A couple of days of summertime stomach lurgy – you don’t want to know the details – hopefully over and done with, it was back onto the horse, and back onto FIFA20.
With renewed zest!
Regular readers may be familiar with an annual phenomenon that visits these parts: my early summertime slump. This is a period when I seem to be coasting through with perfunctory posts (occasionally no posts at all) and a diminished appetite for the beautiful virtual game.
It’s just one of the features of my football game year. I always, always, always have a slump from around mid-May to around mid-June – plus/minus a week or two either way. I can’t ever have the same intensity all year round
And then around about late June, early July, I do seem to get my second wind, and I’m all fired up again and enthusiastic while everyone else is mostly ‘meh’ until September.
And it’s happened. I’ve got my second wind now. A few weeks of long working hours and an enforced break from the PC for days at a time have helped to re-whet my appetite.
I’m back again with the feeling that sitting with a joypad in hand, playing a digital football game on a screen, is the best possible way to pass time.
FIFA20 is back at full throttle. It never went away. I bet many a regular reader thought they saw the signs of a wobble, and an imminent return to PES, or somesuch – but it’s been a peculiar year so far, an exceptional year, as you may have noticed. PC gaming. FIFA. A Pandemic.
Thumbnail catchup: Season 4 has seen me hit a difficulty dilemma.
World Class is much too hard for me with my modest skills and modest squad – and I am not complaining about the latter. The slow growth of the squad is one of FIFA20’s great delights. Really having time to bed in with a club, and a squad, and get to know players, is a refreshing change from the frenetic pace of Master League career growth in the benighted modern era of the other series.
World Class too hard. 5-0 thumpings at the hands of a rampant AI are routine. Only a matter of time before a sacking.
Professional difficulty, though, is too easy. 3-0 wins are routine. I have to be really sloppy to concede a goal, never mind lose or draw a match.
I was starting to consider the use of sliders as a difficulty modifier, either in the direction of making Professional a touch harder, or World Class a touch easier.
Then I remembered the Assisted/Semi settings for passing and shooting. If you go back to FIFA09 on this blog, you’ll remember the images that, ah, ‘grace’ this post.
Et voilà, all sorted. I now have a happy halfway house between Professional and World Class. Played 8, Won 3, Drawn 3, Lost 2. Goals are precious and celebration-worthy. Possession is sacred. And there is so much else still to come.
Here is the first full match I played with the settings. I’m well aware that few readers will watch all of this, so I have cherry-picked the most interesting moments and linked them separately below.
The first few minutes show me swapping my settings, and then my learning curve between Assisted and Semi-Assisted. And don’t worry, I eventually change the crowd-bothering camera setting too.
Also, apologies for the 720p setting. No idea why this massive 8GB 1440p-quality file defaulted to 720p as the max setting. Completely random.
My First Proper Shot Using Semi-Assisted
Does this show just how decadent full Assisted settings make us, or what? The crazy thing is that with Assisted settings on, that shot would have been on-target.
A Great Moment For FIFA Realism
When my player gets the ball on the wing, watch my striker in the middle tussling with the defender. I trust the reader will enjoy the outcome as much as I did.
My First Goal With Assisted Shooting
After the fiasco of my previous shot from this sort of distance, I had no expectation that this would go anywhere near the goal. But I reduced the ‘aiming lozenge’ (blast from the past there) and in it rocketed.
I forgot I was recording this match and went into the replay and fiddled about looking for the best view of the goal, thinking to make a standalone goal highlight, before I remembered. Duh.
And finally, here is a brief video I put together showing a snippet of PES2014 in action on the PC.
Why, you might ask? Why?
After seeing the EvoWeb discussion this week I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
I felt inspired to revisit a game that still lights a burning candle in my heart, not least because I despised it upon its first appearance (horrific release, truly horrific). PES2014 remains widely disdained by the football-gaming community, unjustly so, which gives PES2014-love a bit of sub-cultural cache.
By then I’d played FIFA20 with my new Semi settings and wanted to see how PA1 on PES2014 stacked up.
Mainly though this short clip shows off one of the best things about the PC as a gaming platform.
It wasn’t long before I applied Reshade to PES2014, and well, you can see the results for yourself. The flips between Reshade On/Reshade Off are pretty obvious.
This video, thankfully, plays at 1440p:
I don’t think I could go back to playing with the washed-out colours you see at the start, before application.
As for the wonderful Semi-Assisted passing and shooting – FIFA20 does it. FIFA has always done it – FIFA invented it. The lozenges say so.