The Treble is over for me in PES6(360). After losing all three of my opening European Championship group games, I had to win the remaining fixtures to stand any chance of progressing. Game 4 was against Inter. I lost 0-2, and it was a pretty miserable performance all round.
At least I’m still top of the league and I’m 1-0 up after the first leg of the D1 Cup quarter-final. So the Double is still on. But it’s the Treble I want, and I’ll have to get it to feel any sense of closure with PES6(360). I’m disappointed—and time is fast running out in the current game year. I should be able to squeeze in another season or two of PES6(360) before the end (Dwarf Fortress willing).
At this time of the year a lot of my football gaming activity is related to the imminent new games. I always have something to say about them, and it’s always necessarily personal and opinionated. I’ve railed against my own pseudo-journalism on this blog—which was conceived as a regular diary of my football games playing—but I can’t help indulging myself every now and then. Particularly every August and September.
FIFA11 has received a fearful kicking over the past few days. At the time of writing (Thursday evening), the forums are still boiling over. It’s all based on a couple of dodgy videos filmed on the Gamescom floor on Wednesday.
You can’t tell anything about the most important part of a football game—how it feels, to play, in your hands—from videos, no matter how good or bad. But FIFA11 looks ridiculously fast, which is worrying enough. More worrying still is the clear evidence in several videos that next-gen FIFA’s most unattractive feature, the dreaded double-sprint-pressure clamp, is still in the game.
In next-gen FIFA, sprint-clamping has gradually been turned up to the max. Turned up to 11, you might say. It is so extraordinarily, unbelievably, shamefully effective. By this stage the ‘technique’ is so widely known and generally despised that its continued presence in the FIFA series can only be a deliberate, conscious choice on the part of EA.
“If you don’t like it, don’t do it.” This argument has never, ever washed with me. Whether it’s super-sprinting in PES2008 or double-sprint-pressuring in FIFAs 09 and 10, if something is in the game, it’s in the game, as EA themselves would say.
And I’m speaking just as an offline, 1p vs CPU player of football games. I never play online. When I moan about sprint-pressuring, I’m moaning about myself. I’m the one who uses it in all my games. Knowing it’s there, I have to use it.
Sprint-clamping will be the death of next-gen FIFA as a serious football game in the long run unless Something Is Done. Feeble tokenistic gestures—tweaking this or that variable to mitigate the effect by a few fractions of a percentage point—are not good enough. The whole damn mechanic needs to be got rid of, or reduced in effectiveness so much that it’s only effective 10% of the time, say—instead of 90% of the time, as it is now.
God knows what online players must have to put up with. I did play a few matches of FIFA10 online, way back at the start of the footy game year. My random opponents might as well have glued down their sprint, tackle, and secondary pressure buttons.
Having said all that, I’m not too worried about FIFA11. Over the course of this year it’s become plain that I’ve moved away from FIFA and back towards PES. The reason? Master League 2010. That’s the reason.
So I don’t anticipate myself playing FIFA11 for longer than a few weeks at either end of the upcoming 2010-2011 game year. I am greatly looking forward to giving myself wholly over to Master League in PES2011. (What could possibly go wrong…?)
But I don’t want to see a great football game—which next-gen FIFA is, despite its problems—progressively ruined by corporate timidity. I agree with the most common theory prevalent on the FIFA forums: EA are terrified of losing the kiddie crowd.
We have now come through 3 years of next-gen FIFA. Have EA really not noticed that an awful lot of people play their game with their fingers clamped on three buttons? That that’s literally all they do, just waiting to get the ball back? And that the most common end-result is a midfield wrestling match with occasional outbreaks of football?
PES isn’t innocent. Some passages of play in the PES2011 vids are truly alarming. Whenever I’ve played PES online, the problem exists there too.
The FIFA forums have been in ferment for a few days and show no sign of settling down. Ahhh, but they will settle down… FIFA11 will likely come out in much the same condition as FIFA10. It’ll be a bit too fast for my taste even on Slow, and performing a Vulcan death grip on the controller will win me back the ball 90% of the time.
That’s fine. As I showed last year and the year before, I’m capable of getting a lot out of such a game. But is this really what FIFA’s future looked like in the heady days of FIFA08, when the much-maligned old footy franchise swaggered back onto the scene? It didn’t look this way to me.