After Friday’s declaration of a final parting of the ways with FIFA10’s Manager Mode, I’ve actually been playing it all weekend. Logic and consistency are not notable features of a regular journal, or blog, as anybody who has kept one or the other will know.
It’s all down to the World Cup and Football Manager 2010. The World Cup has suddenly got very interesting. The games are better and there are endless talking points. Watching the matches on TV and reading about the tournament in newspapers and online is taking up a lot of the time I would ordinarily devote to gaming.
Most of the gaming time left over has been devoted to Football Manager 2010. FM2010 is becoming to me more or less what Master League was a few months ago. An obsession. The other night I caught myself applauding one of my strikers after he tucked away a 1-on-1. I said out loud: “That’s why you’re in the team, son, that’s why you’re in the team…”
I do yearn to start up a Become A Legend career in PES2010. But right now I don’t want to, not with the twin distractions of the World Cup and Football Manager diluting the time and attention I could give to it.
In this context, over the weekend, I just fancied some pick-up-and-play football game action. Manager Mode in FIFA10 seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
It’s a relief to allow myself to like Manager Mode for what it is. It’s a chintzy piece of rubbish, a bauble with about as much substance as a cheese and onion crisp. I played a lot of games one after the other, hardly taking any notice at all of where my team was in the table.
I’m far more interested in the gameplay. I’ve found it very absorbing. FIFA10’s got a wonderful passing game. I don’t care what any FIFA-sceptic says to the contrary. No wonder so many former PES fans who try to come back to PES soon run away shrieking with horror.
I’m scoring a satisfying variety of goals. The old canard about ‘the same type of goal’ is not something I’ve ever really come across in next-gen FIFA. I score a good mixture of close-range shots (1-on-1s and otherwise) and shots from middle-to-long distance outside the box. I can play direct and I can play tippy-tappy Arsenal passing style. It’s good stuff. (Until I get sick of it.)
Granted, I’m still playing on Professional difficulty. I’m also still playing with the water wings of assisted settings—this late in the fooball game year! I should be ashamed of myself. I’ll move the difficulty up and the controls to semi-assisted if I’m still playing in a few days.
The lack of real player individuality is a continuing worry for the next-gen FIFA series. And the sprint-clamping method of retrieving possession from the AI is still a major annoyance. Knowing it’s there means I have to use it, and it’s ridiculously effective. Will the player individuality issue be fixed for FIFA11? Does EA regard the sprint-clamping as a problem? You’ve got to hope so on both counts.