EA promised that Fifa 10 would blow people away, and it has, 10 million copies shifted in its first week, and continued chart/sales dominance over it's nearing sporting game rivals.
Like many, I was an avid Pro Evolution fan up until Fifa 09, when the two developers switched sides, with EA bringing realism and Konami subjecting us to arcade stylings.
Fifa 09 was one of the biggest and best games of the 360 era, and EA knew they had some big boots to fill with their next installment.
On the face of it, Fifa 10 is a worthy successor.
The football has been tweaked just enough for noticeable changes, and the game has more licenses and depth than anyone could possibly ask for.
As is the way with these football games, their defining features are the single player career mode and multiplayer/online.
On the surface, Manager mode seems like its had a terrific overhaul for the new year. Lots more options, stats, search functions and player information.
However, the staggering number of bugs and glitches that litter EAs flagship mode swiftly and violently casts this new look and feel aside.
To name a few, ridiculous weather conditions (more than 3 quarters of my matches were played in the rain/snow, including use of a near invisible white ball in the snow), a random form system which can see a star striker score 4 in one match and suddenly have his finishing, speed and strength stats drop exponentially, players in lower leagues becoming unrealistically unfit after one game (just because your Chesterfield team hasnt got the 9million required to have a 10 star fitness coach).
I could go on and on about the bugs, some forums and sites have counted 70 to date.
Needless to say, diehards (like myself) will ignore these and play on in the hope that somewhere along their promised 15 year career, there will be a brighter dawn.
The abrupt answer, is no.
4 seasons in, and my premier league has two Newcastle Uniteds (both of which inhabit the relegation zone, some realism does rear it's head occasionally) , I have beaten Wolves in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of the F.A cup, and on becoming bored with english football and moving abroad to take the Real Madrid vacancy (with a promised 120m transfer kitty, and 200k a week wage budget) I was then informed that i was now 2bn in debt and minus 500k a week in wages, thus crippling the game.
Like i said, invisible footballs and bad form is one thing..having a bug which cripples progress in a game is unforgivable.
But, never fear, EA have released an astounding TWO patches, which have supposedly fixed all these and more.
Of the 70 glitches and bugs, 6 bugs have been fixed (which people have listed as minor), and yet more have been found.
Online multiplayer doesn't bring any more good news, with lacking servers at the best of times and glitchy games resulting in Pes2008 levels of frustration.
Fifa 10 is still the best selling football game in the world right now, but more and more people are tossing their copy aside in disgust at the sheer number of unforgivable bugs, which can cripple the game at any point.
Bugs and glitches are common, it is up to developers to sort them out, which is what the patch system and 24/7 internet is supposed to counter in this modern age.
The fact is that EA have not made any statements re-assuring the community that a fix is coming, you have bought (or about to buy) the game and therefore their job is done.
Regardless of the above, the likelihood is that you are going to buy this game, all i ask is that you wait until it drops in price, or until EA decide to fix the game, although given their track record when it comes to customer support, you'd be better off just waiting for Fifa 11.