Three more replays of notable FIFA09 goals today—and a special compilation, at the end, of many of my recent goals too.
Rumours of FIFA09’s demise are greatly exaggerated. What happens with me is that I have a poor session or two, and immediately think that the game’s up. Then I go back for another session, and find a football game that could almost have been made in heaven, such is the sublimity of the things that can be done on the pitch. A big difference between next-gen FIFA and classic PES is that I don’t remember having poor sessions on classic PES.
When FIFA09 is good, it’s great. I mean really great. It’s the best football game I’ve played on a next-gen console, bar none (well, FIFA08 at its best possibly excepted).
PES2009 on the PS3, at its height, was a pretty enjoyable football game and I got a lot out of it, but it lacked longevity. FIFA09 (a bit like its many online fans) just keeps running and running and running.
It remains an extremely hard game. Every match is a unique challenge. By now I consider myself a veteran, but my current season record in Manager Mode is something like P20 W6 D6 L8. Of course my difficulty settings have a lot to do with it. I’m still playing on the second-highest difficulty level (World Class), and using my favourite mix of manual and semi-assisted control settings. These settings are the Goldilocks settings for me at the moment: neither too easy nor too hard, but just right.
One of the major criticisms of FIFA09 is its shooting. I still partly agree with the criticism. I still think FIFA09’s shooting system is bewilderingly inconsistent too often for it not to be a fault in the system.
Having said that, it’s possible to work within the system, such as it is. I’ve got the frustration factor down to a manageable amount. I’m knocking them in from all over the place, and often enough to keep me happy and coming back for more.
Here’s a goal scored from outside the box. ‘Outside the box’ is a sensitive phrase in FIFA09 shooting discussions. It’s so tough to score them that even fairly straightforward ones like this feel really special:
Now here’s a goal from ‘me’—my created player. I made him for Be A Pro, but never got into that mode. When I set up this new Atletico Madrid Manager Mode career (after losing my Coventry City savegame) I was again given the choice of importing ‘me’ into the squad. I did so, and once again the player is developing nicely. I’m an attacking midfielder, and this goal is a pretty rare first-time shot after a delayed one-two.
I learned the dark art of the delayed one-two on ISS/PES, of course, but you often get punished for attempting it on FIFA09. It’s just one of the reasons FIFA can feel ‘wrong’ to somebody from a PES background. A defender usually just nicks the ball off you before you play the return pass. This time, I had bags of time, and it paid off.
And now for something a bit special, if I may say so. It’s another pace control+finesse ‘dual trigger’ side-footed shot, from an angle, from about 30 yards, that loops over the keeper into the far ‘postage stamp corner’ of the net:
(There are two pitch-level replays of this goal at the end of the compilation below)
The trick with these is that you have to get the shot away in the split-second before the defender closes you down. That means you have to press all the buttons almost together, in that half-second. These shots are fairly easy to get on target once you know the trick (both triggers!), but rarely actually go in. [nb: I scored another one of these floaters just this Friday morning, too late for it to make it into this post. It was from further out than the two already posted, and the ball seemed to fly a lot faster. It looked very good. I’ll chuck it into a post next week.]
I’ve compiled all my recent notable FIFA09 goals into the two-minute-long movie below. There’s a few goals near the end that I’ve not posted before (including a rare, classic centre-forward’s headed goal from a corner). The movie comes complete with an appropriate musical soundtrack. It’s definitely not a commentary on the music in just about every other goals movie… Ahem.