Category: FIFA16

Beyond Good and Evo Knievel

The PES2017 phoney war continues. Some people on the forums are playing the demo so much that they’ve imperceptibly started referring to the demo as PES2017, instead of as the PES2017 demo. Happens every year, of course.

I’ve deleted the PES2017 demo from my PS4. I’ve decided to avoid touching any PES game until I get PES2017 on the 14th now (ShopTo and Royal Mail willing).

The blog’s annual makeover might go live this Friday, or more likely next Tuesday. Nothing too major this year – a new splash of paint, and I might move this column from the left of the three, to the middle of the three. I know. This is exactly how Evel Knievel must have felt before every jump.

Sadly, I might not have time for the compilation talky vid. I could cobble it together in the time available, but it’d be rubbish. This is an idea that might be banished to the same nether region inhabited by my once-mooted book version of PES Chronicles.

A FIFA16 compilation video (with a controversial moment), and I’m done today.

Here’s the video – two interesting goals, a penalty won (take note, Pro Evolution Soccer), and a goal given by the simulated goalline technology where I don’t think the ball was really all the way over the line:

I think the game gives that goal wrongly. I see pixels overhanging the white line, I really do.  Only a few, but they’re there.

You might say that the goal would be given by any human adjudication. I wouldn’t give it. The whole of the ball has to be over the whole of the line. The naked eye might say ‘goal’, but I don’t believe a computer eye should do so. There are pixels, damn it.

I enjoyed the moment when Rashford won me the penalty. That’s approximately the 12th penalty I’ve been awarded in FIFA16’s Career Mode in just over two-and-a-half seasons. Are you watching, Pro Evolution Soccer?

The two goals that start the mini-compilation are each interesting. The first one – the placed, looping shot from the corner of the box – is the type of goal that FIFA critics always say is common as muck in FIFA, but it really isn’t (not for me).

The second goal takes a wicked deflection off a defender’s shin and leaves the AI goalie helpless.

I’m really liking these unexpected twilight FIFA16 sessions I’m having here at the close of the footy game year.

FIFA16 abounds in interesting moments. Crafting moments of interest and delight was how PES made its formidable name and reputation over so many iterations of excellence back on the PS2. FIFA isn’t anywhere near reaching that stature, and may never be, but perhaps what it is is enough for these days.

Three posts to Christmas

Since my last post, it’s been the turn of FIFA16 to get another go. I quit this game last week. Or was it the week before? Silly season weeks tend to blend into one another.

Whatever, when I fired up Career Mode again I discovered the wreckage of my attempt to make the game feel great on World Class. Sliders all over the place, my team mid-table in the Championship, etc.

A couple of button-presses later and I was back on Professional with all sliders restored to their default states. And ready to play again.

What a good game FIFA16 is on Professional. I played a session of about 6 matches, and enjoyed every one of them.

I remain profoundly unimpressed with a very strange thing that post-2008 FIFA has always done when you get to the box.

I play semi-assisted passing. All is well until you get to the final third. Then the game overrules your passing direction and plays what it probably thinks are incisive through-balls instead. Passing laterally to another striker is fraught with danger, with the likelihood that the game will send a pass at 45 degrees to your chose direction.

‘Play manual, then,’ I hear voices crying in the background. No.

No, a good football game leverages player individuality and stats-based outcomes. FIFA16, as much as is possible given its bare-bones player individuality, does do that. Until it doesn’t.

I do still really like it, this FIFA16 business, but will be dropping it like a hot potato come the 14th. (The day before official release is when pre-ordered games traditionally drop through letterboxes.)

I continue disliking this hopping-about from game to game. It’s been unavoidable as I’ve had so little time recently. I haven’t had time to really sit down and get into anything.

PES5 remains a PC game, and PC gaming has never been convenient for me.

What I would give to be able to play PES5 on my PS4! I’d pay fifty quid, easy. ‘Get a mini-PC and hook it up to your TV!’ I hear the voices cry at me, off-stage.

Bloody hell. No.

Next week should see some sort of stability restored with a makeover for the blog and the final appearance – hopefully, time permitting – of the promised compilation of me playing old football games with voiceover commentary.

I’ve got all the footage recorded, but editing it all together into something slick and interesting would take hours that I probably will not have available. So it might end up with everything just glued together to the sound of me breathing heavily in the background. Prepare yourselves to be No Mans Skyed on this front, is what I’m trying to say.

Evo, be thou my Good

FIFA16 is at an end. No point being playful and leading up to it. That’s it.

Yesterday morning I played a decent 1-1 draw, on Legendary difficulty, using some custom slider settings suggested by a regular commenter — thanks, Shed — and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t get anything out of it either.

And just look at the calendar. August the what now?!

This is the wrong time of year to be exerting myself to get any deeper into a football game.

The only reason I would ever continue playing FIFA16 would be out of some sense of ‘providing fair and balanced coverage’ on the blog.

The thought of that always makes me smile. It would only happen if this blog was some kind of journalistic enterprise, which it isn’t.

It’s a hobbyist’s personal blog. I play and do exactly what I would play and do if the blog wasn’t running. That’s the main — and indeed only — editorial stance I take.

I might not even do an end-of-year review of FIFA16. I don’t feel I’ve played it enough. I’ve only played about two seasons’ worth of Career Mode. That’s still a hell of a lot of matches. A lot more matches than most games reviewers ever play.

There was no one breaking point. There wasn’t even a breaking point. FIFA16 remained interesting and engaging right to the point where I laid down the controller and knew that the game was over for me.

Before I quit — probably for the last time — I had one last mess-about in the Practice Arena.

You used to be able to set up full 11-vs-11 or 11-vs-5 practice sessions, or any combination thereof. I have no idea why they removed this very useful feature. Baffling. Maybe people weren’t spending enough time in Ultimate Team.

I discovered a surprise way to at least get some 1-vs-1 one action…

PES2017 will be here in 5 weeks and before that time comes I have a few other things to do — No Man’s Sky among them, plus some distracting work-and-life factors right now.

The PES2017 demo should land sometime next week. I’ll want to play and talk about that.

We already know it’s going to be another no-AI-fouls football game. All football games are no-AI-fouls football games these days.

What I don’t already know is whether PES2017’s general pace will be the same ‘fast frenetic flowing fun’ stuff that simply ISN’T to my taste.

So there’s no place for FIFA16 in my busy schedule. Once again, the summer holiday has come to an abrupt end. Same every year, right? Same every year.

Overall, a good game, probably better than FIFA15, but just as probably about the same. I gave FIFA15 a 9/10 score last year. If I did do a FIFA16 end-of-year review, I’d probably go around the same.

What next football game-wise?

Maybe some PES2014 — I really enjoyed the odd match I played on it last week.

Maybe some PES2011. The old ‘disc is still in the drive’ thing…

Maybe even some PES2016. Or some PES5.

Whatever happens from now on, it’ll be PES.

The lesson of this year’s summer holiday into FIFA is a familiar one. In any given footy game year, FIFA has to happen first, or it really struggles to happen at all.

The Evo That Men Do

Well, another few days of having other life-stuff to do (not to mention other gaming-stuff to do – more later) has limited my footy gaming time.

How many times have I said that recently? Quite a lot. Does it mean that FIFA16 isn’t quite filling the PES-shaped hole in my life? Possibly.

And here’s more evidence – this goal, scored on Wednesday morning, is from… PES2014:

This goal is from the weird post-season friendly you get in PES2014’s Master League.

I played because it was in the PS3 disc drive when I powered up the PS3 to put the console through its monthly maintenance.

Those of us with old, unused PS3s or 360s should warm them up at least once a month, install updates, put the disc drive through its paces, etc.

PES2014 was in the drive. Yeah, I thought. Why not.

And I found PES2014 very FIFA16-like. Will I go back to play it some more between now and… is PES2017 really just four or five weeks away? Bloody hell.


NMS opening screen

No Man’s Sky arrived for me this week – above is the first screen I saw when the game started. There’s a thing on Reddit about taking this screenshot for the sake of comparing starting worlds. I got a lush green planet with strange doughnut-like rock formations. I’m still exploring it.

This game arrived at the worst possible time for me. I won’t get real time to play it until next week, maybe later.

I’ve played about 2 hours, achieved spaceflight, but yet to have a space-fight.

The game reminds me strongly of Minecraft in the exploring sense, but even more strongly of one of those Journey-type arty games where it’s all about the experience than the edge-of-the-seat twitch gameplay. My kind of game, in other words.

But like I said: two hours in, and barely done anything.

And so the traditional yearly PES Chronicle busman’s holiday goes on.

I have played more FIFA16. World Class is not treating me well. I cannot buy a result at the moment and have dropped out of the top 3. The teams above me are also conveniently losing and drawing games in the same way I am. League table scripting is alive and well in FIFA16.

I’ve also been noticing that I attempt to defend the Pro Evo way, which simply doesn’t work in FIAF16.

In Pro Evo, we defend by swarming the ball-carrier until we get the ball back. That’s it. We pretend that we stand off and cover the passing lanes and all that stuff, and we do (I do), but only some of the time. Maybe as little as 5% of the time. The other 95% of the time is all about clamping sprint+X+Square, and charging the ball, and kung-fu slide tackling, and let’s stop pretending different.

This Pro Evo-style ‘sprint-clamp-swarm-sliding defending’, as I must now call it, doesn’t work in FIFA16. Not enough to make it worth doing anyway, and it’s costing me. Because I keep trying to do it.