[Review] FIFA 20: Legacy Edition – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: EA
  • Publisher: EA
  • Release Date: 27/09/2019
  • Price: £44.99 / $49.99
  • Review code provided by EA

FIFA 20: Legacy Edition

As sure as night follows day, as certain as taxes and the sweet release of death are the only constants in life, you can be sure that every year EA will bring out a new iteration of their most popular franchise, FIFA.

As the title alludes to straight from Kick-off, this is a legacy edition, meaning FIFA 20 is just a reskinned version of FIFA 19. Rosters are updated, kits are altered but aside from that, there really isn’t anything new to write home about. In fact, because of Konami swooping in and throwing a substantial amount of cash at Juventus and subsequently securing the license to their rights, the famous Old Lady is a shadow of her former self in FIFA 20. 

What’s new pussy cat?

Now that all of the new features are out of the way, I suppose it’s probably time to get down to the nitty and gritty. How does it play on Nintendo Switch? Well, unsuprisingly, just like FIFA 19….

Don’t worry, I will get into the complexities of the gameplay mechanics, but I really want to emphasise that this is the EXACT same core game as FIFA 19.

FIFA 20 on Nintendo Switch is, for want of any kind of competition the best handheld football experience. That’s not to take anything away from what EA have put out, quite the contrary. FIFA 20, much like FIFA 19 and FIFA 18 before it, plays sublimely well in both docked and handheld. The frame rate is solidly locked at 60FPS and, while nowhere near the lofty opulence of it’s beffier brethren on PS4 or XBOX ONE, still looks incredible – with player likenesses and stadiums mapped to perfection. Admitelly, the animations are a little cumbersome at times during goal celebrations or kick off cinematics, but in motion, it still offers an uncanny likeness to catching up with Match of the day. Short and sweet.

EA Sports, it’s in the game?

The most positive thing to come out of yearly iterations is the ever growing bank of commentary, with new lines added and classics remaining, to offer constant and never too tiring opinion and analysis. As well as the commentary, the in game music provides a certain ambience to proceedings, when embarking on an all night session to restore Arsenal to their former glory of a top four team, in the games Career mode. Again, this isn’t the fancy new game mode that is present in the other version of FIFA 20, but instead, remains more akin to FIFA 18’s offering.

Transfer negotiations, for example, are basic at best, although I did find them to be a little too realistic for my liking, as although I managed to find buyers for Mustafi, talks always broke down as he simply didn’t want to leave.

FIFA 19, revisited

My personal highlight of my time with FIFA 20 was the Kick Off mode. Here you can embark on meaningless games, as per the norm, but as well as that you can also set house rules. Options such as Headers and Volleys only, goals from outside the box count double or ‘no rules’ all greatly add to proceedings and offer an almost arcade feel to play. Again, this isn’t a new feature for FIFA 20, as it was introduced in last year’s offering. You can also assign profiles to specific controllers, allowing your friends to jump in on the fly and have all their specific preferences ready to go.

The Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 20 allows you to use the Joy Con controllers separately, meaning you can have a quick game during your lunch break with colleagues or with strangers on the commute to work. While the options are limited when playing like this, its does offer a nice social aspect which is perfect for a game like FIFA. When embarking on a prolonged play session however, I wouldn’t recommend it. A Pro Controller is the way forward and the comfort it provides often made the transition from night to morning a seamless experience.

FUT? More like WTF?!

FIFA Ultimate Team returns, once more in the same guise it took last year. In FUT you use a deck building mechanic to make your ultimate squad. By playing games you unlock new player cards and then have to figure out how best to implement them into your team. Player synergy plays a huge part, for example – players of the same nationality will play better alongside each other, as will club team mates. This all adds a deeper level of intricacy to proceedings as you must chop and change your squad based on their camaraderie, not just the player’s base stats.

Unfortunately, this is the game mode that really sees micro transactions rear their ugly head and, whilst the game for what it is, in no way justifies it’s core full retail price (let’s be blunt, for roster updates, we should be looking at £17.99 DLC, tops) by the time you account for how much real money you, or more likely, your football crazy kids, pump into FUT, surpassing the £100 mark becomes a very terrifying reality.

Conclusion

It’s hard to recommend FIFA 20 if you own FIFA 19, as it really is the exact same game, just with slight cosmetic alterations. If however you didn’t upgrade from FIFA 18, this is the perfect opportunity to freshen up you Nintendo Switch Football fix. Whilst it lacks the glamour of the dedicated home console versions, as well as a lot of the game modes to boot, it’s a solid offering that runs incredibly well in both docked and handheld alike and will provide countless hours of gaming, with friends and solo alike.

Pros

  • KO mode offers great variety
  • Runs smoothly throughout 
  • Updated rosters

Cons

  • Is just FIFA 19 reskinned
  • Lacking lots of game modes
  • Abhorrent micro transactions

Verdict

If you own a FIFA title on Nintendo Switch, it’s hard to make any argument for paying full retail price for this year’s offering. Hopefully EA will pull their finger out next year. Or even better, maybe KONAMI will join the party….

2.5/5

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