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FIFA 13 review - Progression or regression?
And to prove I am a Student, here is me passed out...
Progression or Regression : FIFA 13
Hi guys, this is Mr Awbery here, and i wanted to give you just a little introduction into who I am, and what my articles will relate to.
I am just your regular student at University, I do Drama as a course, but I have always had a soft spot for writing, and gaming, and then it hit me... A book, from the shelf above me, but then I had a great idea... Why don't I WRITE, ABOUT GAMING!?!?!
Now it is obvious i am going to be writing today about Fifa 13, and my opinions on whether I believe it has progressed or regressed, but I will also be writing articles on anything within the gaming world that I believe you should know about, or just in general sharing my opinions and experiences of anything and everything.
Just as a quick note, i did submit some articles on Call of Duty Black Ops around a Year ago, but i believe they have been taken down, so this will hopefully be the first of many articles I write.
So, yeah, sorry for the waffle at the beginning here, but i just wanted you guys to know what I am about and how I will write, I am fully up for doing articles on any requests within the gaming community. However, as I am relatively new to this, and have a low budget, I would ask that it be kept to Fifa 13, as it is the game i am mostly playing . (Once again with the waffle).
Many Features of FIFA have progressed! (Yay!)
Progression and Regression
Every year, EA Sports releases the newest edition of it's insanely successful series, FIFA, and since i understood the concept of putting a small inflatable ball into a relatively larger, netted area, i scream like a little girl when i see the adverts, and erupt into childlike happiness when i buy the game. I have become somewhat addicted to it, and it seems to have the playability to keep me coming back for more and more, which is something most games do not possess.
I believe this qualifies me to have an opinion on its progression and regression, and whether i sound slightly up myself or not, i am about to share my thoughts on this... NOW.
So, to kick it off, I will give you a short run down on everything I believe has progressed this year, and then speak about them in more detail later on...
- CAREER MODE (EVERYTHING)
- EA SPORTS FOOTBALL CLUB
- FIRST TOUCH SYSTEM
- PRO CLUBS
- KICK OFF
I will cover Regression in another article!
Every fancied being a manager?- With the improvements to career mode, i would consider it!
Progression (In Depth)
I personally believe career mode has taken a huge leap forward in terms of it's playability, and overall enjoyment that can be gained from it...
Firstly, and the part which had me grinning like a cat, was the fact that EA seems to have finally solved the player growth system. Gone are the days in which your Youth players, who are keyed to be worldbeaters, only grow one a season. AND THANK THE LORD, AND THE GOD IMHOTEP FOR THAT... This was one of the main things which aggravated me about career mode in FIFA 12, but they have fixed the growth system. I cannot express in words what this means for career mode, so I will reel off my starting 11 and their growth, in my York City Career Mode, which i have played two seasons of. (Just in case you don't believe it yourself)
Just as a note, i will specify when i bought the player, and how much they have progressed
GK - Scott Shuker (Youth player) Starting overall : 58 Rating now : 67 Increase : 9
RB: Joao Cancelo (Bought this season)Starting overall : 72 Rating now: 74 Increase : 2
CB A. Romagnoli Starting overall : 67 Rating now : 73 Increase : 6
CB K. Zouma Starting overall : 73 Rating now : 80 Increase : 7
LB J. Willems Starting overall : 71 Rating now : 77 Increase : 6
RM W. Zaha (Bought this season) Starting overall : 72 Rating now : 79 Increase : 7
CM J.Ward Prowse Starting overall : 64 Rating now : 75 Increase : 11
CM N.Powell Starting overall : 65 Rating now : 75 Increase : 10
LM Deulofeu Starting overall : 71 Rating now : 78 Increase : 7
CAM Fred Starting overall : 69 Rating now : 76 Increase : 7
ST - Gallozzi (Generated player) Starting overall : 74 Rating now : 81 Increase : 7
As you can clearly see, players progression is significant enough to warrant the intake of youth players, which has improved the dynamics of career mode massively..
Secondly, the AI itself has improved drastically, and therefore the whole playing experience is much greater. In FIFA 12, the computer was sluggish, predictable, and was easily seen as a computer processing how to pass the ball... That was until it was the 90th minute in the league cup final, when the computer somehow whipped a 45 yard through ball, onto the volley of a low rated striker, who nestled it nicely into the top corner... However, FIFA 13 is different, the AI seems dynamic in attacking, it runs the channels, there are overlaps, granted it still feels like you are playing a computer, but trust me, comparing it to FIFA 12 is like comparing the intelligence of Einstein to any of the members of The Only Way Is Essex (actually scrap that, all of them together). God i hate that show.
Thirdly, the introduction of the International management section offers players a welcome break from the stresses of league life, with the chance to manage an international team through friendlies, and in the major competitions as well. Granted, it seems very infant in its depth, you pretty much pick the team and play the game, but this is a feature i am sure will expand.
Fourthly, contract negotiations are no longer about, bung him enough money, and he will join us. Trust me, I tried. I was set on signing Lukaku from Chelsea, and he outright refused when i offered him £100,000 a week, which was 10 times more than what he was receiving at Chelsea. This means if you are in League Two, you can't just use the catalogue to buy a takeover, and purchase the worlds best. The process i went through was buying all youth, who have now flourished (See above)
Fifthly ( IM RUNNING OUT OF NUMBERS) The stories which appear in the menu, as well as the voiceover from the man who sounds old, reading out the scores or fixtures, just allows the menu to be slightly interesting. I mean, come on, it's a menu... But still, i have found myself reading about the next young prospect from the far corners of the earth, or the fact that Neymar is injured for 6 months with a broken Tibia, and feeling like the game has a lot more depth than previous versions. This kind of immersion is what FIFA needs to constantly work towards, as in career mode, i would much rather feel part of a world, than pick a team , play a game, rinse, repeat.
And Sixthly, just a small point that you can actually request funds from the Board in order to sign a player, or, if a player is of particular importance, you can ask the board to handle the negotiations personally, giving an increased chance that the board will pay more money for you. Little features like this make the game seem much more realistic, and i hope in future FIFA continue to add these.
Historic Kit? Fancy!
EA SPORTS FOOTBALL CLUB
So the second category i would like to talk about is the feature known as EA SPORTS FOOTBALL CLUB... It is a section that is accessed by clicking the Xbutton on xbox360 (or Square on PS3) and it takes you to a panel which displays a number of things.
The catalogue (new feature)
News which tells you what your Friends have been up to on FIFA, a challenge which is updated every week, giving you a chance to earn XP for your account, or EA coins.
A support your club section in which you can play as your favourite team in a head to head, to earn points for the club you support, which will progress them up the fictitious league table
AND the leaderboards, where you can view where you place amongst your friends... (Bragging rights available here)
So, the place i really believe that this has progressed is with the earning of EA Coins, or whatever the official name is for them. Everything you do on FIFA, from changing your virtual pro, to uploading your lovely face in the gameface feature, all the way through to simply playing matches, earns you both XP and EA Coins. The XP will progress your accounts level, (Level 80, Booya!) which on FIFA 12 meant nothing more than simply how much you had played FIFA. However, with the addition of the catalogue and EA Coins, you can now spend the coins within the catalogue, on features such as
Boosts for your online or career Pro
Scout a superstar for your career
AND MANY MORE!
So all these can be purchased for Virtual coins, that you have to do nothing more than play FIFA to earn. This really gives a new side to FIFA, as the more you play, the more you earn, and eventually the more you can buy. Ever wanted those sweet new boots for a Pro, well now you can purchase them with this feature.
Personally, I just enjoy the fact that every now and again, when you flick your eyes to the top right hand corner, and just happen to notice you have 2000 EA Coins to spend, you can go to the catalogue, and purchase historic kits for your favourite teams, or a permanent boost to your Virtual pro, and that is the main thing which I wanted to comment on. So well done EA, you have developed the EA SPORTS FOOTBALL CLUB!
Touch like Messi? Yes please!
FIRST TOUCH CONTROL
Imagine your playing FIFA 12, you imagining yet? Good... Well imagine that you are playing a guy who's team is filled with pacey players, you know the ones, with 96 pace and nothing else? Well on FIFA 12, a player like this could pick the ball out of the air like Berbatov on Acid... (Exactly)... this used to get ridiculously annoying, as their ball control stat was around 50, yet they could control it the exact same as Messi with 96 (don't quote me on messi's ball control stat, just an example)
So this year, they have completely revamped this system. A player's ball control stat actively alters his ability to deal with the football, and this means that a worse player with pace will no longer perfectly latch on to the over the top throughball that was constantly played, no. He will undoubtedly try to take this touch , and it will end up near the corner flag. Now i know what your thinking, how can this be an improvement, i don't want my players to have awful first touches AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Stop... get a nice cold drink and relax, let me continue explaining.
This is precisely the point. The fact that you don't want your player to take that touch is why it needed changing... Now players who are slower, but have much higher ball control are being viewed as useful, due to the fact they can trap the ball much better than someone with pace and no ball control. You will get frustrated, and you will want to throw your controller through your screen when the ball haplessly bounces away from your striker, but know this. It will happen to your opponent as much as it happens to you, and if you are a better FIFA player, and don't constantly abuse pace, you will be able to conquer any opponent put in your path (Unless they have a player with pace and ball control, like Messi, Ronaldo, then you're done for.)
Also, the first touches sometimes assist you, albeit by accident. Sometimes that lucky bounce off your players shin takes it away from the defenders and sets you through on goal, of course not very often , but hey always look on the bright side.
And anyway, it is just a step closer to realism which is exciting for me as an avid FIFA player... I must admit they have not got it down to a tee yet, there are still times in which a players chest touch is fifty yards away from him, and yes there will be agonising times in the 90th minute where your player could have brought it down perfectly on FIFA 12, but hey, that's realism for you.
It has just fixed so many issues i had with the game, just a few examples coming right up...
- Player has the ball powerfully volleyed at him from two yards, brings it down perfectly with the chest
- Goalkeeper has a ball played back horribly to him, striker bearing down and pressure is building. But oh no wait, the goalkeeper pulls off a god like touch, and clears no trouble
- Similar, but a centre back has the ball played to him, a Centre back should not be able to bring it down perfectly, but does so anyway. Completely negates the point of pressuring players
I know it stops you scoring goals, but this is literally one of my favourite features, for that very reason. The frustration you get from the new first touch system, makes the glorious through ball goal even better, and the perfect chest and volley that much sweeter!
(I hate to use this word, but i have ran out of connectives)
Furthermore, it also controls the way a player sprints with the ball... You will notice now on FIFA 13, players with less ball control with sprint with bigger touches, which works both positively and negatively. They will knock the ball further, allowing them to run faster, but this will also allow a clever defender to dispossess them. Just like real life. Yay.
Now don't get it twisted, there is a lot of fault with the new First Touch System which have to be worked out, but due to the fact it is a step in the right direction, i will say it is progression in my books
AND WAIT! THERE IS A WAY TO CONTROL THE SIZE OF THE TOUCHES YOU TAKE!
YES YOU HEARD RIGHT!
Simply hold LT (Xbox) or L2 (PS3) when your player traps the ball, and he will take a much better touch, i know it slows you down but i like the fact you have to slow down a little to control the ball
hold LB (Xbox) or L1 (PS3) to completely trap the ball, and stand still, almost perfect touch every time....
If you continue to hold RT or R2 whilst trying to control the ball, you will knock it far to far, and you will be screaming at your scream, i promise.
His Clothing brand is Beast Mode...
PRO CLUBS SEASONS
So in this fourth section, I will be discussing my favourite, and possibly the most improved game-mode on FIFA this year. Pro Club ( Seasons). Before i kick off into my opinions, I think i should specify what Pro Clubs is for anyone who is reading this article who does not know.
Pro Club seasons is a game mode in FIFA 13 in which you have a created pro known as your Virtual Pro. You level him up by doing almost anything in a match to begin with, passing the ball, scoring a goal, tackling a player. These will level up your players stats, and there are many accomplishments to achieve, some harder than others. You can not play this mode alone, you have to have at least 1 other teammate, up to a maximum of 10 team mates. You play your games in a fictitious league in which you must score enough points (mirrors the concept of a league in real football) to either remain in the league you are in, get promoted or win the coveted league title. You can only control your Pro, and you must work with your teammates to achieve success (Unless you play the ANY, in which you control all the players except your team-mates Pro)
I understand it is not a very played aspect of FIFA, due to the fact you constantly need a second player to play with. I personally only play with one other team-mate, but this mode is very enjoyable, and has progressed massively since it's introduction to FIFA. The fact you have your own Pro is amazing, as you can alter him to look like anyone and everyone. Want to play as postman pat, now you can! So i would start my article...
Lets kick on with the topic of conversation today - The progression of FIFA's Pro Clubs mode : In fairness, this is the game mode which I have spent many hours playing, and therefore will probably have a biased view upon, but hey, this article is all about me and my biased views, right?
So, this year FIFA have changed the way in which Pro Clubs is played altogether, due to the fact it is no longer about grinding out result after result, with no reward. Well, it still is that, but in the form of a Season style mode, which is the same style employed throughout the online modes in FIFA, both Head to Head Seasons and Ultimate Team Seasons. This means that there is a complete shift in how points are earned. You no longer get points between 0 and 100, but you get the standard three points for a win, one for a draw and no points for a loss. Making the whole experience much better, it was horrific on FIFA 12, you could win a game 5-0 , but receive only four points, win the next game 1-0 and receive nearly 100... This made each game not equal, and you had no clue how much you would go up. Also, the fact was that the process was so unequal, and when your club reached a higher level, you lost 50 points for a loss, but only gained 3 or 4 for a win.
Secondly, the concept of the Virtual Pro has changed massively. Strength is no longer dictated by height, which was a ridiculous notion, just take a look at Akinfenwa! (Picture above right)
So now,for example, i have my Virtual Pro at the height 6ft2, and 224 pounds. This gives him a strength rating of 84, where on previous games it would have been much less. It is a personal preference to be 6'2 and heavy, due to the fact that it gives him the ability to have 83 sprint speed, allowing him to run away from defenders, and also the strength to hold them off. Anyway, i became sidetracked there, but the point remains the same, the style of clubs has changed, and in my opinion for the better.
Thirdly, the ability to define what opponents you come up against has given a player much more control. You can specify if you want to play an opponent with our without an ANY, and with or without a goalkeeper. However, FIFA have been brilliant to include the fact you can only specify to play against an ANY if you have an ANY, and the same goes for the goalkeeper. You can leave the search options blank, so you will come up against anybody, but i prefer to make the game a level playing field. If i have an ANY, i expect the opponents to. This stops you coming up against keepers if you can't stand them (Which i can't!) or playing the computer with two small, 5'2 strikers upfront. (Bitter much?)
Finally, and this is the bit i really enjoy, is the fact that the game no longer gives information about the players you come up against. You literally just see the team name, and the kit and crest they are using. This means opponents will no longer back out if they see you have a particularly high match rating, or a particularly good pro. You have no idea who you are playing against, and this is the way it should be. Too often on FIFA 12 i spent my time sat in the dressing room constantly searching for a game, to have the opponent back out when they see I had a good match rating. Now, it is down to pure player skill when you come up against an opponent, they don't know about your Pro's, and you don't know about theirs. Ignorance is bliss! Anyway, most of the time players with high rated pro's have simply played enough games to achieve it, it is not an indication of skill. I have played with plenty of 80 rated Pro's who were simply amazing ,and 90 rated Pro's who were terrible. It doesn't matter how good your Pro is, if your good at the game you can make him a beast.
No wonder Messi is so happy on the cover, he is an inform striker level 96!
The fifth element of FIFA which i believe has taken a huge step forward is the Kick off game mode, in which you play a one off game, either against the computer, or one of your friends. Now this game mode was pretty idle in previous FIFA's, you could play one game with the same teams week in week out. This was FIFA 12 - However, the developers of the game decided to combine the Kick off Mode, with Live Seasons (A mode in which you played each game of the season, alongside the actual season, with updated player stats, injuries etc).
I consider the outcome to be much better than last year. Now, you can play a game against your friends, or with the computer, and each week the top leagues teams will be slightly different. If Torres has a shocker, guarantee that he will reduce in stats the following week, lending the game much more in the way of realism. It is not just the whole teams rating which changes, each player in the team, who is worthy of being upgraded or downgraded will be. I cannot explain how dynamic the game is, and the alterations made each week are interesting and fun to explore.
There is a view form section, in which you can do exactly that. View the form of the top teams and players around the world. It also includes the teams and players who have improved the most, and this allows you to play with an inform team. It also shows you which teams and players to avoid, with an out of form section.
Here is an example -
in the Teams section, Levante are currently the most in form team, seeing an overall rise of two to each of their stats, going from ATT 75, MID 72, DEF 74, to ATT 77, MID 74, DEF 76.
Greuther Furth, on the other hand, are currently the games most out of Form team, dropping eight points overall, with a -2 to ATT, and -3 to both MID and DEF.
The Goalkeeper handanovic, who plays for Inter Milan, is the most inform player in the game at this moment in time, with a +4 rating taking him from an average 84 - to an amazing 88.
On the reverse, The Midfielder Inler, who plays for Napoli, is the most of form player in the game, with a -4 rating, taking him from an average 82 - to a below average 78.
This kind of form can change the way in which teams are picked, and just may give you the advantage you need to beat your friend.
The final new addition to Kick off mode is the games of the week section, which allows you to play the five biggest games from around the world, which is updated every week. These are usually clashes between top teams, derby matches, or crucial games for a big team. This allows you to play out the game and see if your result turned out better than the real life one, or if you just want to replay the game after your team was humiliated. It also includes up to date stats for each team, such as top scorers, injuries and suspensions, and International duty, all which affect the team you can pick. This is a very interesting mode, and also includes a Match Preview, detailing why this game has been picked.
This week the matches are:
Newcastle vs Manchester City
PSG vs Lyon
Bayer 04 vs Hamburg
Lazio vs Inter
and Barcelona vs At. Madrid.
So in short, there are many more options available if you want a one off game, be it against a friend, in which you can pick an inform team to dominate, or if you want to redeem your teams pride by replaying a crushing defeat in an important game.
Soon, they will have skill games, to fill the time whilst the skill game is loading!
ARENA and SKILL GAMES
This is another contender for the most improved section of FIFA this year. Although seen as a way to pass the time on the loading screens, the arena has taken a significant leap forward in terms of it's ability to entertain the player. No longer do you idly try to score against a keeper time and time again, in the repetitive fashion that can drive you insane. Now, EA SPORTS has introduced Skill games into the loading screens, which are for the purposes of both improving your skills on the game, and also passing the time sufficiently.
There are eight game Skill games to play, and they are randomly chosen every time you enter the loading screen. I have found myself delaying a match for almost two minutes, so i can complete a certain skill game, or practice my overhead kicks.
The eight game modes are:
Each of these are designed to improve your ability in these situations in games, and I honestly believe they work. Furthermore, there are four different levels of difficulty for each game type, in theory offering a total of thirty two different skill games to play. There are bronze silver , gold and skill challenge levels to play, and once completed, you can unlock the next one. This completely alters the way loading screens are viewed, as i know I used to just completely ignore playing in the Arena on a loading screen, or taking random thirty yard volleys because it just didn't interest me. Now, i take an active interest within the loading screen, so i guess that is mission accomplished for EA SPORTS. Engaging the player in a section which most other games just display the words "Loading... Please wait" is no easy feat, but i believe EA have cracked it. In my opinion, it just feels like your time is not wasted waiting for a game to load, you can practice your skills for the upcoming game, and just maybe, learn something which can help you win!
Want something else?
AND THAT'S IT!
That completes my comprehensive guide to the improvements on FIFA, next topic will be the Regression of Sections , which i will comb through with the same meticulous fashion shown in this article.
Please like, Comment and Follow me, so i know my efforts are not in vain, thankyou so much for reading until the end, I know it was long, but I hope it was worth it.