on the Wii, EA kind of hit a new low, charging top dollar, $49.99, for this year's iteration which is literally pretty much a logo-redo of last year's outing.
Nintendo Gamer did their duty to Wii consumers the world around by exposing the sham in a nice cache of screenshots. In fact, we even borrowed two screens just to show you a comparison between FIFA 12 and FIFA 13 on the Wii. Check it out below.
Can you tell which one is 12 and which one is 13? Yeah, neither can I. If you think that's bad you'll want to check out the entirety of the comparison at Nintendo Gamer, it might make your stomach churn.
Now, I'll play both devil's advocate and pro-corporatist curb-stomper. For annual games it's difficult to make a lot of overhauls to the game to get it out on a yearly basis. Usually, these games undergo some moderate changes to the rosters and maybe one major new feature here or there. This is usually how it is with the WWE games from THQ, which are quite similar on Wii and the money that goes into the publisher's coffers each year is just to make improvements for the next outing. However, EA screwed the pooch this time around.
Not only is FIFA 13 visually identical to FIFA 12 but all the menus, models, assets, and customization features are all the same. Just like the screenshot comparison above, if it's not pointed out which one is which there's no way to tell that you even bought the 2013 edition. At least from Smackdown Vs Raw: 2011 to WWE 12 on the Wii there were some obvious modifications, new modes, new characters, new customization features, moves, arenas and story elements. That's quite significant. In this case we're looking pretty much at a 1:1 copy save for the logo changes and undoubtedly some name changes on the Roster.
Now before the pro-corporatists say “Well, it's just a business. EA isn't a charity” let's consider that modifying a few names and changing the logo for a series that managed to move well over a quarter of a million units in just one day in North America, as reported by Games Radar, is no charity case.
If THQ can manage to actually put forth some effort to change up the formula each year and they're bleeding money and nearly falling to American middle-class standards of poordom, then EA should surely be able to put a little effort into the outing, or do they just figure Wii gamers will buy whatever crap is tossed their way even when it's the same thing with a logo change?