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Fifa 16 Ultimate Team

The latest version of the popular Fifa series, Fifa 16 Ultimate Team, is now available for Android and iOS. It is free to play, with optional in-app, or additional, purchases.

Last year’s version marked a major departure in terms of gameplay—instead of the multiple-mode format where you could play as one of the leading clubs, the game moved to a single mode where you had to build a team from scratch, buy multiple stadiums and players, and compete with them in online leagues. The developer, Electronic Arts (EA), has carried forward that mode to this year’s version as well. The Fifa 16 Ultimate Team offers some new features as well, like player exchange, which allows you to trade your players for others; and you don’t have to worry about renewing player or manager contracts this time.

New and exciting features

Even though the menu doesn’t look as animated and colourful as its predecessor, it definitely is more sophisticated and easy to navigate.

Players cost a lot more now. Even for a low-ranked player from the Barclays Premier League, with a rating of 70-75, you have to pay over 2,000 coins. Good players in the gold level easily cost about 10,000 coins. For instance, in the previous game, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson could be bought for 2,000 coins; this time, you have to cough up at least 9,000 coins. It might go higher, this is just the bidding price. Buying popular players like Wayne Rooney is more difficult, for he’s priced at 600,000 coins. You can also buy an entire squad for 30,000 coins or a gold pack with mixed pool of players for 20,000 coins.

A new add-on feature called Morale makes the players more competitive and improves team performance. A Morale pack for a single player starts at 50 coins and for the entire squad, at 300 coins.

More challenging and engaging

The gameplay is quite challenging. There is no separate touch mode and the game veers from on-screen controls to swipe gestures. Skill moves like dribble and player movements are much more elaborate. For instance, when you are moving a player from the halfway line to the penalty area, you can actually see the player running in a curve with his body tilted on one side.

Tackling is much more difficult; there is a separate button for it. Sliding it up will perform the slide tackle, just holding it and taking the player closer will ensure a standing tackle.

The controls are better, but there is so much happening that playing on a small screen makes it even more difficult and challenging. Moreover, graphical improvements like player appearance, movements, detailed stadiums and unique player reactions need at least a 5.5-inch device to be fully appreciated.

Online gameplay continues to be a sore point. Connectivity issues at any point just take the game back to the homepage.

The number of coins you get after winning a game is not as generous as in the last edition. In the lower divisions, you get about 50 coins, but as you progress to the higher divisions, the amount increases. The lowest amount in Fifa 15 was 390 coins, and that too after losing a match.

In-game app purchases start at Rs.60 and go up to Rs.6,200 for different point packs, which can be used to buy players, stadiums and features like Morale and player training.

Verdict

Real-life graphics, engaging gameplay and the absence of competitive titles from the Pro Evolution Soccer series (another football franchise for console and mobile) or Real Football series make Fifa 16 Ultimate Team the best football simulation game on the mobile platform.