Between the end of PES2012 and the beginning of FIFA12, a breathing space. I have started a new Career Mode in FIFA12, but not got very far. I’m still in the first transfer period of the first season. Gaming time has been very limited over the past few days, and there are other distractions (see below).
I am already missing the crazy bizarro world of Master League, for what it’s worth. ML’s fantasy football element is roundly mocked in some quarters, but is really its secret strength.
But FIFA12’s Career Mode has come a long way this year. And, in its own way, the CM world can be just as fantastical. I’ll tell all on Monday.
The PlayStation Vita (or PSP2, as at least I would’ve been happy to call it) arrived last Tuesday. Delivered by a man who seemed to be driving his own car. He was wearing a yellow hi-visibility waistcoat, as if that automatically made him official. Which I suppose it did.
The Vita is an amazing little piece of kit. First of all, it’s very light, and surprisingly thin. It is very w–i–d–e, which accounts for all the pre-release grumbles about its size.
Setup was a pain in the arse, due to a Day 1 system update and some bad design of the setup process. Setup wanted me to login to PlayStation Network using my existing ID, but it wouldn’t allow me to log in until I’d installed the system update, and I couldn’t install system update without logging into PSN… Fuck’s sake!
There was no way out of the trap. In the end I had to set up a new PSN account in order to get access to System Update, allow the Vita to update itself, and then login to PSN with my proper ID. Whoever designed the Vita setup process thing needs to get together with whoever designed PES2012’s shooting and whoever designed PES2012’s Master League. And all go to live on an island together somewhere. (What if they’re all the same person?!)
It was worth it. The screen pops right out at you. Remember how amazing the PSP was—a PS2 in your hands? Well, the Vita really is more of the same, only this time of course, it’s a PS3 nestling snugly in your hands.
I got FIFA Soccer and Uncharted with the Vita. What I didn’t get was a memory card, assuming that a basic one would come with it, and that I didn’t need one to play the games anyway. The Vita’s games, if you didn’t already know, are on little micro SD-like cards. I assumed that, like the DS, the games would record save data onto the cards themselves…
And some do do that. FIFA does it. Uncharted, alas, does not. I had to hurriedly mail-order a Vita memory card, which is due to arrive sometime Friday.
In the meantime, I’ve been playing FIFA Soccer. It’s pretty good, you know, but looked at dispassionately, forgetting that it’s running on a handheld, it’s not the greatest footy game in the world. It’s as close to FIFA11 as it is to FIFA12—and I disliked FIFA11. The old-school FIFA defensive ‘system’ (if it could be called that) consisted of squeezing one (at most two) buttons and waiting for the ball to be returned to your possession. Literally, that’s all it took. It’s the same on the Vita.
FIFA Soccer on the Vita is what I think of as a typical launch-day football game. It’s pretty good, and there’s a great deal of novelty in seeing it run on this hardware, but it won’t last me a long time.
Here’s my first goal, played in my traditional opening football game match, England vs Scotland:
In truth I can’t wait for my memory card to get here so I can play Uncharted and start moving my PSP purchases onto the console. And what will PES2012(PSP) run like on Vita? There might be more Master League coming my (and the blog’s) way sooner than I think, you know…
Ah, but now I am playing FIFA12 on the Xbox360 as my main football game. I have commenced Career Mode. It is going well. All will be revealed on Monday.