The above video shows the latest in a long line of memorable moments that I’m enjoying in FIFA16. Every session brings something that makes me go ‘wow’ and sit up and take notice.
Tudgay – strangely ineffective in recent matches (more on that below) – pops up at the end of a high, looping cross to bury a diving header into the net.
I’ve got a strangely stubborn memory of Gary Mabbutt specialising in scoring goals like this in the same way that Stuart Pearce was noted for his free kicks and Matt Le Tissier was adored for his bending, swerving, dipping volleys and half-volleys.
There’s plenty of video evidence on YouTube of messrs Pearce and Le Tissier scoring their signature goals, but none that I can find of Mabbutt scoring his diving headers. I must have imagined it, along with everything else in the world.
In the league I’m floating between top spot and 6th spot. I’m past the mid-season window, where I didn’t buy anyone. I did get Rashford on loan from Man Utd, but in FIFA16 he’s just a very average, before-he-was-famous Youth player who’s no better than my existing League 1 strikers.
Incidentally, how bloody irritating is Deadline Day when you’re not interested in buying anyone? Very irritating indeed. Impatiently pressing again and again to get through the day hour by hour is just pointless. It needs a ‘skip to end of day’ option. Maybe there’s one there that I’ve missed.
I think I’ll definitely finish somewhere in the promotion slots at the season’s end – but it’s not straightforward. The game has taken note of my greyhound-style start to the season and is starting to muck me around now.
I’ve been playing career modes in football games for a lot of years and I have come to be very familiar with how they work. How they work is that they must artificially handicap the human player from time to time.
I’m not just talking about in-match scripting here. I’m talking about the wider, macro-scripting of a league season. The designers of these modes don’t want the human player either to run away with the league or fall so far behind that the remainder of the season is meaningless. And so they put in an auto-balancing thing that I call macro-scripting. I’d do exactly the same thing, in their shoes.
So if the game registers the fact that you’re scoring too many goals or winning too many matches, you will soon mysteriously run into sticky mud. Suddenly, for no real reason, you won’t be ‘allowed’ to score so many goals and you will struggle to win matches.
Which is of course ‘realistic’. Every team goes on indifferent little runs at times throughout a season of matches. In our beloved football games, though, this sort of thing is plainly hard-coded behind the scenes. Scoring goals and winning matches automatically brings on the handicap, sooner or later.