Three posts to Christmas

Since my last post, it’s been the turn of FIFA16 to get another go. I quit this game last week. Or was it the week before? Silly season weeks tend to blend into one another.

Whatever, when I fired up Career Mode again I discovered the wreckage of my attempt to make the game feel great on World Class. Sliders all over the place, my team mid-table in the Championship, etc.

A couple of button-presses later and I was back on Professional with all sliders restored to their default states. And ready to play again.

What a good game FIFA16 is on Professional. I played a session of about 6 matches, and enjoyed every one of them.

I remain profoundly unimpressed with a very strange thing that post-2008 FIFA has always done when you get to the box.

I play semi-assisted passing. All is well until you get to the final third. Then the game overrules your passing direction and plays what it probably thinks are incisive through-balls instead. Passing laterally to another striker is fraught with danger, with the likelihood that the game will send a pass at 45 degrees to your chose direction.

‘Play manual, then,’ I hear voices crying in the background. No.

No, a good football game leverages player individuality and stats-based outcomes. FIFA16, as much as is possible given its bare-bones player individuality, does do that. Until it doesn’t.

I do still really like it, this FIFA16 business, but will be dropping it like a hot potato come the 14th. (The day before official release is when pre-ordered games traditionally drop through letterboxes.)

I continue disliking this hopping-about from game to game. It’s been unavoidable as I’ve had so little time recently. I haven’t had time to really sit down and get into anything.

PES5 remains a PC game, and PC gaming has never been convenient for me.

What I would give to be able to play PES5 on my PS4! I’d pay fifty quid, easy. ‘Get a mini-PC and hook it up to your TV!’ I hear the voices cry at me, off-stage.

Bloody hell. No.

Next week should see some sort of stability restored with a makeover for the blog and the final appearance – hopefully, time permitting – of the promised compilation of me playing old football games with voiceover commentary.

I’ve got all the footage recorded, but editing it all together into something slick and interesting would take hours that I probably will not have available. So it might end up with everything just glued together to the sound of me breathing heavily in the background. Prepare yourselves to be No Mans Skyed on this front, is what I’m trying to say.


  1. “So it might end up with everything just glued together to the sound of me breathing heavily in the background” – sounds like Electric Blue Peter. I’ll get my coat…

  2. Everyone old enough to remember Peter Duncan and the tabloid headline, step forward.

  3. Passed up on the cheapo No Man’s Sky in the end. I’ll get it at some point.

    Just like Christmas in fact, I still have reservations about PES 2017 but I’m going to jump on the bandwagon anyway.

    Here we go again!

  4. Just catching up on the last few posts (I haven’t commented since 26th July). Just fixing the wheels on my bandwagon.

    Agree fully with your PES2016 review. It had all the physical attributes to have been the best PES yet, but let itself down with too many flaws.

    Interesting comments on the new 2017 demo. Glad to hear there has been some noticeable difference with the fouling system, although from your words I recognise it’s still no great.

    I agree that bigger than no fouls is the Maser League transfer system. It was too easy to make a boat load of money and sign big players, even starting from the bottom. After I did my Freebridge game, winning the treble after 6 seasons (thanks very much) I had a break. Sold the ps4, moved to pc, started a new ML. I was in Ligue 2 and managed to sign some of the best players in the game. Martial, Milik etc. First season in Ligue 1 I grabbed Vidal, Neuer etc. Ridiculous. Tone it right down. I want to work hard to build team team of club heroes for 20 seasons, not a carousel of superstars for 6.

    I’m on PC these days, so no demo for me! I’ll just be picking it up blind. I know the PC version will be inferior to the console versions again this year, but I really didn’t notice that much difference with 2016. At the end of the day, the option file for PC is so much more detailed and fleshed out and far easier to apply, it’s a big positive, having wasted so much time implementing the ps4 one.

  5. Takes a step forward.

  6. Proof that Duncan Dares.

  7. NG – FIFA 16 is a great game but suffers for me from the same old problem for me as the goals I score seem all to be remarkably similar. There is great build up play but still a feeling something is missing.

  8. Fired up fifa last night and scored a long ranger, a 20 yarder that hit the post and went in off the keeper, a header from a corner, a tap in from a cross and a couple of finesse shots from inside the box. Maybe this wasn’t the most representative session, but there is variety to be found.

  9. Darryl/Chris99 – I’ve also seen plenty of variety in FIFA’s scoring. With me it’s the build-up methods that get repetitive, but that’s probably just me trying the PES way over and over again.

  10. NG/Chris – I had played with sliders, which is the problem with them as you don’t know if it is because of them.

  11. Mine was on default sliders. I also hadn’t played for a month so was a bit rusty.

  12. Surely Peter Duncan died years ago from that tree stump slime creature?

  13. I haven’t played Fifa 16 at all.I plan to pick it in new year after playing pes 2017 a good 3 months.Can I expect different teams playing differently I mean not a lot but still could you feel the difference.Coming back to pes 2017 demo I tried manual but it’s just not for me for now.It needs lots of practice.Although I did find some fun playing as river plate as an away team vs barca used some of the defensive tactics which is there in advanced settings seemed to work .I think at some point I had too many expectations out of pes 2017 ,which ofcourse will never be met however I still believe expecting different play styles from different teams should be a given n not a huge ask as it is made out to be so should be the fouling.One thing which I have noticed though is that shooting with higher finishing stat player is much more accurate and that is how it should have been all through.

  14. Jamiey – your last point about shooting was a bit of a bugbear in PES 2016, when a player with 69/70 for finishing could finish as well as a player on 80 it kind of makes the stats pointless. You’re right though in that the 2017 demo seemed far better in that respect.

  15. Quick couple of goals from the demo. A lovely manual passing goal and a penalty for you NG!! Only had a handful of games since I got back from Kos and it seems quite promising.

  16. I did like the desperate pleading gestures from the number 6 after smacking the striker in his face

  17. Nice couple of moments Lloyd. You’ve really mastered the manual passing. Not a single player encroaching on the penalty kick though…

    I’m still amusing myself with FIFA16 back on Professional/default sliders – the golden settings for that game, for me. I’ll get some time on the PC this coming week and might dabble with some PES5. Nothing too strenuous, whatever happens. PES2017 is out next week

  18. NG – I definitely have mastered it yet, that was one of the few occasions that it came good lol.

  19. Back from a week away and had a good half a dozen games on the demo as Boca vs Att Madrid.

    This will be my last session on the demo and I feel better about the difficulty now. Individuality looks promising too. My main issue now is with ‘keepers. A little too good perhaps? I managed two goals in six games mainly due to superhuman feats of shot stopping by the AI ‘keeper.

  20. I’ve not bothered downloading it and am feeling zero enthusiasm while 2014 is still on slow burn. One thing would worry me about that penalty incident (amusing though the histrionics were) – how would you avoid an arm based foul if that was your player? It seemed like Fifa’s handballs (which always got turned off after the first match) in so far as it is beyond your button pressing input. 2014’s got its own range of annoying whistles for things you can’t really avoid (the contact after the ball has been played in particular) but a slap to the chops is taking it a bit far.

    I’m getting NMS tonight on loan from a mate who is going away. He said ‘see for yourself’ when I asked which camp he was in, I suspect it’s a no from him otherwise he’d be reluctant to let it out.

  21. One thing would worry me about that penalty incident (amusing though the histrionics were) – how would you avoid an arm based foul if that was your player?

    Uncle Turf – I think the answer is ‘defend carefully, avoiding abuse of R1+X+Square’. I’d assume that overdoing either of the pressure buttons (or automatically squeezing both as we all do) would sometimes contextually generate an arm-off foul among other undesired side-effects, based on a random dice-roll. I recall a PES (2013?) where the automatic sliding tackle whilst defending was particularly obnoxious, to the point where it’s now an on/off option in the controller menus.

  22. Yes, I wondered about that. It’s got to the point in 2014 that I now lay off square when defending as I was conceding so many penalties with that left the foot in/momentum based trip.

    Changing the subject – has anyone been to FC United’s stadium? I’m going to an event there and wondered if it was leafy suburbia or gunchester. Made that mistake before with White Hart Lane and an ill advised stroll round the neighbourhood.

  23. Turf – I’ve abandoned my favourite R2 for the same reason, and defend in the box solely with the left stick. Still use R2 outside the box if I’m trying to cut out a cross or cutback, the right stick jostle when two players are running shoulder to shoulder, and double tap X in midfield to snap at heels when the opposition is keeping possession too easily. Defending is a real art in 2014

  24. Started a new ML last over the weekend as the hype train slowly pulls into the station. I’m Trapani Calcio in Serie B, starting with real players they are fantastically awful. Signed a load of 68-72 rated players (including a certain S. Coutinho) and the game is brilliantly challenging and realistic. Avoided the chance to sign Zivkovic (79ovr) as that would ruin things. Love ML in this infancy stage, before all the money flies in and it’s easy to sign whoever you want.

  25. So No Man’s Sky then…see what you mean about the 1950s style visuals, like they’ve just invented Glorious TECHNICOLOR!!

    I’d like to mention how I found it but my game lasted about 7 minutes. Once I’d figured out the screen switching buttons and what I had to get I trundled a few yards on Naluennon (my immediate thought was ‘Neil Lennon’ world) and had three ‘sentinel drones’ appear. Being told I should shoot them down my gun promptly overheated after a few seconds and while waiting for it to cool down they blew the shit out of me. Is that normal? Are there set pieces in this infinitely different home planet experience? or do some folk start on nice peaceful worlds where you have some chance of working out what to do before you die?

  26. Finally managed to get into a game on the Battlefield beta yesterday. After running around a desert for 20 minutes I turned it off. I used to love the Battlefield games, but I’m just not into them anymore.

  27. Uncle Turf — there’s a reason NMS looks like a Cecil B DeMille-produced Technicolor extravaganza. It lies at the end of the ‘journey’ to the centre of the Galaxy (or more exactly, in the lore you pick up en route). I’ve not been there and wonder if I ever will, so I spoiled myself on purpose, but won’t spoil it for you in cas the game inexplicably overcomes your ADHD barrier. Not making it past the tutorial-introduction level Sentinels?! Good Lord…

    Tommy – Battlefield 2 in 2005 or so was good, although I noticed that if you liked anything other than the free-for-all melee style of gaming, you were going to struggle to find a niche. I liked sniping, finding a quiet spot and just bagging a few kills per round, but the level of shrieking hysteria with which I’d sometimes get chased off a server was quite telling. Multiplayer online gaming is shit. End of.

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