Kitted out for the new season
From the opening menu, anyone who has played FIFA 10 on PlayStation 3 will feel immediately at home with its PSP sibling. It's quick and simple to jump into a match, where you'll find fully licensed teams, players, strips and an impressive array of stadia from around the world.
The Team Management screen is also similar to that in the PS3 version in both look and scope. You can create custom formations and dictate your team's style of play by activating commands such as counter-attack, zonal marking and, for top teams, the ultimate fantasy - total football.
Just before kick-off, you're given a helpful scouting report providing insight into the opposition's formation, tactics and key men to look out for.
On the pitch, players look and move just like they do in real life and the action is smooth and fluid. In Be a Pro: Club and Country mode, where you control a single player and guide them to club and international glory, the camera angle shifts to a view high behind the goal. When you're defending, it zooms in and out dynamically, so you can see the entire pitch when the ball is far away and still have a close view of your movements when it's at your feet.
Going for the treble
In Manager Mode you take control of your favourite team on and off the pitch, hiring staff, sealing sponsorship deals, dabbling in the transfer market and, of course, pulling on the shirt on matchdays. If you prefer to let your feet do the talking, The Season mode lets you focus purely on what happens on the turf.
In Be a Pro: Club and Country mode, you control a single player and aim for domestic and international glory. Objectives add depth, so, for example, you may be asked to take more than three shots, provide a quality cross or keep a clean sheet. Completing personal objectives, winning games and playing well in general awards Experience Points that unlock new abilities. Initially, you're only able to request a pass to feet when teammates have the ball, but after a while you can request through-balls, call for a second defender and more.
Football IQ is an exclusive mode for PSP. It's a mini-game in the format of a quiz with three difficulty levels on your favourite team, the country in which your favourite team plays and world football respectively. The quiz format of this mode makes it particularly entertaining: you're given a top-down view of a pitch, a question and two options - dribble or pass.
If you select dribble, you can use the action buttons to choose your answer from the choices given; if you're not sure of the answer, you can select pass. A right answer moves the ball forward and a wrong one moves it back. Progress far enough up the pitch and you're able to shoot, and answering two questions correctly will result in a goal. The aim of the game is simple: score more goals than the opposition over 90 minutes.
Challenges are also only available on PSP, providing 60 scenarios in three difficulty levels. Each team has their own challenge, so you may have to come from 2-1 behind in the second half, playing as Hamburger SV, or complete a rout as Red Salt Lake and add two more goals to a 4-0 lead.
You and a friend can get together for Ah Hoc Mode matches using any of the teams in the game. Games are easy to set up and can result in very competitive journeys.
If you want to really test your ability, take on the world using Infrastructure Mode and see how you stack up against the best online players.