Not switching to manual just yet, thanks

Today brings my shortest post in a while. I’ll be back to posting thousand-word walls of text before too long. Right now we’re very much in the ‘phoney war’ phase of the football game year. There’s lots of talk and lots of bluster from various sources, but nothing concrete to get your teeth into.

A week on Thursday there’ll be some answers in the form of the FIFA10 demo. It’ll be a good demo, but I suspect there’ll be more questions raised after it. PES2010 has certainly got the banners raised among the long-suffering PES community. A rather premature sense of jubilation is taking hold, but I still have a queasy feeling about PES2010. I almost wish it was November already and the discovery phase was behind us. I just want to know.

Recently I’ve been talking about how I seemed unable to play FIFA09 any more. This followed a heady few weeks on the Xbox 360 version of PES6. I found myself unable to get back into FIFA09, and blamed my time with the PES game for ‘deprogramming’ me. I had come to regard FIFA09 quite highly, possibly more highly than at any time all year. My sudden inability to play it was as puzzling as it was distressing.

Well—duh, as they say. Just yesterday I found out that I’d left the shooting setting on manual. A few weeks ago I tried out manual shooting to see how I liked it. I forgot to change the setting back to my preferred setting of semi-assisted, which I see as the best of both worlds. When I was unable to play and enjoy FIFA09 the way I’d got used to playing and enjoying it, it was because I’d fundamentally changed the game by leaving the shooting on manual without realising it.

I plan to go full manual on FIFA10 at some stage. It’s the logical thing to do after playing fully assisted on FIFA08, and semi-assisted on FIFA09. But not just yet. I’m not quite ready.

I changed the setting back to semi-assisted, and now everything is fine. Well, nearly fine. I still am seeing FIFA09’s faults a little too clearly, but I’ve also mostly re-settled back into the good groove I was in recently.

Barring the unthinkable scenario of both 2010 games being turkeys, these are my last sessions on FIFA09. I might still play it after September 10th, but I might not. I’d love to take my Atletico Madrid career in Manager Mode to some kind of conclusion. A league title would be nice; a Double or Treble would be fantastic.

In my current season I’m nowhere near the title, but I am in Europe thanks to last season’s Cup win. I met Juventus in an early round and lost the first leg at their place 2-1. That away goal was so vital. In the return leg at my ground it was 0-0 until the 80th minute. Then I fed the ball to Pavlyuchenko on the edge of the Juventus box, and smacked the ball into the top corner. It felt damn good.

Link: Winning goal vs Juventus FIFA09


  1. ha ha, brilliant, you must have been wondering why so many lame shots kept flying off target! I’m still not convinced FIFA’s manual shooting is exactly manual – players with a good ‘finishing’ stat seem to get it on target more often, suggesting there’s an extra dose of randomness for less good ones. But conversely, I find I tend to hit it straight down the keeper’s throat from the edge of the box far more often than should be the case given the natural vagaries of my aiming. Let’s hope they’ve put in a bit more work on FIFA10’s shooting….

  2. I LOVE manual shooting on FIFA – you can get some very good goals on it – and yes player stats do effect the outcome – I played as some Polish teams then went to Lyon – massive difference in how and where I could shoot from.

    Here is a decent manual shot –

    or this is ok-ish

  3. abbeyhill—the curious thing was that I found the shooting a bit more explosive. Volleying in next-gen FIFA has always been one of its weakest areas. (Or better say its timing window is much less forgiving than the standard I’m used to—PES’s.) But with Manual shooting, inadvertently of course, I was getting hold of shots better, they were just going nowhere near the goal unfortunately.

  4. Alan Brazil-–the whole array of semi-assisted and manual settings are next-gen FIFA’s great undiscovered secret for most of the people, refugees from PES or otherwise, who’ve played it. I’d love to see the % figures from EA of people who’ve even tried anything but full assisted.

    The genius of semi/manual is to make even pretty ordinary goals feel totally special. The goal I’ve posted above is a good example of this—an utterly ordinary goal on PES, but on FIFA, with semi-manual shooting, a bit special. We hear a lot about how FIFA can’t give ‘that special feeling’ of PES. It’s been repeated so often now over the past two years that it’s become one of the myths of next-gen football gaming.

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