The FIFA’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

I have played the opening matches of a Career Mode with a created PES United team in FIFA12. I put them into nPower League 2, replacing Hereford. Being able to create your own team and play with them in Career Mode has taken a long time to come back to FIFA.

It was all eerily similar to the opening few matches with the Defaults in a PES Master League. I got hammered 0-3 and 0-6 by Barnsley and Schalke in pre-season. I tweaked the gameplay sliders to balance things out a bit and held on for a 0-0 draw against Lens. My first league match was also a 0-0 draw.

Credit is due to Creation Centre user ‘bongowongo7’ for getting the look and feel of the PES Defaults so spot-on. At the time of writing, his creation has still only been downloaded twice. Presumably that’s by me and him. The man’s work deserves a wider audience!

I won’t be continuing this PES United career. Maybe if I had more time, I think I would. With those players and that team, it’d be intriguing to build them up and get one or two good new players and see where it all takes me. Just how closely might the experience mirror Master League?

Career Mode generally seems much improved. I should have time for most of a season’s play between now and PES2012. I’ll be keeping a finger on Career Mode’s pulse and watching for any signs of a flutter. But I consistently hear good things about the mode this year.

Well, as threatened, I made myself a Schwarz in FIFA12—but haven’t played much with him. I played through a couple of FA Cup tournaments with my custom Coventry City on low difficulty settings, just to get a feel for the overall package.

My idyllic opening few days with FIFA12 have been disrupted by a bout of man-flu.

On Monday I started to develop a sniffle. By Tuesday it’d turned into a right stinker of a cold, of the kind I haven’t had in years. It brought on the kind of constant, heavy-limbed lethargy where you find yourself watching your TV regional news for the first time in a decade. (Bob Warman, veteran anchor for Central News, is looking old nowadays.)

So I haven’t played much since Monday night. By then, I had played enough to deepen my gut feeling that there is  something very different about this edition of FIFA. Something very welcome.

FIFA12 has so far not turned out to be another FIFA10. Two years ago I accorded FIFA10 the most rapturous reception I’ve given to any new football game on this blog. But just a few days later, I was back playing PES6(360).

FIFA12 hasn’t been like that. So far.

Over the past few years I have often lamented the fact that, in my view, EA have turned their backs on the promise shown with FIFA08, and steadily taken the series the wrong way.

FIFA12 is a turn back in the right direction. Tactical Defending has changed the nature of the game. Previously, holding one or two buttons in conjunction with sprint would win you back the ball 95% of the time. I gradually lost all respect for FIFA over the past few years due to that feature.

In FIFA12, things are different enough to make the game feel fresh and challenging again.

So what’s next for me? Recovery from the cold is underway today, Wednesday. I feel up to some footy gaming again.

Browsing the Creation Centre this morning, I see that other users have been busy making their own PES Uniteds. There are currently about 5 different ones.

One version in particular caught my eye, created by user ‘dezabeza89’. Cheekily, dezabeza89 has used the official PES logo for the club badge. Get it while you can.

The team is strong, rated 82 OVR, with the players all in the 70s and 80s OVR. A mix of old-school and new-school names. The GK is Inorov. Shimizu and Palmieri are there from the start. This is something like the custom PES United I was going to make if I had time.

I’ll be playing with them over the next few days in Career Mode.

Updated: 5th October 2011 — 10:52


  1. this creation centre sounds much better than fifa 11 CC. i didnt spend that much time on it but i dnt want to pay to get full feature of CC. theres to much stuff to pay for on fifa. i snt like this. thats modern games for u i guess. i will defo have to look at these pes default teams on fifa if i get the game later on.

  2. ali—the PES United above are good, I played with them a bit this morning. A truly hardcore challenge would be to start Career mode with the rubbish PES United (as seen in Monday’s post) and take the club to the Treble. One for next spring or summer there, I think 😉

  3. Really, really chuffed that FIFA’s new career mode looks solid; I’ve got to admit, Bal sounds tasty this year in PES as well – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 3 seasons I’ve managed on 2011 in the last month. I can foresee PES, FIFA & Skyrim lasting me all year at this rate!
    I know it’s early days but hopefully by next summer, not Greg, you will be able to partially rescind your previous comment that EA and Konami have virtually abandoned their offline demographic…

  4. not-greg – the only problem i have is pes 2012. i dnt think i will buy fifa. looking at this years pes gameplay looks much better with no stumble animation or half moon shuffle turn so this pes may last the whole year which means no time for fifa. mayb if i see fifa for real realy cheap i might buy it. i think i should of bought fifa whe it came out. there was a deal in sainsburys and tesco. i feel now it a bit o close to pes release date to get fifa even though its still 9 days away. it feel like its been a month.

  5. not-greg I’ve gone back to fifa 12 for a few games just for a comparison and something struck me regarding the AI in fifa 12.

    I know that fifa has been getting slated for its AI and pes 2012 praised for its AI but in my opinion both are actually not that far apart. The cpu AI in both games have really given me a torrid time, passing the ball around well, creating chances, great off the ball movement. My team AI is also very good in both games. Making creative, logical runs, fullbacks bombing forward, covering for out of position players.

    I dont know, maybe it’s just me but I really think fifas AI is very underrated. Also i have to say that even after three days on pes 2012 fifa still plays a fantastic game of football this year, it actually makes me want to stay with it and continue my career mode. its almost a crime to have to choose between them

  6. danny—I don’t know about that automated shooting thing, I suppose I’ll be watching out for it in the final game.

    I agree about it being an awkward situation with two great games, as it seems now. I’ll have no trouble choosing Master League as long as it doesn’t do anything too outrageous. In fact, the toleration threshold is so high that it’s pretty much impossible for ML in and of itself to send me back to FIFA12. Only PES2012’s gameplay falling apart or having a hidden stumble animation equivalent would do that. And even that would take months. So, barring something completely unprecedented and/or the end of the world, I’ll be at least temporarily abandoning a great game, FIFA12, this time next week. That is a shame. What’s that saying about being careful what we wish for…?

  7. ali—it’s much too late now to try FIFA12, unless you’ve got mates you want to play online with. It is a good game, possibly a great one (only time will tell).

    And yes, these days leading up to PES2012 are dragging so much.

  8. I received my copy and played several games this morning. Like many others, I have been really impressed with the AI. I played a couple of games with Manchester United and at times I’m astounded by how realistic the AI is. Nani moves inside to cause havoc. Rooney surprises me by suddenly popping up in a defensive position to make a challenge. Berba is a lazy when we don’t have the ball. Shooting is great but it’s hard to make chances even on professional. Defending is difficult at times, you really have to make use of jockey. Great first impressions and I’m looking forward to trying online tonight. Probably won’t play master league until I get a little better.

  9. Grilled Seabass—happy PES day to you, and I hope you enjoy it and your normal routine on release day. We all have our routines—my Eng vs Sco one for example.

    It’s just a shame we don’tall have the same release day—or even the same release week—any longer. I really am getting annoyed now about the release day in UK & Ireland. I was being all philosophical and shit, but I’m not any more. Why are we the very last ones, and why so late? It’s irritating to me now.


  11. Chris—I know 🙁

    There are nefarious ways of getting the PC version of the game right now, of course, but I’m not really bothered about playing PES on an 11″ PC screen. I want THE GAME that I will play for the next year (hopefully)—on PS3, on my TV. I feel aggrieved that I haven’t got it. No fair.

  12. not-greg i’m taking a break from playing pes 2012 while i get thoughts sorted in my head. To be honest the automatied shooting thing has started creeping in more and more.

    It affects both shooting and heading. I’ve scored with 3 headers so far and everyone of them went in the opposite direction from where i was aiming. In my last game i scored 2 goals. The first i turned the defender in the box in aimed for the top left hand corner. The shot went in the right hand corner. The other i was through one on one with the keeper, he came out and i aimed to put it past him in the right corner but the shot turned out as a chip in the middle directly over him.

    I’m trying to pass this off as nothing but its not so easy. When you score a goal this way its a total letdown and completely takes you out of the game. I dont like bringing bad new here but it’s something that im noticing more now and i just cant ignore it

  13. Rafa's Evil Beard

    I’m with you on the shooting thing Danny. I’ve noticed that a lot of shots will go straight down the middle regardless of where you are aiming but I’ve just about managed to put it in the “Stuff you can rationalise away as the rest of the game is so good” box. Thinking back to when I played a bit of WE9LE the shooting mechanic there meant that sometimes the ball would just fly straight at the keeper, in a similar fashion. I think in an attempt to illustrate error on the virtual players behalf, if rather clumsily.

    I, like you, find it harder to dismiss when you score in the opposite side to that which you intended. It totally removes you from the experience and robs any elation felt from scoring a goal. I just cant work out why they’ve made it like that?

    Perhaps one of the twitter equipped members here could bring it up with John Murphy? Damn it, we need answers!

    This is the only testicle imprint in the blancmange for me currently.

  14. rafa’s evil beard – i tried tweaking every option there is to stop it happening but nothing worked. I honestly don’t know what to say. Im not going to start shouting things like ruined or gamebreaker yet but really this is quite worrying. Shot scripting to this level is not acceptable

  15. danny—there’s nothing I can contribute to this without having played the same console version of the final retail game as yourself. I’ve played a maxed-out version of the PC demo—as maxed-out as it’s possible to get—and not seen anything similar. But it’s the retail console version that matters for me and I suspect 99% of PES players.

    We’re all used in PES to seeing the occasional shot go in the opposite direction to our aim, but we don’t need it to happen with anything like the frequency and obviousness that you suggest it might be happening.

    Has PES’s next-gen curse struck again? We’ll see.

  16. Rafa’s Evil Beard—are you on the 360 the same as danny?

    All I can hope for is that it’s something isolated to the 360 that Konami are aware of. (Possibly related to the stutter-run bug thing? But that was patched out on 1.01…)

    Why can it never be straightforward with PES in next-gen?!

  17. Rafa's Evil Beard

    I’m on the PC version so, unless the PS3 version is free of it, I think it may well be cross platform.

    It is exacerbated by players with low shot accuracy seemingly and, lest we get carried away and start going all evo-web doom and gloom, I’ll drop a caveat in here to say that it’s still a great game. It’s just that familiar frustrating feeling of just missing greatness through something apparently quite fixable.

  18. Rafa’s Evil Beard—have you (or danny) gone into Free Training, using a team with a mixture of great/good/average players, just the CPU keeper in the net, and played about?

    Most of us play full matches on high difficulty levels. If we get 10 shots per match and 2 or 3 of them are these ‘wrong aim’ shots, they happen so far apart from each other and there’s so much else going on that they’re easy to overlook. Which is probably why this problem has been overlooked until now.

    If it is a problem, of course.

    I just played a 15-minute match on Beginner, and it is quite easy to reproduce the problem. Alas 🙁

    In fact, just go into free training and try attacking the goal from the right or left side of the penalty box. When you’re about level with the penalty spot, try to place the ball past the keeper at his near post. The game won’t let you do it! It always goes to the other side, the far side.

    But then I started over-doing the aim, pulling the stick almost down—and my player(s) were merrily putting the ball in at the near post. I’ll get a diagram up soon to illustrate (will be posted back here soon).

    HERE IT IS –

    So I hope and pray that this is an eccentric new aiming system rather than an inherent fault.

    It’d be good if you or danny could hit Free Training and give the shooting system a good thorough workout though.

  19. not-greg i tried some training shots and immediately i notice a difference. Extreme shot stick direction does seem to make a difference. Also i checked out what rafa’s evil beard said about shot attributes and it does also seem to make a difference. Players with low shot rating seem to have much worse, very random shot direction. Im going to try out a few games on beginner to see how it goes

  20. danny—any results?

  21. Havent been able to read any of these posts until now as you have used the word ‘FIFA’ in the blog title, our corporate firewall deems the post as ‘gaming’ and blocks access!! I can access any thread that doesnt have FIFA in the URL though!!! lol.

    Seabass – about to start working on your files mate

  22. not-greg results are not quite conculsive yet but i’d say that moving the shot stick to extreme angles does help. Different players and different situations give different results. Just when it seems that it does solve the problem the next two shots will go the fixed route. I think i need to try it in context in a proper competitive game so i’m going to play some more master league and we’ll see what happens.

  23. ha, so much for my plan to play FIFA12 for the first time tonight – the PC installation took over an hour, including several errors and the extra installation of an annoying EA program called ‘Origin’. And now it’s wanting to download a 3.3GB update before we can get going…

  24. Paul—I don’t know what to say—except that, barring a disaster, after a week from now there shouldn’t be any FIFA-titled posts until spring 2012 at the earliest. Which is a bit of a tragedy really, as my respect for FIFA12 is going up and up. Tactical Defending has made the game eerily lifelike.

  25. danny—I switched my PS3 on tonight for the first time in a week or two. PES2011 was still in the tray. I thought: why not. I went in and carried out the same tests, in Free Training, as seen in my scientific diagram posted above. Results were interesting. I found the same auto-aim effect present, but to a slightly lesser degree, and the same over-aiming with the analogue stick seemed to overcome it. I don’t know, though.

  26. abbeyhill—I hear Bad Things about EA’s Origin service. I don’t know too much about it, and don’t want to.

    A shame you haven’t yet played FIFA12. (Are you PC-only now?) It’s the best one since the FIFA08-FIFA09 axis, in my opinion. Just a really great football game. I’m becoming a big admirer.

    It’s a good job PES2012 is coming along in a few days. Much longer and it might be too late.

    The only bad thing I can say about FIFA12 is that Tactical Defending tires my hands out, because it’s impossible to get the ball sometimes and you just have to contain and harry. Then when you get the ball there’s a genuine weight of responsibility to use it wisely and not give it away. This sort of thing has been said about a lot of footy games over the years. It’s truer about FIFA12 than any of them. It’s all pretty impressive.

    FIFA12 is going to gather in a lot more PES souls this year, I suspect. Not me, though!

    *runs up a tree with Master League under my hairy arm*

  27. not-greg – got the wretched thing working eventually last night. Don’t know why I bother with PC gaming, it always feels just teetering on the brink of disaster! I’ll definitely be getting PES12 on PS3

    FIFA12 does indeed look promising, I was surprised by how solid and slow it all felt compared to its predecessor

  28. I definitely noticed a similar shooting quirk in PES 2011 at times… I have to say, a lot of the foibles in PES are generally at their most noticable when you’re playing with the defaults and other lower stat players. By the time I was regularly challenging on all fronts in ML with quality players a lot of 2011’s issues were far less noticeable for me – aaah, Schwarz’s left foot! I really need PES in the next few days or I will approach meltdown. Addiction? What addiction?

  29. abbeyhill—FIFA12 is the best of the preceding titles all put together and working remarkably well. One of my constant refrains over the past 2-3 years has been to bemoan the way EA seemed to turn its back on the rugged sim-like values of FIFA08. I’ll have to shut up about that one now.

  30. Chris—only PES players (only ML players, really) will ever understand why grown men get emotional at the thought of Schwarz’s left foot.

    I hear that he’ll take some work to build up from humble beginnings in PES2012. I can’t wait to get started. This wait for PES2012 in the UK & Ireland—arguably PES’s most important market, at least in Europe—is annoying me now and I’d like answers and an assurance it won’t happen again next year.

  31. I could write an epic poem about that left foot.

  32. Grilled Seabass—you’ve got to suspect there’s a dark corner of the PESverse where gruesome fan fiction and poems of exactly that sort are thriving. No, I do NOT want to see inside…

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