More FIFA...

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And more losses. The start of a new season broke the horizon earlier today, and unfortunately, my luck from the last season didn't carry over. We decided to go a different direction this time and chose some mediocre teams to be. I did this in the hope that he wouldn't have a star player to do those pesky step-over's with. However, he's a bit more than a one trick pony, as I found out in a 4-2 romping in our first game of the season. I called fluke as I've been a bit rusty from playing Skyrim until my eyes crossed, so I called for a rematch. I fared better, but still lost 2-1. Sadly, I had to switch my style. The third game of the evening saw him pick the first team, and again, it was of mediocrity. However, this time I fared even better, drawing 1-1, conceding the draw in literally, the last minute. My keeper cleared, but I lost the header in the midfield. The ball was hammered back into my own end, and not a defender was to be found. He was all alone: 1-on-1 with the keeper. I called him out, but alas, it was too late. He slotted it home in the bottom corner on the last kick of the game. That one hurt.

Game four featured our classic 5 star match up. I dominated the game, not giving him a sniff at goal, but I wasn't able to finish myself, and that would prove costly. When he got forward, he did indeed try his step overs, but I was patient and didn't step in. He eventually just ran out of room and I was able to clear and hit him on the break. Again, the game came down to the last minute, nay, the final kick. I had the ball on the wing, drawing his defenders on. I managed to bring to towards me before I laid off for a quick one-two. I got past both defenders, but wasn't in a great position to score, but it didn't matter. I dished out a bit of his medicine! I held the ball in the box for just a second before pushing it forward, this was enough of a decoy to have his right back come barging in taking me to the ground. Penalty.

I couldn't believe it. The tension was high and I was indeed feeling the pressure. Scoring here would bring me back within 3 points of him, and still early enough in the season that I could come back and get something from it. Up steps one of my most trusted players. The controller rumbled in my hand with every virtual breath I took. I watched the line slide across the bar quickly, and increasingly harder to track the longer I waited. Then I did it. I ran up and kicked the ball. The keeper was planted, and I knew before I hit it... The ball would sail over the bar. The final whistle sounded and I was left holding my head in my hands. Another draw. Although I'm still 6 points behind, I feel confident that I can still get something from this season. It was a slow start, but like seasons past, it's picked up. I'm optimistic for the future... Or just plan ignorant to my own skill.

Either way, until next time, MuskyFox out.

The Great Fifa...

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So, last season fizzled out again and I finished 3 points behind the eventual winner. To my credit it was my strongest season yet. I won and drew the last two games of the season, but sadly, it wasn't enough to bring the trophy home. At least I know where my weaknesses lie now. I seriously need to be more patient while on defense. Tackling I have no problem with, but getting the right tackle in seems to be a bit of an issue. I try to close down in the midfield, but he just passes it away, like most anybody would do. That's not my issue, he can pass laterally all day for all I care, it's when he's in the final third; that's where his one trick pony comes to the show. Step-overs. They drive me mental. He barges into the box with Gervinho and I go for a tackle, one of two things tends to happen. 1: I miss the tackle giving him a clear sight of goal. or 2: The dreaded penalty. I think every game this season I gave away a penalty. Whether I was up by one, or two, or down, or level, I seemed to give away at least one penalty a game, all thanks to those step-overs. I panicked. plain and simple, I lose my head and do everything I have to in order to get the ball clear, and unfortunately, I often do a little too much and take out a leg rather than the ball. Is it cheap on his end? Absolutely not. He knows what works, why would anybody stop doing something they know the other team can't defend? It doesn't make sense. I have a bit of an exploit, too. Like my weakness with step-overs, he has a weakness with near post crosses. He plays his centreback quite static, and I dummy him with an equally static forward, that is until the very last second when I push up slightly, just enough to knick the ball past the confused keeper. Works every time. Sadly, I can't seem to get the ball in that position as often as I would like. Like I said, things are looking up. What once was an incredibly lopsided rivalry has turned into an extremely even affair. Besides the goals where we exploit the others weakness, most of them are flukey, be in the right place at the right time encounters. A poor clearance, a funny bounce, those are how most of the goals are scored now-a-days. it may seem boring, and Hell, to watch, it would be. But to play, well, it's as fun as anything. He still holds the bragging rights... but for how long?

FIFA 12! The furstrating glroy of it all...

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Bloody FIFA 12... I love the game, I absolutely adore it. I've dropped more time and effort into my Virtual pro than I care to admit, but my God, is it every frustrating. I'd like to blame the game, I really, truly would, but if truth be told, the game is a near perfect footballing experience. The tackling took a bit of getting used to, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I couldn't go back to the old way now. But what really irks me about it is my consistency, or rather lack thereof. I play mostly online with my friends in either the head to head friendly seasons, or the pro clubs, however Pro Clubs has taken a bit of a back seat to Skyrim and my current online rivalry. The rivalry in question goes back quite a while, and me being Canadian, I didn't exactly grow up in a football centric environment. My nemesis on the other hand grew up in the footballing heartland of London, England. Home to an absurd amount of clubs, London is the perfect place to learn how to play the game properly... So right away I'm at a bit of a disadvantage. However, what once was a lopsided rivalry has lately become a bit more even. I'm contending now-a-days, and Hell, I'm even winning a few. But what gets under my skin is how I can win two in a row, then suddenly lose substantially. We both play as the same clubs, but when suddenly he's walking around my players like they aren't even there. it's a bit annoying. We're in our third season, and it's close. he has 11 points to my 8, one win up on me. It's our closest season yet, and I'm certain I'll lose it in the next two games... BUT! I'm determined to win at least one season before FIFA 13 comes out. It's unlikely that'll happen, but as soon as I sort out my back four, I'm confident that I'll at least draw a season with him... It's bound to happen... right?

The Answer? I Don't Even Know The Question!

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Douglas Adams asked it best in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything? Well, clearly if I had the answer to that I wouldn't be blogging here, no, I'd be off in some mansion somewhere extorting the world for money for the answer, or something just as ridiculous. However, the question relates to many aspects of our real, every day life, doesn't it? Well, ok, maybe not as literal as that, but what I'm getting at is the life of the gamer. Sure, the the question wanting to be answered probably isn't as complex as the wanting to know the secrets of the universe (though, still, it would be sweet.), it's more along the lines of how can one balance everything that's going on, especially around this time of year. Novemeber has always been notorious for massive title launches, and this November is no exception. Just 11 days into this fateful month we've had four major console/PC releases releases: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, and of course, Skyrim. And remember, four huge games launched in under two weeks of one another, but that doesn't even touch the rest of the month, does it? No. Still to come are Zelda: The Skyward Sword, Mario Kart 7 (albeit the first few days of December), and Assassins Creed: Revelations. I mean, those are franchise titles as well... So far we're at seven games worthy of our full attention, and I've not even mentioned the smaller titles being released, like Sonic Generations and LOTR: War of the North. So the big question is: How can one afford all these games? Well, games now-a-days hit the 60+ dollar mark brand new, which, if I'm honest, is a bit pricey (And before you bit my head off, I know how much work and effort goes into these titles.), bur since I have no control over pricing, I still scrape together my pennies and buy the ones I'm most interested in - and even I'm having trouble balancing my life and habit. Take Skyrim for example: Hundreds upon hundreds of hours of gameplay, and that's without even touching the main story line; how's one supposed to fit in, for all intents and purposes, a second life when there's only 24 hours in a day? Between work, relationships, and some form of social life, putting in countless hours into a single game seems absurd; not to mention seven. And realistically, if you can afford all seven games, you must work in the vicinity of 50+ hours a week, leaving even less time for games. It's a vicious cycle. You know, I've only been talking about the games releases this month, which means I've been assuming that all the games from the previous month have been finished, like Dark souls or Arkham Asylum. Two games that are potential contenders for game of the year, so surely they warrant some attention as well. They can't just be tossed aside because a few new toys came out... Or can we? The glorious thing about video games is that they don't age. If you leap out of Skyrim for a few weeks, or months, your character won't age and die; it's not that realistic just yet. The game will always be there, unlike real life relationships. So, as much as it pains me to say, sometimes we just have to put the control down and spend time with the people we love... assuming you have said people in your life. If you don't... well then Skyrim beckons. So, in short, play what you want, when you can. It doesn't matter if it's a few hours of Skyrim, followed by searching for treasure in Uncharted, culminating in a few rounds of team death match in Modern Warfare. As long as you have fun, and keep reality within grasp, you'll be okay. MuskyFox, out.