EA should be commended and slapped around the face in equal measure for this release.
First off, it's half a game. Compared to FIFA's excesses team and competition-wise, you've really only got the European Championships, which is gonna get pretty dull pretty soon. It all reeks of cash-in in the usual EA fashion, because it's pretty scandelous to charge full price for what could be described as FIFA 08.1 (with nowhere near as many features).
Secondly, and this was a howler of an ommision....no 5v5 Be A Pro. Your only online options are 1v1 and.....errm, that's it. So that's most of the teams, competitions & best features ripped out....what next?
...the minnows. A truly unbelievable experience. EA, have had a good idea, but unfortunately gone ballistic with it. Playing against Azerbaijan (especially), San Marino, Andorra and any other small nation will result in probably the hardest challenge you'll find in the game. Ultra-defensive, (at times) impenitrable defenders, who seem to spring into life like Man United on the counter attack. Some matches will have you completely scratching your head.
So, you might be thinking, why 3 stars after all that. Well, in parts, the game is excellent. It really could have been the best football game out there, were it not for the above (and some bonkers gaps in difficulty levels). The gameplay and control of players is top notch. Some of the passing movements you initiate are a joy to behold and generally, it really does feel like EA are onto something here. They've paid attention to criticisms of '08's gameplay and improved on it (Konami, take note). Presentation-wise, it's top notch also. From the sharp graphics & front-end to a truly fantastic stadium sound.
It's just a shame that the ludicrous minnows, no 5v5 & limited teams & competitions hold this game back, because there's something very special in here...somewhere. Roll on FIFA 09 then.