My belated infatuation with FIFA09 was never going to last at such a high intensity. It’s been an unforgettable, eye-opening few weeks, but a healthy splash of realism has hit me.
I went and had a few games of FIFA09 online. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. FIFA09 online is a terrible game.
Everybody pressures everybody for the full 90 minutes without suffering any consequence. So much for the fatigue model. I turned up intending to play a patient passing game, and did so for a while. But after a while, my good intentions went out of the window. I started pressuring all the time as well. What choice do you have if you want to compete?
This has happened to me before on FIFA09. Even when up against somebody who wants, in theory, to play a ‘proper’ passing game, by degrees you both end up exerting more and more pressure, eventually both strangling the controller in a death-grip (Sprint+Secondary Pressure+Tackle) until the game is just like every other game of FIFA09 online.
I confess that I only went online to play FIFA09 because I wanted to see what it would feel like to score a ‘floater’ goal in an online match against another person. And I scored one in my very first match.
My opponent was Barcelona, naturally. I chose Manchester United. I always let the other player choose the teams, and I always make a point of choosing a similar team to theirs. I’m not one of these Accrington Stanley heroes.
Twenty minutes into the first half, I got the ball with Cristiano Ronaldo out on the right wing. I was in the golden spot where I’d scored all my other floaters from. I had a bit of space (somehow), and aimed, pulled the triggers, and shot… The ball flew as fast and true as anything, sailing over the keepers head into the opposite corner of the net. A picture-book goal from all of 40 yards. My opponent watched the replay with me. I wonder what he made of it. Or are these goals as common as muck online in FIFA09? I don’t think they are, somehow.
I had a few more games. Maybe 5 in total. All but one opponent chose Barcelona. The one who didn’t choose Barcelona chose Monaco, pleasingly, and I reciprocated by choosing Le Mans. Sadly, he turned out to be just another pressurising runner. That’s all FIFA09 is online, really, when it comes right down to it: pressurising, and running.
This is the game that’s been played online 10 billion times, or whatever it is? Good grief. All I can say is that its players must have Popeye-sized forearms from all the controller-strangling they must do.
FIFA09 offline I’d still say is a satisfying 9/10 game of football. FIFA09 online is a tedious 2/10 game of ‘who’s best at squeezing their controller’. Nice lag-free experience; shame about the game. I hate it and will never play it online again at all.
After all that it was a struggle to get back to any semblance of normality offline. I played a few more games in my Atletico Madrid Manager Mode career. I was unable to recapture the heights of a few days ago. Having had the awful, grinding gameplay of online rubbed in my face, it was difficut to find the beautiful game again. I did rediscover it, eventually, but I’m not as smitten with FIFA09 as I was a few days ago. Instead I’m back on a more healthier, even keel.
I’ve removed the Monster Hunter Freedom Unite UMD from my PSP for the first time in a week. I’ve put in the PES2008(PSP) UMD, and taken my Master League team out for a spin. I was struggling with them last time I played this career. Now? After a few weeks of FIFA09? I’ll tell all next week now. There’s some other business first…
Because another old-school PES game has seen some action again. I’m talking about PES3. Three. I don’t really know why either. I’ll tell all on Friday.