The past few days have been spent in some playing, but more time trading in the UT web and phone apps. As fun as trading is, I doubt it’ll detain me long-term. An occasional dabble will do.
I was exactly the same in my previous sojourn in a virtual economy. About 8 years ago I spent a lot of time playing EVE Online. My then-laptop had 256K RAM and would just about run the game. I got as far as joining a corporation (EVE’s version of clans) and taking part in a few border skirmishes with rival corps.
I got to the point in EVE where I knew I’d have to commit more time playing in order to participate in the massive fleet battles that had attracted me to the game in the first place. I quit instead.
But I stayed long enough to sample the delights of a persistent virtual economy, with its own currency that changed hands for real money at the higher levels. Just like FIFA Ultimate Team.
I was always far more interested in flying my ship around and scooping up loot than I was in playing the markets. I suspect things will be much the same in FIFA13 UT: I’ll be mainly into the football game. The subgame drama of market trading will be a side-show.
I’ve won promotion to Division 2, where most of the matches are on World Class. I continue to be mostly rubbish at this level, and find it very hard to get anything going. I’m in a bit of danger of relegation from Division 2.
The FIFA13 gameplay continues to please me. One of the aspects of next-gen FIFA I’ve always liked is the right-stick mechanic. Nominally a first-touch thing, it’s useful for all-sorts of things. If you don’t use tricks (I don’t) it’s a light alternative. Here’s an example—the first-touch coming when my player knocks the ball back to enable the shot:
The shooter’s little knock-back to set up the shot is the right stick in action. Its main use for me is as an alternate sprint button. The double-tap on the right stick initiates a very powerful knock-on.
If I’m looking for downsides to FIFA13′s gameplay, the main thing is an overt passing nerf at times. Simple square balls to teammates around the box are often directed by the game towards the defenders. This has been around in FIFA for a few years.
Other than this, the only thing I’ve got against FIFA13 right now is that there isn’t a lot more to do offline in Ultimate Team.
Next year I’d like to see a conventional Season Mode in this thing. Who cares if it overlaps with Career Mode?
Speaking of which: Career Mode is coming, big time. I’m going to set up my Virtual Pro and embark as a player manager, getting the best of both worlds. I’ll probably do that next week.
Monday will be a very special post. Because at some point over the coming weekend, I will play PES for a good long session.
It will be my first PES since the beginning of my current FIFA phase.
In years past, a whiff of PES has been enough to send me right back into its arms—most notably last year, when the brilliant FIFA12 was peremptorily cast aside for the sake of PES2012. I even made a movie about it.