Three goals from FIFA09

Another FIFA09 goals special today. All goals in this post were scored in Manager Mode, playing on World Class difficulty, and using semi-manual shooting.

‘FIFA09 and goals’ can be a sensitive subject in the wider football gaming community. The received wisdom is that FIFA09 doesn’t do goals very well. This is a serious issue for a football game to have. The general view (among those who have this view) is that you can’t score a wide enough variety of satisfying goals, you can’t score from outside the box (or so rarely that it amounts to the same frustrating, unsatisfying thing), and PES is still better when it comes to the dark art of goal-scoring.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy disproving the received wisdom—to myself, at least. Suddenly, I’m knocking in goals from all angles and distances. Whisper it, but I even look forward to playing Manager Mode every morning (I’ll have to deal with that topic on another day).

The first goal here is deliberately quite ordinary. I’ve posted it only as an example of my new bread-and-butter style of goal. Previous to this Indian summer that I seem to be having with FIFA09, my standard goals were tap-ins after rebounds, one-on-ones after aerial through-balls, and the like. Now, though… Well, here it is—my new bread-and-butter goal:

Link: FIFA09 new Bread and Butter

It’s a ‘hook’ shot across the keeper, from a slight angle, from just outside the box. Until very recently, that would have been a fairly unusual goal for me in FIFA09.

Now for the more ‘showbiz’ goals. They’re both crackers from distance. I’ve started knocking in shots from outside the box quite regularly, to the point where I’ve had to check that I’m still on semi-manual shooting. I’ve started scoring distance goals so regularly that I hardly bother to look at the replays, unless they’re really special.

The first goal is a ‘floater’ from my left winger, Adriano. He’s not the Adriano of PES6 fame—just an absurdly talented namesake whom I scouted for nothing.

Here’s the ‘official’ replay, as patiently uploaded to EA Sportsworld:

Link: Adriano floater View1

Yes—that is indeed a night match. In Manager Mode. You can get them. You just have to cheat a bit. You start an Exhibition game, choose ‘night’, and quit it at any time during play. Then load your Manager Mode save, and the first match should be at night. That’s what I did on this occasion.

A few weeks ago I had a good moan about the disproportionate amount of times I was hitting the post/crossbar from a certain shooting position. It still rankles with me, but at least I’ve now actually scored a few to calm me down a bit.

Here are a few other camera angles, filmed using my digital camera. One is in slow-motion:

Link: Adriano floater

To pull off this side-footed shot I used the finesse shot and trick modifiers (the two trigger buttons on the Xbox360 controller in my control setup). I have to say, though, that I don’t know what I did right here that I did wrong all the other hundred times I’ve attempted this kind of shot from this kind of distance and angle, and either missed badly or hit that accursed post or crossbar.

Onto my next special presentation, and my favourite goal from FIFA09 yet. Full stop. Again, the official uploaded replay first, Locke (another scouted player) is the scorer, and yes, in the lead-up to the shot I do ignore my own advice about laying off the sprint button…

Link: Locke Curler - Main View

That’s the view and speed I saw it at when I scored it during play. It had me sitting up in disbelief—that shot actually went in?—and then I was laughing out loud. Hooting out loud, rather, at the audacity of it. I love the way the keeper doesn’t move. As can be seen more clearly in the other replay angles, he was probably unsighted…

Link: Locke Distance Curler

Spending quality time with FIFA09 necessarily involves putting up with its many sigh-making peculiarities. But persistence brings its rewards, and those rewards for me, at the moment, are more and better goals.


  1. Two words came to mind when I saw the first one “bread” and “butter.” (I literally ran into the kitchen and made my myself a toast, jk.) The assuredness and unhesitant nature of this finish probably explains why you call it like that, but it was a quality goal. 5 stars for the acrobatics and celebration!

    The floater–well what can I say other than I was glad it was done with my favorite left foot. Perhaps lucky but they all count, don’t they? I believe it’s a testament to the class of Fifa 09.

    The last one . . . it just took my breath away. Absolutely cracking finish! I had to look at that one maybe 10 times on the main view. I was fascinated by the direction of dribbling: it looked so fluid. The turn angles seemed unpredictable and yet looked so natural and realistic. Turn increments was definitely more than 16; surely they can’t get 360 dribbling wrong.

    All three were really great goals. Thanks for the posting them.

  2. Looks like your starting to get the best from FIFA with patience. If they fixed career mode and player developement they would have a good rival for classic PES.

    I’m still having a problem with the data transfer from PSP to PS2. I dont have any saved files for PES 08 ps2 on my memory card and im trying to move my PSP ML file (which has been played entirely on the psp) and the option file over to the PS2- is this definitely possible?

    When I go to send data on PSP and receive data on the ps2 in system settings, it says data received but then nothing happens. But when I go to the ML menu on PS2 to receive the data, it wont say anything at all……

  3. Steph Wheeler—thank you, and yes, me calling the first one a bread and butter goal is only my way of saying that the days of just scoring easy tap-ins, one after another (after another), are over for me in FIFA09. It is a decent goal in its own right. Ironically (in the degraded sense of that word), ever since I scored these three goals I’ve had a couple of pretty ordinary sessions. I’m trying too hard to get the showbiz ones now. I’m also trying to score from within the centre circle. I’ve got quite close a couple of times. Hopefully there’ll be more goals to come.

  4. Not Given—I’m getting pulled into my Manager Mode career as well. I’ll post about it in due course, but I actually want to play within that world. Strange turn of events. I don’t treat it as a proper management/career sim. I haven’t bought a new player in a couple of seasons now, making do with the decent team I’ve got.

    I don’t know what to say about your PES2008(PSP) game save transfer problems. When I was swapping the saves back and forth, it was the easiest thing in the world to do. It sounds like you’re doing it all correctly, so there must be something else wrong.

    I notice you say that you’re trying to move it to and from a PS2? Maybe give it a go on the PS3 (if you’ve got a 60GB one)? I can’t think of anything else.

    Back up your PSP ML save to your PC (if you haven’t already) in case all the fiddling around accidentally overwrites it with a blank save.

  5. As usual, I’m more impressed by the general wide cam view than by the action on the court (seems a bit devoid of emotion if you ask me)… the ball physics have some “floating quality” fundamentally wrong (compared to reports of perfect PES 2010 ball phsyics), and the ball lobs and shots seems to require a much more kinetic animation (the same thing can be seen in the FIFA10 trailer as the player crosses the ball with a very weak-looking animation)

    But overall, the colors and grass look amazing… As a PC gamer, I can always patch the turf to look the way I want, but it would be great if Konami proved they owned a TV set and started making grass look the way it does on TV without over doing it.

  6. TareX—I’m really squeezing the juice out of FIFA09 by this stage—and I’m happy there is some juice left to be squeezed. I still believe next-gen FIFA lacks in too many areas (immersion, emotion, etc.) for it to be (yet) the essential football game of this generation, as PES was of the last. But it wouldn’t take much for it to get there. A great Manager Mode might just do it for me, you know. Or perhaps FIFA will stand still in 2010, while PES springs up to draw level, in a tortoise and hare scenario. I’d settle for that, actually.

  7. Should you worry about PES 2010? No. 50% code suggests more refinement/consolidation than revolution, but thereโ€™s LOADS left to show. – That according to the PSM3 Twitter Q&A session – ๐Ÿ™

  8. Alan Brazil—suddenly I’m not as worried about PES2010 as I was, thanks to a brilliant few weeks with FIFA09. If the death of PES finally happens (I hope it doesn’t, but if it does), I’m now confident—probably for the first time—that next-gen FIFA is a more than adequate replacement. As a result of this new attitude I feel completely detached from all the PES2010 bluster coming our way over the next month or so. I’ll still be interested in it, very interested in it, but I no longer feel there’s as much at stake.

    Having said that, Something Happened to me on FIFA09 last night that I’ll be reporting in tomorrow’s post. Something terrible…

  9. I’ve finally been caught up in the pes2010 hype. I was pretty cool about it, but tomorrow the sites can post their reviews, and there was an interesting video featuring seabass today…..

    Seems as though we might have that game finally. Don’t wanna get too carried away but i’m really excited now. The card system example of messi cutting in looked really cool.

  10. Liam—I’ve watched the video in question a couple of times now, with 90% of my attention on PES2010 in action on the computer monitor next to the tactics guy, and just 10% for the cards/tactics stuff.

    If those glimpses of the game in action are representative of the final product, especially in terms of its pace, there’s going to be big trouble in the community, and I’m going to be playing FIFA10 all year.

    It could just be a sped-up segment that the tactics guy was working on to crunch some numbers, debug, whatever. It’d better be something like that.

    LINK if anyone’s missed it. Wait until 2:40 or so, for the tactics guy in his cubicle with PES2010 running (at PES2008-style speed!) on his left computer monitor.

  11. I guess the unanimous opinion is that this PES2010 game playing on the 2nd monitor was significantly sped up for debugging/number crunching purposes. A developer needs to debug loads and loads of matches at a limited time, and he can’t do that on normal speed. We already have two different and independent sources emphasizing how slow and simulation-like the game played at 50% (French Jeux videos, and UK-based PSM3)

  12. TareX—indeed, and I fervently hope so. But I’m still worried. At this point, if the game comes out and is anything like the speed of those glimpses, it’s all over. For me anyway, and I suspect for a lot of people. The forums are pretty calm about it all now—most of the chatter is about nets, tactics, etc. I would have thought they’d already be exploding in worry, so it’s probably just my paranoia.

  13. Well the speed of the game on the second monitor was the first thing everyone brought up…. but it was quickly dampened after many forum members convincingly mentioned how games are sped up to go through a more time efficient process of debugging…. Don’t worry, everyone LOVED PES5’s pace…

  14. Just a quick post. I just watched the video – my initial impression is … fantastic. Exactly what I wanted to hear. The AI is being overhauled, exactly what we need for offline play. All the sliders and cards should add up to a wide a variation in CPU team approaches. Exactly what we were talking about the other day. Theoretically this is.
    My main concern about difficulty and online play will of course have to wait until release.
    I am hugely optimistic about this years PES.

  15. Grilled Seabass said:
    All the sliders and cards should add up to a wide a variation in CPU team approaches. Exactly what we were talking about the other day. Theoretically this is.

    And as I said, I’m sure that fresh out of the box, Konami will have the teams’ tactics all wrong, but the fan community that has been making their game better for years will step up and square them away.

    I am personally blown away by the animations, especially here.

    If, as WENB assert, the game is much slower than what we see on screen, I’m starting to slip over to the . . . OPTIMISTIC side.

    p.s. Nets? Are we serious? WTF? Who cares. The crap tactics and robot players on PES 09 and people are on about nets?

    “The internet: because none of us are as dumb as all of us.”

  16. TareX—Asking a PES fan not to worry in the next-gen is like asking the sun not to rise in the morning… I’m ignoring the internal voice that’s trying to tell me Konami will stiff us yet again with a game calibrated for their teenybopper focus groups.

  17. Grilled Seabass—I’d be a lot happier if I hadn’t seen what was happening on that monitor in the background. Whatever anyone says, I won’t relax about the game speed until I see it running at its alleged proper slow pace in an official pre-release build, probably at Gamescon in August now. I’m still hugely optimistic, but I didn’t need this scare.

  18. ck—I can’t look at that montage of gameplay without a sick fear of what Konami is up to. Whatever anyone says, there’s a possibility that that’s going to be the speed of the gameplay. FIFA09’s pace was increased between its various summer playtests and its eventual release. PES2010 could easily have the same thing happen to it. Konami have to make a ‘stick or bust’ choice in regard to the arcade-oriented gameplay of 2008 and 2009, and this could be them settling on ‘stick’. After the past few years I don’t trust Konami not to find some way to screw it all up.

    Okay, getting away from the ‘glass half-empty’ point of view, the movements of the players (divorced from that 100mph speed) does look smoother and more sim-friendly. The slider tactics system overall looks to have a lot of depth, possibly the deepest ever on a console footie game.

    I will be worried about that pace until August though.

  19. two things I really like about FIFA09 MM are: 1) the attention to detail with the lower league teams – effort seems to have gone into getting the stats right, each player feels a bit different, sometimes picking a player with a lower ‘overall’ stat can be better for the team; and 2) results seem more dependent on how well I’m playing the game (i.e. not rushing passes and overusing sprint) rather than the ‘mood’ of the AI – on PES ML I often feel that the extent of the COM ‘cheating’ (for want of a more elegant term) is a more important variable than my own contribution

    I’ve not managed to score goals of this quality yet, not-greg, a couple straight from kick-off in the centre circle (both with Marcus Stewart from Exeter City!) but these were down to goalkeeping disasters. However, using manual controls even scoring very straightforward goals still feels an achievement, and slightly different every time

  20. abbeyhill—ah, the old centre-circle goal from kickoff! It’s an exploit they’ve got to get rid of for FIFA10. Funny, but after reading about the exploit I scored a couple in Week 1, way back when, but I’ve never got any more. I do still try it very occasionally, usually when I’ve conceded a late goal and am in a bad mood about it.

    FIFA09 has its own version of PES-style COM ‘cheating’, and it;s just as infuriating to me. I recorded an instance of it just this morning that I might post next week.

  21. I don’t know if it will make you feel any better, Greg, but the “sweet spot” for videogame marketers are single men between 25-30. They’re the ones that have money to burn, and still love games.

    If it’s 13 year olds you’re worried about, it’s unlikely they’re the focus of a sports game.

    That said, the game might be faster than FIFA. PES 09 is too fast, IMO, but I could live with it if the rest of the game were good.

  22. ck—the stats about game-buyers and game-players have been pretty well known for a decade. It’s always been adult, working men who spend the most money. The average age is creeping up slowly as we all get older and keep playing and buying games—the first generation to do so, I think. But I can’t shake the impression that game devs still make most of their games for that hypothetical 13-year-old.

    I’d love a PES2010 at FIFA08 pace, but I know we won’t get that, so I’d settle for FIFA09 pace. Anything much faster than that, and we’ve been stiffed again.

    I’ll be waiting for the Gamescon footage and reports with a particular anxiety. And I think I’m the only one!

    Because everyone, it seems, has unanimously decided two things:

    1 – that ‘Konami cubicle tactics guy’ was definitely running a speeded-up debug thing—yes, definitely.

    2 – all of the 55%-code previewers have said the game is slow-paced, so that’s that then. Everything’s fine…..

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