I have felt at a bit of a loose end in these becalmed days before things get moving on the PES2018 demo front. Friday’s post will have my full impressions on that. I won’t have much time to play the demo tomorrow (Wednesday), so Thursday will be play-time and then impressions Friday.
In the meantime, I have popped back onto the PS4 to see an old friend: FIFA16. This FIFA never wowed me in the way that FIFA15 did, but such things are often a matter of timing. FIFA15 came out well before PES2015 and so it got a couple of months of solid play. Time to bed down and build the bonds of affection. FIFA16 came out after PES2016, and never really got a look-in until after I’d racked up 12+ exhausting seasons (on what was a pretty poor PES game, hindsight now tells me).
First of all it was a pleasure to be back on the PS4. Where was I with FIFA16? Seemingly in the Championship payoffs. I breezed past Sunderland, 1-0 on aggregate, and faced Sheff Weds in the final at Wembley. Beat them 1-0 too.
Nice header back across the keeper from my on-loan starlet, Marcus Rashford. He was a virtual unknown at the time of FIFA16’s inception, who cost me only £6m in a subsequent transfer deal I made before logging off.
Note Alan Smith’s commentary line about Rashford’s header going in the top left corner of the net, when it plainly goes to the top right corner of the net. Grrrr. This FIFA-ism never fails to annoy me, every single time I hear it, and I must have heard it hundreds of times in FIFA by now. It’s not an error on EA’s part, as such. It’s their conscious decision to go with the American TV convention of describing the left and right sides of the goal from the viewer’s point of view, rather than from the goalkeeper’s point of view, which is our convention here in dear old Blighty land.
Promotion to the Premier League, and I met Newcastle in pre-season. A cutscene weirdly showed me what looked like Benitez on the touchline, but it couldn’t have been him, as I believe Rafa was unattached to any club when this game was made. Unless there’s been an update to rosters. Anything is possible with EA. One day they’ll have our matches analysed, Sky Sports-style, by virtual pundits on virtual giant iPads in virtual studios. Not even joking. I would bet they’re working on it.
I played most of that pre-season tournament, and enjoyed it – but not overmuch. The PES2017 disc was still in the PS4. I put that on for a game, and immediately felt at home. That’s the acid test: habit and routine wins out. Almost any FIFA might well be an objectively better package and even a better game than almost any PES, but the PES flavour of footy gaming is the footy-game flavour to which my taste buds are adapted, for better or worse. It would take a PES2008-style PES catastrophe to change me now.