If Alan Smith says left corner when it’s actually right corner, or vice versa, just one more time…

FIFA16 Season 1 after 32

I’ve spent so much quality time playing FIFA16 this week that I don’t have time for a very long post today.

Up there is the very latest table. With 42 of 46 league matches played in a very long season, I’m just outside the automatic promotion spaces. A playoff place is all but certain.

My plan was to get promotion in Season 1 and then switch to World Class difficulty for Season 2 in the Championship. This looks like it’s going to happen.

Here’s a highlights reel of my last few sessions. In this video you may see that the game has started to come together for me.

Quite a variety of moments on show there. My pick of them is the ‘pass with purpose’ straight into Rashford’s feet at around 1:20. His first touch is poor and the ball bobbles up, and of course with my shooting predilections I went straight for the volley…

I’m really loving FIFA16’s long aerial through-balls, or Hail Marys as I think of them. Great when they come off, as two of them do in the above compilation.

The game on Professional has clicked to the extent that I’m not trying (so much) to play it as if it’s PES.

For one thing, the slide tackles. Slide-tackles are a hideously overpowered monstrosity in PES2016.

In PES2016, the slide tackle makes your defensive strategy simple: sprint your players until they’re in position to slide, and then slide, slide, slide, slide, slide, until you get the ball back. After hundreds of matches of PES2016, slide-tackling is baked so deeply into my muscle memory that I wonder if I’ll ever get rid of it now.

Hopefully I will re-educate myself to defend properly. Slide-tackling is barely anything at all in FIFA16. Sliding’s range is short and its effectiveness very low. Maybe one slide-tackle per match will come off, and then that’s usually a toe-ender by a defender that concedes a corner.

On the negative side I’ve noticed some very obvious scripting shenanigans.

It’s very noticeable that when I’m winning, it becomes incredibly difficult to keep possession. There are blatant instances of my players passing the ball out of play for no reason at all, and that sort of thing.

I’m familiar enough with this football game by now to know when I’ve blundered and when the invisible hand of scripting is in play.

Scripting is a necessary evil in footy gaming. It’s what makes football games great. But some degree of subtlety is advised. FIFA16’s scripting is surprisingly unsubtle.

By Tuesday I’ll have played the last few matches of the season, and hopefully won promotion.

I was toying with the idea of live-streaming the decisive match(es), but doing so would affect my style of play too much and ruin the experience for me. This is why the players in the imminent Gamescom vids are almost universally terrible. Everybody tries to play the way they think other people will approve of.

Football gaming is entirely a private pastime for me and always will be. Everything great in football gaming is based around a single player sitting alone in a room.


  1. Scored my maiden 50 in first class cricket yesterday. Still to take a five-for though.

  2. 16 year old Totti has broken into the first team at the end of season 24 and scored the goal that won the league. An unfortunate injury to star man Baggio gives Totti the chance to shine in the CL Final against Napoli and fire Liverpool to future 7 time glory.

  3. Beat them 4-2 on penalties, Totti was due to take the last one but wasn’t needed. Septuple here I come!!

  4. Congratulations chris99 – much harder than it feels it should be when you see the pros at work. I’ve taken a four-for but unless I go back as a veteran I suspect it will elude me. On the other hand the switch to taekwondo resulted in me being shown how to break someone’s collar bone – something my loopy right arm over the wicket would never achieve.

    Skyrim continues with a ridiculously huge previously undiscovered area.

  5. Turf – Many thanks, but I was on about Don Bradman’s Cricket. Although for the record I have scored a 50, taken 8 in an innings and knocked someone unconscious; not all in the same match I hasten to add.

  6. Nearly fell at the first hurdle. Needed a 94th minute equaliser against Chelsea in the Community Shield. Won 2-1 on penalties. Thrashed Zenit 6-0 in the Super Cup.

  7. Chris – Which difficulty level are you on. Batting is bloody tough on Don Bradman due to the ball speed. First of all you have to decide whether to go front or back foot and then your shot selection all in a flash.

    NG – The good thing is with Fifa that you won’t need to go up to World Class next season as there will be a big gulf in difficulty in the Championship,should you go up. As for defending Fifa 16 reminds me of Fifa 12 where it is not about the tackling at all and defending is more about cutting off the passing lanes and organising your defence.

  8. Doh! Having said that it would probably be harder for me to do it electronically owing to my complete lack of patience. See also any driving game where collision are to be avoided, platformers, stealth and that awful ico game.

  9. Darryl – Not the easiest, but the next one up. It’s the only time I’ve made it into the twenties. It involved a lot of driving through mid on and mid off as there were gaps there.

  10. Well, this time last year I was on about Rocket Ball or whatever that game is with the cars (its name has genuinely slipped my mind at this moment, which means I’m definitely heading for 50). So all this talk of other novelty sports like cricket is perfectly fine 🙂 I’ve got a copy of Don Bradman on the PC, but it’s much like basketball and ice hockey games. Because I don’t have any kind of knowledge of the sport I don’t really know what’s going on or even what to do. My approach to cricket games has always been ‘try to hit a 6 every time’. I’m aware there’s a tactical layer to the batter-bowler confrontation but I’m completely unaware of how it manifests (or doesn’t) in a computer game.

  11. NG – I do, but I don’t feel a console is the place to employ it. Some sports seem to work perfectly whereas others just don’t chime with the playing electronically. Golf and snooker are not exactly fast moving but they are fine I feel, cricket and formula one its a no. I couldn’t even get it to work when I had cricket captain on the PC. Thirty five overs of patient field setting then irritation allows for five overs of ridiculous head high bouncers down the leg side.

  12. Uncle Turf – baseball I do know and love deeply, and have played many baseball games over the years where I do automatically respect the tactical layer and don’t go for home runs, or even try to hit every pitch. I’ll go for ground balls with base runners in position etc.

    If that last sentence is almost meaningless to you, I’m almost at the same level of sort-of-knowing-but-not-really with ‘head high bouncers down the leg side’. In the latter case I had to stop and think and work out from my limited knowledge of the game that you meant the deliberate bowling of no-balls. And even that could be wrong. (I’m not sure what ‘leg side’ is. The side of what? Vertical to the batsman or horizontal to him?) It’s this lack of basic familiarity with cricket that guarantees I’ll never get on with a cricket game. And the same goes for basketball. Ice hockey could be more viable as it has a similar basic rhythm to a footy game, but I’m afraid ice hockey games copy the principal failing of the real-life sport: too often, it takes me a while to work out where the puck is now.

  13. I am a fan of the sacrifice bunt

  14. Turf – is that predictive texting?

  15. You know you are getting old when the highlight of your day is taking the dog for a walk. I don’t play any games anymore and only play a bit of Gran Turismo when the little one wants me to. I really am becoming a nowhere man. The other week I went into the back yard and I had missed a poo that the dog had left down the side of the house. The slug had met its demise eating the poo. What a way to go I thought to myself. What an existence. The next day I was logging data on a spreadsheet all day and envied the slug. Maybe for a future book project I will bind together some blank pages.

  16. Darryl – it’s when we get past the point of needing to do things for excitement’s sake that we’ve really arrived. I was just putting my bins out when three motorcyclists went by doing wheelies in the road. One of them had winking fairy lights on his helmet. ‘You poor bastards,’ I thought. ‘You haven’t realised yet…’

  17. Darryl – That’s just about the most bleak piece of imagery I’ve ever encountered. I hope you’re okay and feeling a little less like a slug in shite.

    I’m having some tough times too but find gaming helps me clear my head of worries….for a while at least.

  18. John – No worries about me I love my life of idily doing nothing. Work is work and just switch off from it all. As for the slug it is a bad way to go. Saying that we are presuming it was the consumption of dog poo that killed him. It could of been a slug homicide. I am already doing some work on a new book. Lots of stuff like this in it.

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