FIFA10 out of 10?

Sensational week. Wednesday’s fairly negative post was out of date before it even appeared, as its comments thread shows. By midday on Wednesday I was back in love with FIFA10, and I still am.

FIFA10’s arrival 7 days ago totally wowed me. It’s been a peculiar week since, with a few sharp downs to go with the ups. My major problem was always with Manager Mode. It’s in a terrible state, completely riddled with bugs. I had very few quibbles with FIFA10’s gameplay. But I kept plugging away, and—here’s the thing—the gameplay of FIFA10 is so moreish that even Manager Mode eventually came to seem okay. (At least my game doesn’t mysteriously lose transferred-in players, as many others report happening to them.)

The state of Manager Mode in FIFA10 is a massive scandal. I fail to see how EA could be unaware of its issues before release. In fact, it is inconceivable that they were unaware. Their feigned surprise now is a little hard to stomach, I have to say.

Fortunately for them, the time and resources that were evidently put into refining the core gameplay has paid off. FIFA10 is a new departure point for football games. (Yes, I know: let’s see if I still think that in January, or even next week…)

Putting my finger squarely on it, the 360-movement makes a massive difference. I don’t feel it so much in dribbling. I dribble very little compared to other football gamers. I’m a pass-and-move, give-and-go kind of player. For me, the 360-movement is a revelation in terms of passing. You can move the ball around in a way that’s unprecedented in any FIFA (or PES). You can thread the eye of a needle with a pass now, splitting defences, opening up space that you had no right to open up. It’s crazily addictive. Just testing it all out with 11 players on the empty practice pitch is crazily addictive.

I still haven’t scored a proper ‘Hollywood’ goal. This is mainly due to playing with the Coventry City players. They’re all rated in the 60s. My Virtual Pro is the highest-rated at 70. During my 4-hour session on Wednesday morning I scored this decent close-range volley from a typical FIFA10 swirling cross:

Link: FIFA10 close volley from cross

I have to say that Manager Mode, for me, is ticking over. But I am heartily sick of playing at night in the rain. That’s one of the bugs: 90% of matches are at night, in the rain. A rainy match alters all the parameters for passing, so when you do get a rare dry match you have to adapt to what should be normal conditions. Crazy, and I’ve stuck another pin in my David Rutter doll for that one.

All week I’ve been awarding FIFA10 a daily mark out of 10, and calculating its running average score. On Wednesday this average slipped to 7.9/10 thanks to my Manager Mode-related unhappiness. Things are different now…

Wednesday: 9.5/10—Is it Friday again? Extraordinary session this morning. I sat down at 9.15 intending to get thrugh a few Manager Mode matches and then toddle off to see if I could maybe get into a Cup or League. 4 hours later, at 13.25, I got up, exhausted and drained after an amazing session of football gaming. I played Manager Mode for 3 of those hours. I spent the other hour on the practice pitch, seeing if I could take to manual passing. FIFA10 demands manual passing, it seems to me.

Thursday: 9/10—This could have been another 9.5/10 day, but I’ve got to settle on a 9. The game seemed a little fast at times today. What I want is more time on the ball, but that’s the challenge. I need to get into the game some more, learn its little ways. I also hate something I now see many times every match: my player makes a perfect slide tackle and then gets up and runs away from the ball. The CPU collects and continues. But these instances are, what, 1% of the total gameplay experience? Probably less. They don’t define FIFA10, no matter how much a PES zealot would like them to. The past two days have been amazing, and easily the best times I’ve spent with next-gen FIFA, period.

Running average over 7 days: 8.42/10

So my overall average score for the week is ‘only’ 8.42. That’s a fair reflection of the game as it is out of the box. The Manager Mode issues are unforgivable in my opinion. Every review of FIFA10 should have had at least 1 point (or 10%) deducted from the final score. But how many reviews did more than even mention Manager Mode in passing? Print and online games reviewers need to take a good hard look at themselves and start asking some serious questions.

Here’s a scientific graph that illustrates the week’s progress in, er, graph form:


Can it last? What will PES2010 do when it arrives? I’ve been playing the PES2010 demo and I still love it.

I’ve even played PES2009(PS3). I found myself drawn into a Champions League tournament by the pleasantly heavy feeling of the players. FIFA’s players (and the ball) often feel as if they’re made of air by comparison. The next few weeks are going to be interesting.

Monday’s post will be all about those snatched PES sessions I’ve been having this week. The fact that they happened (and are still happening) is very significant for me. I said a few weeks ago that I think I’m heading back to PES. I still think that. It’s against all rationality, especially with FIFA10 snuggled up beside me. But I still think I’m heading back to PES—perhaps not to play exclusively for a whole year as I used to do in the past, but certainly more than over the past two years. I don’t know why either. Perhaps I’ve seen something in PES2010 that has triggered a long-dormant instinct…


  1. Hi, long time reader first time poster :0) I’ve been compelled to respond toyou as you have been the only person to consistantly highlight the unorgiveable flaws with manager mode, I made the mistake of jumping straight into MM from the get go and after losses the Chelsea and Manchester United in pre season friendlies could not face the final two against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich!! but i was drawn back into playing and started my virtual pro! what a complete change dispite the odd and somtimes very odd gameplay issue, red cards for nothing six rebounds in your penalty area, defenders who crouch then run away while tracking a player or the scarily effective oppostion hoof and run technique this mode is a joy I have even gone on-line and I am about to join a club, what is refreshing is that there is a large number of players who want to play “football”, pass and move “craft and create” I played an online match and lost 4-3 in what I can only describe as a near perfect simulation of a great football match, if they could fix the MM to reflect this level of gameplay depth then I would be happy but I think that MM is fatally wounded and I will have to wait for Pes and the master league.

  2. nOir_deuX—thanks for your comment, and you’ve discovered what I—and probably lots of FIFA10 players right now—are discovering: that the staggeringly good gameplay is making up for the deficiencies of the single-player game. In particular Manager Mode.

    I haven’t been online myself, and I won’t be anytime soon, but I hear as many good things about it as bad things. How are you finding the matchmaking? I hear that’s really good this year, and sets you up with other semi-assisted or manual players if you’re prepared to wait a minute or two. If/when I do try out FIFA10 online I’ll want to have the same kind of experience you describe with an opponent who wants to try to play football. I hope they’re all still around when that time comes!

  3. I spent a little time in the practise arena last night using Semi-Manual Passing, i dont know what difference this makes but the game somehow seems more fluid and open, but i really cant tell much difference in the passing technique, 90% of my passes still seem to go to my intended target with teh cpu helping out a bit, do any of you guys have a take on how semi-manual passing works?

    I also switched to Semi-Manual shooting, imdefinitely going to stick with this as i guess it mimicks a real life scenario where Im not 100% sure im gonna score on every attack, even finesse shoots from a fairly close range whistle past the post.
    Ive certain seen much more realistic scorelines since ive been using it, does take some adjusting from being a veteran of assisted shots but im liking how it feels.

  4. I’m glad that you’re squeezing the juice out of the lemon with this game, and of course if I lived in Europe, I’d be right there with you. But from my distant remove across the Atlantic, I can’t help but think that if PES 10 has enough meat on its bones to give FIFA’s gameplay a go, most of the off-line crowd will drift that way.

    It does sound like FIFA got their online right, and as I’m sure that’s their business sweet spot, I doubt Rutter and Co. are crying in their beers right now.

    It’s the right choice — do the best for the largest group with the time and resources you have, but after talking up MM as a big part of this year’s release, I just wonder why they bothered with the hype?

  5. not-Greg, the matchmaking is a revalation but I have only used it so far on virtual pro ranked matches, I am and thought I would always be a solitary player of football games, the idiotic attituds of many of the on-line players has always turned me off but baring a few notable exceptions (petty racism, constant bad lanuage) the people on my teams and the opposition have been really surpportive and encouraging I play the odd single virtual pro game but it is on line where Fifa shines, I have today played the Pes demo for only the second time since I downloaded it and my initial positive thoughts are still there slow considered play is rewarded as is thinking ahead, I have vowed not to play again until I have a proper copy in my hands, you are spot on about “weight” both of the players and the ball but I don’t want to get too hopefull, I played 2008 on the ps3 for 2 weeks then traded it for the ps2 version and 2009 lasted about the same before 2008 ps2 was back in the machine fingers crossed.

  6. Paul—the game will still give you a helping hand on semi-assisted passing. This year it feels more like manual used to feel, a lot looser, so your aim must be naturally very good. You could easily go to manual passing straightaway without any settling-in period. I think it works similarly to the shooting. On assisted, you can ‘miss’ your aim at the player you want to pass to, +/-, by a lot of degrees. On semi-assisted, that comes right down, and you’d only have to be a few degrees out either side for the pass to go astray. On Manual, of course, there’s pretty much 0 degrees of error.

  7. ck—this is a taste of the future I’m afraid—the death of the single-player gaming experience. Maybe just 10 years from now players of games will be ‘hiked’ into the ‘worldnet’ (future terminology TBA), operating fully 3D avatars in a quasi-realistic setting (quasi because the moral majority will never allow total realism in virtual full-immersion worlds). We’ll be left to wrap arthritic fingers around cracked joypads, playing the games we used to have in the old days. No, hang on, we won’t have arthritis, not sitting in our cloud-domes on Mars…

    As for why EA bothered with the hype, they know that MM is the most popular single-player mode, and they know that a massive amount of their customers still play primarily single-player, so they had to hype it up really. As deadline day approached and it was still a buggy mess and it became clear that there was no way it’d be polished up in time, they kept it out of sight whilst talking it up.

    Lots of the major bugs are nothing to do with the new internal features. The night-time and rainy bug is a strange one, almost as if somebody at EA took note of the ‘always sunny days’ complaint about 08 and 09, and decided to take the piss somewhat. I’m at the end of season 1 of my MM and I’ve had about 2 daytime games. TWO. All the rest have been at night—ALL of them. Of those night games, about 90%—I swear—have been rainy. And that’s just one silly bug out of dozens.

  8. nOir_deuX—I have to say I’ve never had a real problem with people online. I’ve heard all the horror stories (YouTube is always good for a laugh/groan at the excesses of XBL) but never suffered. This could be because I so rarely play anything online, and when I do I never use any kind of voicechat.

    I’m a bit concerned about some of the PES2010 videos on YouTube right now. Too fast. Too fast. TOO FAST. But after seeing a FIFA10 video earlier this week that similarly disfigured the game (speeded it up, looked cartoony), I’m not too worried. I’m setting myself up for a fall being so confident of PES2010, but I strangely feel that the spirit of the old PESes inhabits this game. I saw a PES producer saying somewhere yesterday that they all thought PES2010 was the best PES they’d ever made. Of course they would say that, wouldn’t they, but even though I’ve yet to see the game I know exactly what he means. I’ve got a whiff of something strong from that demo and it’s gone straight to my head.

  9. “I’ve got a whiff of something strong from that demo and it’s gone straight to my head.”

    I hear that I played it the irst time and went ooh better wait or I’ll be breaking pads again whestuntsn it comes out. Yeah ‘m never too sure about the videos the people playing them always seem to want to dribble around the opposition, so you never get to seee any build up or “proper” football, as to the dying breed of single players I have only just relented, my first truley positive experience was on the Uncharted demo in co op mode, until that is iy was spoilt but an idiot playing music and calling everyone “eff in stunts” I used to work at Sega when they first introduced talk to the gamer generation and the Japanese where horrified by the bile and inmvective that us Brits poured on each other given the opportunity, the Japanese by contrast were incredibly respectfull and kind to each other-go figure

  10. nOir_deuX—people playing videos always play standard online football, run and gun, sprint-clamping, all of it. Added to that you very rarely see a good in-depth video of anyone playing against the AI. Of course they exist, but they account for less than 10% of all videos that we see of FIFA or PES before either game comes out (rough estimate that). That’s one fo the issues I’ve had all summer that I mentioned a few times. Whenever anyone goes to look at a football game in development, they always sit playing their mates with big cheesey grins on their faces. Never (or rarely) a look at the single-player game against the AI. And absolutely never a look at anything like Manager Mode.

  11. As you know I’ll always defend multiplayer football gaming, it just takes the excitement up a couple of notches. Pro Evo, in it’s heyday, was superb multiplayer as everyone had their own style of play. It was great to pit your own style against an opponents’ and see who would come out on top. With PES20008/2009 it became too easy to crash through the defence, so it’s understandable that people adopted that style. There were people out there who played interesting football though, I remember after playing out a great 3-3 draw on PES 2008, I received a message from my opponent saying ‘football was the winner, lets play again’ and we still play the odd game now.
    As for online chat, I never play football games with my headset on, there’s no need unless you are playing a co-op game. I agree though there’s nothing worse than having a loudmouth on your team on Gears/Halo etc. It’s true about asian gamers, being polite and not really taking to voice chat. My friend over there says that even on Left 4 Dead, barely anyone uses a headset.

    not-Greg – It’s scandalous how media reviewers have overlooked Manager Mode’s problems. I mean fair enough it’s great to play a load of multiplayer games with the lads in the office, but surely they WANT to play some MM if they are such dedicated games. I re-read IGN’s review today and it’s a complete joke their ‘review’ of MM – it sounds like its taken from a press release. The only excuse I can imagine is that they were promised by EA that bugs would be fixed before release.

  12. recorded a little bit of gameplay footage please not this is just a short highlight reel testing the video editing software etc and i did play rubbish in this game. lol

  13. Grilled Seabass—I know how much you and many, many others love the online game and manage to get something out of it that I never have. And without double-sprint-pressing all the time either.

    I’m just annoyed at the moment that EA have got all their focus on the online game—and my mood isn’t helped when I see occasional posts on Manager Mode-related forum threads from kids (of all ages) saying lol manager mode is gay online rulz… That’s a caricature of course. But in essence it’s what’s going on. It’s worth me remembering that it’s not always been so. As I’ve mentioned before I played PES4 and PES5 online (both on PC) quite a lot, and it was brilliant. I don’t remember The Claw back then, but I’m sure there was something like it. The worst thing I remember is people quitting on me if I didn’t press START>START>START and begin the game immediately like they wanted to. I always wanted to adjust my formation and fiddle with the positions. Hardly anyone else ever did.

    As for the gaming press—they’ve had another PES2008 moment. Too trusting of the big-name developer, and not diligent enough in service to their readers.

  14. Paul—you do what I still do a lot—working a classic PES-style chance with the attacker running in from the wing parallel to the 18-yard box and trying to get a sideways shot off. I try it so much, and it rarely leads to anything! Good video that, showing the game at a good pace.

  15. what really gets my goat is that we were lied to by EA and specifically Marcel Kuhn for months in the lead up to the release of FIFA 10. Such features as a yearly transfer budget based on performance have just failed to materialise and this is a disgrace. As far as i can tell Manager Mode is basically last years model with a couple of malfunctioning bells and whistles. I spent all my transfer budget in the first season presuming I would get a new one at the start of the second as promised and… surprise surprise, I got NO money but did get a ridiculous amount per week from my new sponsor… sound familiar?
    I could almost handle the bugs but the deception is a disgrace. That may sound a bit strong but when your entire customer base is beingblied to in the weeks leading up to release in order to increase sales, then, in my humble opinion, the company involved should be held to account!

  16. Chris I couldn’t agree more, after not Greg (It’s all your fault!!) said he was ticking along with his manager mode I tried again but after trying for nigh on THREE hours to get even the most mediocre player to sign for meI gave it up as a bad lot oh and pre season frendlies Manchester United (again) Chelsea (again) Barcelona and AC Milan oh and if my assistant manager touches my squad aagain I’m going to break his virtual fingers. I can understand EA having problems what I refuse to understand is the fact that none of the reviewers mentioned them, its sadly not unusal for bugged software to reach the market, but when the people we count on to warn us about it fail us so spectacularly then it calls into question the independence of all yes ALL the so called review sites. Their continued silence on the matter is equally frustrating.

  17. some interesting new PES videos at WENB from the retail version…LOOKS amazing…looks like it plays well as well. can’t wait!
    in the Man U vid, Van der Sar looks to be keeping exceptionally well, don’t know if the keepers are fixed or that it’s down to Van der Sar’s ability.
    still looks a little rough around the edges here and there but ah well, PES always will.
    Check the videos out, it’s worth it!

  18. you’ve hit on another point there nOir… can you imagine a games reviewer writing up a shooter and not playing the single player campaign? Why is it that all a reviewer does with footy games is have a few 1v1 kickabouts and a couple of quickstart matches against the AI and then release their review? Isn’t it about time they started taking reviewing football games a bit more seriously and actually spent a bit of time with the career modes?

  19. Oh, and one other thing, in two seasons with manager mode I have yet to see ONE high profile signing by the AI… mind you, the gameplay is second to none, as not-Greg quite rightly pointed out. Good job too otherwise it’d be back with the retailer and I’ve NEVER done that with a football game before.

  20. Chris—Your mention of the way reviewers and previewers just seem to play 1v1 ec. echoes something I said all summer long, and it was really frustrating to see the preview season pan out exactly the way I feared it would. I can’t find it now but among the blizzard of new previews at the start of September there was a video preview that focused on two blokes sitting side-by-side in armchairs, with the usual big cheesey grins on their faces (hey, we’re playing FIFA10! it’s so cool!), the usual 1v1 video, the usual total lack of mention of single-player.

    Even the EvoWeb/FSB crew who went to the Emirates in August just played against each other most of the time. I remember the FSB podcast at least mentioning the AI, but you can tell it was a token look-see, and the others were probably standing there seething with impatience waiting to get a go.

  21. nOir_deuX—bear in mind that my MM career is with Coventry City in the Championship. I’ve just started my 2nd season and so far I’ve been able to sign 5 pretty decent players and the board hasn’t been a spot of bother—low expectations, evidently. My big issue with the mode at the moment is the awful always-night and always-rainy thing (currently down to about 80% of the time from 90%). The Assistant Manager weirdly goes quiet for weeks and then flares up for a match or two, then goes away again. So my issues with MM are within tolerable limits—for now. Let’s see how I feel if/when the novelty of the gameplay wears off. For now I’m still amazed by the gameplay and it easily trumps every other consideration going. Playing with Coventry City’s average players is a fascinating exercise in searching for that one killer pass and that one clear-cut chance I might get in the whole match.

  22. #1—I’m not a big fan of these videos, unfortunately. They’re like Rorschach ink blots. It’s amazing how we can all see such different things in them. I’m very concerned about the increased speed of the game. I won’t feel at ease until I have the game in my console and I’m playing it. I’m definitely getting the game, by the way, and I’m just doing some last-minute hunting around for a pre-order service that offers a courier other than Royal Mail. You just know their next round of strikes will mess up PES2010 week. I’d pay up to an extra tenner for delivery on the Thursday of that week. I’m still looking.

  23. Well, I received FIFA today and have spent a good few hours on it. I’m enjoying it immensely although I’m finding it quite difficult on professional!
    At the moment I’m playing FA Cups with United and giving my virtual pro the odd run out, but after several attempts I’m yet to even get past the quarter finals! I find it difficult to make/take good chances, even though I had graduated to world class on FIFA 09. It’s going to take some practice I think. I’m enjoying the difficulty though and appreciate the great gameplay, some passages of football are like poetry.
    By the way does anyone know if there’s a default world cup? It take forever to add 32 teams to a custom tournament (joke interface), and with world cup year approaching I can’t believe there’s no international tournament mode. For all FIFA’s licenses too, there’s not many international sides to choose from.

    I’ve decided to delay a ‘proper’ career on manager mode until the patch comes out. I plan to play as a league 1 or 2 side with my virtual pro, but I’d rather not start it with all the bugs. Meanwhile I think I’ll play a short top division career, I’m thinking Villareal or Napoli. I’m not going to use my virtual pro yet, I don’t want him too good when I start my lower league career.

    not-greg – no supermarkets near you? If you’re busy in the day surely you can pick it up Pro Evo from a supermarket later.

  24. Tescos at midnight is usually a good bet. Pre ordering fascinates me n the fact that people tend to report that they get games a day or two early,but bearing in mind the ever decreasing services of the once great Royal mail,My postman arrives at 11am ( did i imagine it or did the postman used to arrive inthe morning I.e before normal peple go to work,I digress) i would rather trust in Tesco’s which pains me as a sainsburys Employee than in a pre order service which may or may not arrive before or on the day.

  25. Grilled Seabass—I’ve got a lot going on on that release day Friday and the weekend, and so I really want to get PES2010 on the Thursday when I’d be able to put in a 5-hour session without any worries. I’d be lucky to get an hour in on the Fri, Sat, Sun.

    Under normal circumstances of course I would get it on the Thursday via GAME’s standard pre-order service. But if there’s a post strike that’ll be wrecked again. I just want to take some pre-emptive action. It’s not certain there’ll be a strike that week, so I might be okay anyway.

    Good to hear you got your delivery of FIFA10 anyway. If you do buckle and start an MM career, go lower league! And as you’ve discovered, FIFA10 (at least at this early stage) seems to be all about looking for that one killer pass or moment of magic. I still drool quite a bit at the passing, patient football it forces me to play. One good chance per game is often all you get. I never got past the early rounds of my custom tournaments either!

    When I set up a custom World Cup I just let the game pick the teams for me from among the 4-5 star International teams, and organise the groups, and it seems to do a good job. I think the ‘Advanced setup’ option in the tournament creation menu enables this. Of course,EA will be firmly sitting on their official World Cup licences for the inevitable World Cup 2010 game….

  26. jamie—pre-ordering definitely does (usually) get you the game early. 1 day early is the norm, 2 days early if you’re lucky. I saw a few sceptical comments from disbelievers on the FIFA forums during those few days last week, but I promise you it’s true. It’s one of the main attractions of pre-ordering for me. I’ve got used to getting games early that way. FIFA10 was the first in years that I didn’t actually get until release day—and it felt late!

    And yes, in the old days the postie would have been and gone while everyone was still in bed.

  27. im into my 2nd season with Shrewsbury in MM, i got promotion into the 1st division. I’ve noticed that in my 2nd season that the rainy night effect has been reduced, i have had 1 such match out of the last 10.

    Still enjoying it, but like the furst season, the games play out into a similar way, i guess i;ll have to wait untill i get to the premiership for some variety!

    Im looking forward to your thoughts on PES10, had a good seesion on the demo again today, really enjoyed it.

  28. Not-Greg- Just been reading through your ML with PS2 PES 2008. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING can match the way dominatory teams pop up in ML. You just got to love the epic battles season on season and then seeing your rival’s untimely demise!

  29. for the first time ever in my life i have bought a fifa game ( got it cheap at asda £28 bargain) i was expecting the game to be rather good considering all the high ratings it has recently received. oh boi was i dissapointed i played a couple of exhibition games the gameplay actually aint that bad ( for a fifa game) i was actually enjoying myself and then i started playing manager mode with notts county i have so far played 23 games that have all been at night and in the rain WHAT THE FUCK!!!! and its now kind of getting boring i just want to see a bit of sunshine what is wrong with ea and when i change my formation it wont stay for some reason every game theres a different formation which i have not even picked i cant turn it of. oh and dond even get me started on trying to sign players beause you simply cant not ever it does not matter how much money you offer it can be the worlds worst player and he still wont come to your club. and why are all my players refusing new contracts this is so anoying im thinking about driving down to asda and returning the damm thing. i have been playing pes2010 demo alot and i mean alot and oh my god i absolutly love it its amazing cant wait roll on 23rd octomber i have a feeling that this years pes is going to be the best pes to date even better than pes5. sorry for the long rant but why is
    fifa10 getting high ratings it fucking should not i rate at 6.9/10 the gameplay aint bad.

    its like ea bought out a half finished game not-greg enough of fifa now lets start talking about pes2010.

  30. Another long session today, this time playing a world cup with Argentina. At first I was awful again finding difficult to score, but I sneaked through the group stages and it really ‘clicked’ in the knockouts, I beat Spain and Brazil 2-0 along the way to win the cup. Has anyone found that it is rare to concede? In today’s session, the whole world cup, I didn’t concede one goal. I definitely need to take it up to World Class. Still loving the gameplay though. I have just set up a MM with Darlington and will get cracking on it this evening.
    Oh and not-greg, I think Amazon have a next morning courier service, I don’t know if they use royal mail for it though.

  31. patrick222—team individuality in the career mode is another area PES excels in, undeniably. Every time I see or think of PES2008(PS2/PSP) I feel an urge to play it again…

  32. Antonio—it’s the gameplay that makes FIFA10 a great game, as you’ve discovered everything else lets it down somewhat 🙁

    Tomorrow’s post (in progress right now) is entirely PES-related. I talk about my snatched PES sessions in the midst of a mad FIFA10 week, my continued obsession with the PES2010 demo (at least one game on it every day, up to and including today), why I think there’s been a thaw in attitudes towards next-gen PES, and any other rubbish I can think of!

  33. Grilled Seabass—I concede loads in my Coventry City MM. Lost a big match 0-3 this morning. The CPU’s goals kept flying in. I played rubbish admittedly. The defences are even harder to unlock with average players so if the CPU gets one I know that’s pretty much the game lost, and then they get more, and more…

    Amazon sometimes wait to dispatch until release day itself. At best they send it out the day before. I’m still looking.

  34. I’m still loving virtual pro online, have vowed not to MM until they patch that diseased pup. Off-line have just noticed that my last 6 virtual pro matches have been at night in the rain ho hum, Hows this for a box quote, “It will be an amazing package when they finish it”

  35. nOir_deuX—you’ve got to wonder how the bugs got past Sony’s and Microsoft’s own QA process. I’ve been reading up on that side of things and most developers get their games returned for revision for the most trifling reasons. I can only think that because there’s nothing wrong with the on-pitch action (and there isn’t really), and Sony & MS make a shed-load of cash from a big release like FIFA10, there was a spot of looking the other way and whistling.

    The gameplay is sustaining this game for me for the moment. It’s really extraordinarily addictive, looking for that killer pass.

  36. Hmm…. I have got to admit, FIFA10’s gameplay sounds incredible from your description and…

    But, PES2010’s review code is now, well it’s killing. The game is considerably slower, moves smoother (never FIFA-like though), looks CLEARLY sharper, and is reportedly a WHOLE LOT MOREhi FUN than the demo… So if you are enjoying PES2010’s demo, well, PES2010’s final code seems to be on a different level (as usual)…

    This year it’s going to be a very, very close call. And yet, the games are both very, very different… weird.

  37. PES2010 generally feels more “Team-centric”, whereas the outcome in FIFA10 seems to be more reliant on the individual players vs other individual players… correct me if I’m wrong….

    Here’s a video from the final code:

    There’s no contest regarding which game has graphical superiority (PES2010) or which game moves better (FIFA10), but the debate here is about which gameplay is more rewarding… FIFA10 in your posts sounds fantastic, but then again many PES players are saying that it “gives them nothing”…

    I have no doubt in my mind that FIFA11 is getting a graphical overhaul (which EA does best), and that PES2011 will be getting a new animation-centric overhaul (which is very doubtful to reach FIFA’s level), but I feel that while EA is introducing more and more freedom and variables into the game to make it more of a simulation, there’s a core element missing in FIFA10 which could break the game…

  38. TareX—I’ve often had cause to recall your line about a great football game forcing you to play it in the right way. FIFA10 does that for me at the moment. I don’t like its lightweight players and ball, but in the context of FIFA10’s overall gameplay they do work.

    Re. PES2010 I just want it to get here and get it all over with. In lots of ways this is like 2007 all over again—a tense wait for a next-gen PES that has to be special.

    My experience of FIFA10 is that it’s entirely team-centric! I think the videos show lots of 1p vs 2p action, with the players constantly running and pressuring and dribbling and being very direct. 1p vs CPU, it’s a different game—and a better game in my opinion (possibly a freaky opinion). Passing the ball around, recycling possession, is what I do for 90% of the time. That could be just me though, but I see lots of people saying the same thing about FIFA10, more so than any other.

    Re. PES vs FIFA, there’s a lot going on on the various forums at the moment. It’s a very complex issue that has a number of factors involved. You could put together a very intersting socio-anthropological paper entitled something like PES versus FIFA: Identity, Custom, Conflict, and Online Discourse.

    Often a PES player acts as a representative of an ideological position and speaks more to his fellow ideologues than to the ‘out-group’ of FIFA players. And of course the same effect happens in reverse. The best place to observe this fascinating phenomenon at the moment is… Evo Web. Their respective PES and FIFA sub-forums have created a rhetorical moat and drawbridge around themselves, and erected siege towers around one another. There’s ambassadors, diplomats, spies, 5th columnists, innocent civilians, rogues, agents provocateur… Great stuff and I love reading it all.

    In short, there’s a hell of a lot more than simple gaming pleasure/displeasure involved in a lot of the PES vs FIFA fluff.

  39. Is it just me or are the FIFA forums now unreadable? Every post is filled with “lalalalala”, whoever had the bright idea of making that a swearing filter instead of **** is a lalalala.

    I think I have missed some new internet fad too as every post somewhere has a mention of ‘ping pong passing’- essentially just one touch passing.

  40. Not Given—I’m bemused about ‘ping pong passing’ too. It’s a phrase that’s really caught on and everyone uses it as if it’s obvious what it means, but it’s not obvious at all. For a long time I thought it meant continual passing between two players, but you’re right – they do just mean one-touch passing between many players. Strange days. The sooner ‘ping pong passing’ goes the way of ‘Waaaassssssuuuuup!’ and the like, the better.

  41. Not-Greg Bugged software has always reached the market, I am old enough to remember the Frontier Elite 2 debacle so I am not really surprised, neither am I surprised that Microsoft and Sony chose to pass the code Fifa is a cash cow and a hardware shifter especially in the run up to Christmas it is a “granny present” so no company wants to be without it.

    Fifa and Pes fanboys are funny more so than almost all other nebulous affliations, Pes fans have always historically held the moral high ground, “Pes is about football played the way we all dream of playing” while Fifa has always historically been the “Jordan” of the debate “shes like a woman only more so” or “Its football with all the mystery, subtlety and magic removed”, However since 2008 these hard and fast rules have been thrown into turmoil and watching the fansboys cope with this unheavel has been a joy. That being said Master league is still the best single player experience in ALL of gaming, nothing comes close to the sense of ownership and pride you get from crafting a team in your own image.

  42. can’t wait to hear about PES guys – i think it might be time to head back home if Manager Mode isn’t seriously overhauled with a patch soon.
    Makes me wonder whether Konami have indulged in a bit of industrial sabotage… maybe Marcel Kuhn is a Konami employee, ha ha ha

  43. Chris—Manager Mode will get the patch, but will it fix what we all want it to fix? Me personally, I won’t be able to take MM seriously if the time & weather bug isn’t fixed. The team-jumbling that goes on when you sell a player – I can’t take the game seriously, long-term, if that isn’t fixed too. So it’s not just the major bugs but the so-called minor ones too. Will they all be fixed? Why are they even there to begin with? Lots of questions for EA to answer, but they won’t answer them. FIFA10 was supposed to see a reworked and strengthened Manager Mode, not a badly mauled one. Getting the game on the shelves without anybody realising this was a corporate confidence trick, in every sense of that phrase.

  44. Here’s to hoping that the various bugs are cascading from one bad patch of code, and that solving it will wrap a whole host of issues into a neat little bow.

    EA’s in a bind, because back in the day, the bug it shipped with is the bug you live with, but now that games *can* be patched via downloaded content, we expect them to be. Surely they’re not looking forward to peeling off a bunch of developers who should be taking time off after the crunch to get right back on bug fixes, but at this point, they’ll really have to.

    The measure of their commitment will be found in their response.

  45. ck—the latest intriguing word is that ‘most’ of the many bugs will be addressed in the patch. Hmmm. Suspicious, I think. You have greater knowledge of what goes on in that kind of area. What do you think: was the patch being worked on long before release, or what?

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